My First Mother's Day: Part 1

Happy Mother’s Day to all you fine mommas out there!

Rewind to yesterday:

Since we have lots of moms to celebrate this year, my husband made dinner reservations on Saturday. 

Mad props to the husbo for: 1. making reservations, 2. making them on Saturday at 4pm when the restaurant would not be so busy, and 3. choosing a local restaurant I’ve been wanting to scope out for nearly 3 years now!

Emma’s Food for Life is located in downtown Selinsgrove, and their niche is fresh food made from local ingredients. I complain a lot about the lack of restaurants like this, so I’m glad I finally got a chance to check it out.

I’ve heard that Emma’s runs some sort of free dinner program once a month, but I’ve been a little too scatterbrained lately to look into it. I finally took a moment to peek at their website, and here’s the scoop: In the monthly newsletter, it says that one night a month, they host a Free Community Dinner featuring live entertainment. It’s run on donations, so it’s sort of a “give what you can” deal.

They also feature a Seasonal Specialties Menu with $5 lunch and $10 dinner specials. Roasted potato and radish pizza for $5? Grass-fed steak with Chanterelle Gratin for $10?! Wow. Who knew? Shame on me for leaving Emma’s on my To-Do list for so long! I guess I need to limit my complaining about the lack of interesting restaurants in Selinsgrove from now on!

Bonus: A list of local suppliers on each table. Could this mean we might find a supplier of grass-fed beef? I plan to do a little digging…

Now, I’d like to introduce you to our dinner:

We started out with green tea infused with mint, which came with a little pot of honey for sweetening. A lovely idea, but the honey and the ice didn’t mix so well and I ended up with all my honey frozen to my straw. Yummy, but a little weird.

Appetizer: Falafel with lemon tahini sauce. A good choice, although I like a little more spice…

Then we noticed it….FREE WINE? Well, sort of. No liquor license means they can’t sell, but each entree comes with a complimentary glass (or you can BYOB.) Shane chose the Reisling, I opted for the Cab Franc. I asked for a small glass because I am super careful about alcohol these days, and I don’t want to have to pump and dump.  Pretty generous for a free pour, I’d say…

The menu had me a little giddy! By 4pm, I had eaten exactly one bowl of oats and 2 dates, so I was ravenous. After a long, methodical deliberation (I’m not the most spontaneous chick sometimes) I chose the Marvelous Mushroom Lasagna, which is layers of whole wheat pasta, an exotic mushroom mix and butternut squash topped with Swiss and Parm. 

Yeah, I know. I said I’m off dairy. I’m bending the rules today. Sue me. (Then see below where I say I’m still off dairy.)

Gooey, sweet, and really rich, it did not disappoint. The asparagus was a fun surprise and helped lighten the dish a little. It was lemony and perfectly cooked. I don’t think I’ve ever had better.

Shane’s choice: the Vietnamese Salad Rolls. (At least I believe that’s what these were called. Oops… Bad blogger.) They arrived with a peanut dipping sauce and wheat-y noodles sprinkled with sesame seeds.

He’s been looking for these for years, but can only find fried egg rolls, so he was just tickled pink a masculine shade of blue.

We are usually dessert-at-home kind of people, but we have a card (purchased for a MERE $5!) from the local Boy Scouts that entitled us to a free dessert (that card has a few dozen local businesses on it, with discounts or offers for each. You can’t spend a better five spot.) 

So we splurged and each got one…Me, the Chocolate Zucchini Cake. He, the Frozen Irish Whiskey Torte.

Thick, rich, chocolatey and really dense. Right up my alley. I brilliantly forgot about my glass of Cab until this point, when I had a pile of chocolate in front of me! Couldn’t have worked out better. 

Shane’s not a chocolate fan (gasp!) so he wasn’t excited about the crust, but he gave this guy a thumbs-up anyway. I had a bite, and it was darned yummy, but I didn’t really taste whiskey.

This is what it looks like when Finn and I are sitting at a restaurant table and I get distracted for a second. Spacey, I know. That is a toy mushroom, in case you’re wondering.

So, feeling stuffed and happy, we headed a block or so down to the coffee shop. Daddy-O’s plan was to get some fun drinks and let me play for a while online, but they were closing. At 5pm. On a Saturday. We found out that they close every day by 5pm. Then we remembered that’s why we’ve never eaten there. What a waste of a coffee shop with a great menu.

***This is the part where I say that I agree with myself about dairy. Now, my meal surely wasn’t low fat or low cal, so I’m not sure exactly what element had me puffing up beyond belief about an hour after we ate, but I suspect the cheese. I nearly had to undo my button, and I haven’t felt like that in months. I still love the cheese, but I’m thinking it might not be worth it. It just doesn’t feel like it’s making me any healthier. I don’t think that’s any reflection on the food at Emma’s, though. Most people would dig that cheesiness.

And then the wild hurricane blew into town, nearly knocking us over in the parking lot and whipping me in the face with my own hair. I find that INCREDIBLY annoying.

So we tried to go home, but then we spotted it. The rainbow. And our adventurous death-defying spirits drove us to go RAINBOW CHASING!

So it’s not quite as thrilling as storm chasing, but we thought it was pretty cool. Neither of us had ever seen a full, double rainbow from end to end before. You can sort of see both rainbows in the pics. It’s really neat how the colors reverse in the top one.

We got so close it felt like we could just reach out and touch it…

 I’m not even sure what to say about this pic. Ripe with symbolism, don’t you think?

And then, a very happy Mommy, Daddy and sweet sleeping baby headed home for some down time. After starting the day at 3am, I needed it.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the rest of the mommies!


  1. says

    I hate feeling bloated and unwell after a meal, especially when you don’t know what the culprit was. And when certain foods bother you one time, but don’t the next. I stopped eating dairy for a few years because it gave me so much discomfort, but now I seem to be able to eat it without problems. Happy Mother’s Day!

  2. says

    It’s funny, I cut the dairy out because I’ve been moving toward a vegan diet (not entirely, just experimenting) and I noticed how much better I feel! I’ve never been lactose intolerant or anything, but I am really starting to believe that large amounts of dairy just aren’t that healthy. For me, at least.

    That lasagna was pretty fabulous, though. I think it was worth it. I may try to make it at home and tweak the recipe to contain less cheese.

    Speaking of disappearing food allergies, I used to get sick from bananas, and now I can eat them! Go figure!

    Happy Mother’s Day to you, too!

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