Category Archives: Fish Fries

Easter Weekend in Quarantine

I hope you and everyone you love had a wonderful Easter Weekend. Despite the pandemic and nearly everything in some state of lock down (including Omaha’s public parks, of all things), we still managed to have a whole lot of fun with our friends and family.

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On Friday night, we had a Virtual Fish Fry with some of our mutual friends. Vivian made some battered fish fillets, french fries, and even some mac and cheese doctored up with beer cheese (and apple strudel, courtesy of Betty Across the Street). Naturally, we couldn’t share any of this with our friends, who all joined us with their own food at our dining room table via Zoom on my Chromebook. We were still able to catch up with everyone, and they even joined us for a round of “Sweet Caroline” as Paul even broke out his guitar. It didn’t turn out so well, thanks to Internet lag, but it was worth a try. Even Zoom’s 40 minute time limit couldn’t keep us down, as most of us were able to reconnect without much trouble and carry on until nearly nine o’clock.

Some of our friends had to bail for Good Friday, but it was still great to catch up with everyone. I expect some kind of catch-up party once the pandemic is over (whenever that may be).

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On Saturday morning, we got to see how bored people were getting with the pandemic by participating in a “Mask-eurade ‘Drive Along’ Parade” with the Omaha Children’s Museum and Rose Theater. A mile-long line of cars were packed Douglas Street and barely moved for an hour just to roll their way to 20th Street and pass by a few costumed characters. We saw the Paw Patrol, Bob the Builder, Leonardo, Cat in the Hat, Darth Vader, Miss Frizzle, Pooh and Piglet and a handful of others along the way.

The weather was gorgeous, so I got out to snap photos as we waited. It was still fun just to get outside nonetheless. Mostly, I hope the kids will have one more memory of the strange things people did during this unique time in history.

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After the “parade,” we had a little lunch across the river at Rivers Edge Park. All the parks in Omaha are closed (because “social distancing”), but Iowa’s are still open, so we ate some burgers and fries on the steps where Loessfest would normally be happening had the park not been flooded repeatedly.

Since our last visit, they’ve installed a giant sculpture made of scrap aluminum, which stared at the sky as we wandered the grounds around it. It was a gorgeous day to get out and run around a bit, as birds and blossoms seemed to indicate that spring was finally here — despite snow forecast for the next day.

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Our extended outdoor lunch was more than just a fun diversion — we were also giving Grammy (AKA the Easter Bunny) the chance to plant some eggs in our yard so the kids could return and find them. You couldn’t have asked for a better day for an Easter Egg hunt, and the kids had some fun running around the front and back yards gathering them up for us. My parents came by to watch (as did Grammy) and even dropped off some Easter gifts for us before saying goodbye.

It was warm enough to do a little bit of yard work afterward, and our happy little flowers were peeking up and blooming for us. We spent the evening having some chicken sandwiches made with the legendary “red bag chicken” from Aldi, which are chicken patties not unlike the ones at Chick-Fil-A and have developed a strange reputation online for being both delicious and perpetually out of stock (I can confirm both are true).

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We got up bright at early on Easter Sunday as both our kids managed to find their Easter Baskets long before the “Easter Bunny” expected. We got dressed and headed down to Bellevue Christian Center at 8:30, where they had a “drive-in” Easter service in their parking lot. Despite the drizzling rain and cold, it was quite nice, with a worship team singing on a makeshift stage and broadcasting via short-range FM to our car radio. Pastor Hooker wandered the lot greeting cars spaced strategically six feet apart (both for social distancing and a view of the stage), and then Pastor Andy got up and gave a message, looking a bit like Billy Graham in a hat and coat (according to Vivian).

Our kids remained happy and quiet in the backseat all the while as well, which was something of an Easter miracle in itself, and we rewarded them afterward with some after-church donuts from Dunkin.

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The rest of our Easter Sunday was full of quiet fun at our house, fueled with sugar from Easter baskets and a handful of delicious, flowery cupcakes that came courtesy of Grammy later in the afternoon. We watched the Wildewood Easter Service online as Aaron danced happily to the music, and then the kids played with some of their Easter basket goodies, which included some headlights and wind-up chicks. Later on, we broke out the eggs and dye and got the kids to color a dozen eggs together at our kitchen table. We let the colors set as we had some Easter dinner of ham, scalloped potatoes, and biscuits toward the end of the day.

It was certainly a unique Easter weekend with the pandemic still in full force, but considering we got to enjoy an Easter egg hunt with the grandparents and even get out of the house for church together, it still felt very much like a traditional Easter all around.

He is risen, everyone!

Lent, Thomas More, and Kevin McCarthy

We kicked of Lent last week with a fun and busy cross-section of activities that included politics, a fish fry, and plenty of time outside enjoying some spring-like weather.

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On (Fat) Tuesday night, I got dressed up to attend the Thomas More Society dinner at St. Vincent de Paul Parish Center, courtesy of the Saint Paul VI Institute, which bought a whole table for me and my co-workers. I knew almost nothing about the Thomas More Society beforehand, and I got hear from founder Tom Brejcha talk about their legal work defending pro-lifers — particularly their right to protest.

The keynote speaker for the evening was David Bereit, founder of the 40 Days for Life campaign. He actually had a surprising connection to the Saint Paul VI Institute — his wife was actually treated for infertility by Dr. Hilgers many years ago and had two grown children now thanks to him. That was certainly surprising news to everyone at our table.

It was a lovely evening, and I even got to take home a tiny Mardis Gras mask for Hannah’s doll in honor of Fat Tuesday.

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Ash Wednesday kicked off that Lenten season, and that means it’s time for fish fries! Our friends the Simpsons invited us along with them to St. Charles Borromeo for their annual fish fry. It was the first time our kids have had the “full line experience,” but they got to run outside a bit and then played a keep-away game with mommy as we shuffled our way through the line waiting to dish up.

The fish itself was probably the best of all the fish fries I’ve attended — fried fresh, crispy and golden — and even Hannah wound up stuffing herself with a filet or two. (Gabriel helped himself to his mom’s mac and cheese.)

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Vivian and I had a night out planned on Saturday, so we made a point of getting the kids outside to enjoy some of the lovely 60-degree weather. We had a picnic lunch in the shelter together and then burned off the PB&J on slides, the teeter-totter, and rolling aimlessly down the hill. Hannah also brought along her doll “Suki” to chase Aaron around the playground in-between rounds of play-fighting.

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Then that evening, Grammy watched the kids as Vivian and I dressed up and headed off to the Elephant Remembers dinner downtown. It’s the second time we’d been invited to this annual gala fundraiser, which meant we got to rub elbows with some of the typical Republican friends I bump into at town halls or parades (looking at you, Stephen). Scott Voorhees played emcee, and introduced a chain of speakers, such as Mayor Jean, Mike Foley, Ben Sasse, and Don Bacon. The keynote speaker was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who gave an stump speech about entering politics as a young man and his optimism about Republicans taking back the house in November. McCarthy received a few gifts before he left the stage — a bottle of whiskey from local distiller Soldier Valley, and an plaque naming him Admiral of the Nebraska Navy (an apparently annual joke I have yet to understand).

The honorees of the evening were Lee and Robyn Terry, and there was a nice table of Terry campaign memorabilia set up in the lobby for everyone to see as they came in. Bacon’s wing-man James Wright introduced Lee and Robyn, who both said a few words before being awarded a Nebraska baking pan by DCRP chair Theresa Thibodeau. There was one more award to Young Republican Spencer Head and a few words from Bacon’s second-in-command Kyle Clark to wrap things up. Naturally, plenty of folks stuck around to meet-and-greet a few of the speakers (and get photos), and I got to briefly shake McCarthy’s hand and told him I looked forward to him being the next Speaker. I also wound up taking a group photo of the Terry Team on my way out the door — always happy to lend a hand with my lens whenever possible.

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We had a nice and quiet Sunday, unexpectedly bumping into our friends the Lenarts at church over donuts. Then that evening we took the kids by First Presbyterian to play outside (and let Hannah try out her scooter) in the gorgeous weather before enjoying another one of their movie nights. This time it was 101 Dalmatians, a Disney classic I’d actually never seen, which we watched while eating Hot Dogs, sloppy joes, and Scooby Snacks of all things. They had some fun crafts afterward that included Dalmatian head bands, and Hannah made her own Dalmatian out of Play-Doh before we called it a night.

Fish, Lions, Spaghetti, and the Mads

It’s been another crazy, busy week at work and home for the Johnson Family (fueled by avocado toast), but at the end of it, we finally have a car once again, which was a relief. I was able to use it for several errands, including a lunchtime rendezvous with Vivian, Grammy, and the kids.

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On Friday, we had our second fish fry of the year, this time landing at our traditional haunt, St. John Vianney. Our kids braved a cold and windy evening to play on the playground as we waited for our friends the Mills to arrive. Then we braved a shorter-than-usual line to get our annual dinner of fish, French fries, grilled cheese, tomato, and pancakes. Guitar Guy was there, as usual, to lead us all in “bah bah baaing” along to Sweet Caroline. When the food was gone, there was still time for some silly photos, and even Frank stopped by to frighten everyone with a new profile picture.

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On Saturday morning, Hannah had an appointment to “read” a book with a sweet therapy dog named Gillian at the Bellevue Public Library. Then we stuck around for a performance of martial arts and Chinese Lion dancing courtesy of the Jing Mo Tong Athletic Association (from Lincoln). I’d never seen a performance like this before, which involved throwing tangerines and lettuce at the audience, among other things. We hung around afterward so the kids could touch a few of the lion costumes before heading home.

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I took the kids out for some park time that afternoon. Then that evening, I dressed up went to see MST3K veterans Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu (AKA “the Mads“) once again for their third annual visit to the Alamo Theater. This was my third time seeing them riffing life, and my dad, brothers, and Richard Burney all came along as well. The movie of the evening was “The Creature Walks Among Us,” the third film in the “Creature form the Black Lagoon” trilogy, and the Mads’ riffing helped us get through some of the more tedious moments of the film, of which there were plenty (90% of them involving slow-moving boats).

Of course, I hung around afterward for the meet-and-greet, since getting a selfie with the villains from one of my favorite shows is always a thrill, even if I’d done it three times before.

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Sunday night, Wildewood church had a fundraiser spaghetti dinner for a young lady named Lexi, who’s been diagnosed with stage four bone cancer. Many local businesses donated food for the event, and there seemed to be a fairly good turnout, as the food was nearly gone when it was time for us to go. Hannah got her face-painted like a dalmatian and then got in some running around afterward with Aaron. Our kids can have fun with just a big empty field and a tree, which is a happy break from video games — now that we have the weather for it (random blizzards up north notwithstanding).

Fish Fry, Skating, and St. Patrick’s Day

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The Lenten season is upon us again, so that means touring some of Omaha’s famous fish fries, in particular the one at Holy Name. It’s is one of the biggest draws in town, attracting such guests as Congressman Don Bacon, as well as our tiny group. The fish is good, and watching it being battered in a custom-made contraption is a show all in itself.

This particular fish fry is baffling as many in the crowd outside — and packing the halls inside — seem more interested in standing around drinking instead of lining up for fish, making it difficult for the rest of us to know where to go. It’s a fun time once you make your way inside, though (and the smell will linger with us for weeks).

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The next day, I went downtown with Hannah to see the St. Patrick’s Day parade. It had been delayed a week due to unexpected snow and nasty weather, and it was about half as long as last year as well. We still saw the standard of parade participants, ranging from politicians to Star Wars characters, to Irish dancers, clowns, and even a Family Reunion of sorts. The weather was just about perfect, with temperatures rising to the fifties, so Hannah and I spent a little extra time watching geese fight along the now tree-less Gene Leahy Mall and looking at some of the flooding along the Missouri River. We even took a few minutes for a daddy/daughter date at Chick-Fil-A before heading on home.

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Later that day, we celebrated Uncle Jonny’s birthday with my parents and Uncle Nathan. Jonathan wanted to go roller-skating down at Skate City on Fort Crook, so I brought Hannah along and spent some quality time staggering awkwardly around the rink with her for an hour or two. It was legitimately the first time I’d ever gone roller skating, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I imagined (particularly after one guy helped tighten my skates). Hannah, much to my surprise, had a grand time skating around the rink using a kind of walker they had on hand for the little ones.

Then that evening we headed back to my parents’ house for some Marco’s Pizza and pumpkin pie for dessert. We finished off the evening watching some family slides with the folks and then playing some Choose Your Words before calling it a night.

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On Sunday, we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with our traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes and Irish soda bread, though we also had some special green foods for the kids that we hoped would be more palatable.

Then on Monday we headed down to the waterfront a family to get a look at some of the flooding from the Missouri River. The devastating flood has made national news, but we live and work far enough away from the flooded area that we’ve been largely unaffected. It was daunting to see the statues at Lewis and Clark landing drowning once again (as they did in 2011), as well as the entirety of River’s Edge Park completely underwater, making me wonder about the fate of Loessfest this year.

The kids mostly enjoyed the chance to get outside and run around, and we also saw a number Canadian geese migrating overhead, flying in wave after wave heading north in V formation. The effects of the flood were sobering in the meantime, but I couldn’t be prouder of the response of our friends and neighbors, who are stepping up with volunteers and supplies gathered at nearly every church I can name, including the ones we attend on Sunday and Wednesday night. Nebraska Strong, indeed.

Fish fry, St. Patty’s Parade, and Chili

It’s the season of “spent” once again, which naturally means indulging in a variety of lenten foods together with our friends.

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First item on the agenda is a fish fry at our traditional fish fry of choice, St. John Vianney in Millard. Our mutual friends Jenny and Kody, Jon, Phil and Jen, and their parents (who’d never been to a fish fry before) all joined us in the long, long line before getting our fill of fried fish, mac and cheese, french fries, and all the other greasy beige goodies available. My old co-worker Cliff dishes the fish, and Guitar Guy (whose name turns out to be Win) had us all “bah bah baaing” along to Sweet Caroline as we ate. We got a few raffle tickets as well, but nobody won anything. We did also see our friends the Mills — we’ll likely do a fish fry with them at a different venue in a couple weeks.

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On Saturday morning, we enjoyed some slight-above-freezing temperatures in downtown Omaha to see the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which was put on by the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Omaha. We got to see some Convertibles, monster trucks, and lots of people dressed in green. There was even a legion of Stormtroopers wearing kilts for whatever reason. And of course, there was plenty of candy, and we got a bigger share than usual being at the very tail end of the parade. We wound up missing the first half of the parade, but it was still nice to be able to see our first parade of the year in relatively nice weather (and stumbling upon an already-paid-for parking spot).

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Then that evening our friend Jessica was hosting her Second Annual Chili Cookoff at her apartment. Kate brought her girls, who played happily with Hannah most of the night as the rest of us samples each other’s chili. We saw a number of familiar faces form the night before, including Phil and Jen, who brought along some Mapo Tofu. There was also a rare appearance by Richard Burney, who brought along an Irish chocolate cream pie and a copy of RiffTrax, which kept us terribly amused toward the end of the evening.

Big winners of the night (if Chili gift cards, no less), was Phil for the mist unique chili, Kate for the spiciest, and Vivian for the best overall! We finished off the night with some delightfully weird RiffTrax shorts, courtesy of Richard, which included kids making horrifying monstrosities out of grass. of all things.

Mayors, Blossoms, and a Final Fish Fry

Spring has sprung, if the flowers in our yard are any indication. That means bike rides to work and starting my battle once again with the weeds in the yard. Of course, we’re also on that hairline trigger before we switch from heat to AC as the summer months loom around the corner.

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It’s also Election Season in Omaha as the city gets ready to pick a Mayor once again. I spotted young upstart Taylor Royal doing some campaigning on the corner of 132nd and Center on Tuesday last week on Primary Day. The 26-year-old candidate got 11% of the vote and went on to endorse incumbent Jean Stothert.

Meanwhile, Lent is winding down, so we went for one last Fish Fry with my parents and our friends the Mills. This was actually my parents’ first-ever fish fry experience. We went to St. Matthews’ in Bellevue, which was unfortunately not the all-you-can-seat experience I had been hoping for, so some of us were disappointed. On the upside, there was no mile-long line to stand in before dinner, which was just as well since the Mills had to flee to Homeschool Prom, and my parents left as soon as the band started up. Vivian and I let the kids play outside for a bit and rewarded them with the Last Piece of Pie before calling it a night.

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Lots of flowers are blooming all over Omaha in the meantime, including a bunch in our own front yard. On Saturday, we took the kids to Memorial Park to have a picnic under some blossoms and get some quality time on the playground while the weather was sufficiently gorgeous. We also ran into Kaleb and his family for the first time since the Murder Mystery last year. We may have to do one again sometime (perhaps with our kids).

Then that evening, our mutual friend Kate had a game night with a bunch of our mutual friends. We played a few hilarious rounds of Telestrations while having pulled pork and chicken doctored up with some of Phil and Jen’s Insanely Spicy Barbecue sauce. as usual, I was deeply appreciative of having friends with kids, which cancelled out the need for a sitter.

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Sunday was Palm Sunday, and I got to round up some palm branches for the kids to wave during the opening song, as nobody else seemed to think about it. We stuck around afterward for a lovely family photo outside, since we were all in our Sunday Best (and I just happened to have a tripod and telephoto lens in the car).

Then on Tuesday, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert appeared at Big Mama’s Kitchen in a meet-the-candidates event held by “the hungry club.” I dropped in just long enough to grab a picture or two before being pulled away by a few guests who happened to show up at the office while I was away.

Rain, rain, go away

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We’ve had more than a solid week of gloomy gray skies with rain off and on that’s kept us indoors for the most part. We did take the kids for a semi-random romp downtown on the Gene Leahy Mall downtown on Friday. We got to see some ducks and a robin in-between going down slides and getting our first family photo on the First Date Bridge. Mostly, however, we were looking for Jesse Watters from Fox News, who was in town for the Spin Stops Here Tour. I was hoping he would be doing some man-on-the-street interviews downtown but had no luck spotting him or his crew.

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Then that evening, we squeezed into St. John Vianney’s with our kids for our second fish fry of the year. We saw a few familiar faces there, and we talked a handful of our friends into coming with us, including a few little ones who danced up “on stage” (as Hannah called it) with the Wynn Lander the Guitar Guy for a few songs. I mostly stuffed myself with fish in-between getting photo bombed, but it did feel good to come back to this place… for the eighth year in a row now!

In other news: Hannah made a gingerbread house.

Fairies and Fish Fries

We’re still having bouts of bi-polar weather, with 70-degree temperatures one day and freezing the next. The weather service predicted up to six inches of snow on the weekend, and we got exactly got ZERO. The only thing I can accurately predict is that we’ll have fun no matter what’s going on outside.

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Since it’s Lenten Season, however, that means we’re having fun inside standing in line, drinking beer, and eating fish with our friends. First stop on our Fishy Friday tour was St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, located out of Omaha’s Exurban wasteland, Gretna (with miles of cookie-cutter neighborhoods in every direction but not even one grocery store). The fish was top-notch, though I did find the lack of guitar player and meat wheel a tad disappointing. We still had plenty of fishy fun with our friends up to (and past) closing time.

The next day, Hannah made gingerbread cookies with daddy. She did nearly everything herself, aside from picking the ingredients and putting everything in the oven. Nothing beats baking cookies for quality time with the kids, other than perhaps reading a good book.

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St. Patrick’s Day wandered by and punched us in the face on Friday. We gave the kids some Lucky Charms for breakfast and got them dressed up in green for the day. Then that evening, we had our traditional Irish American dinner together — corned beef, cabbage, red potatoes, and soda bread, all washed down with a bit of Irish Stout and Mint Irish Cream.

Then on Saturday, we dropped by the Fontenelle Forest for their Fairy Faire. Hannah and Aaron both put on their wings, hear a fairy story, and play with some bubbles. Even daddy got in on the fun. They also got tokens to spend on a snack and some woodland components to assemble a fairy house at various points in the forest.

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We also had a few birthdays over the weekend. After the Fairy Faire on Saturday, we took the kids to the Y for Little Matthew Lenart’s birthday party. The kids got sugared up with a Batman Cookie Cake, and then we swam it off in the pool together for a bit.

Then on Sunday, I took the kids via wagon to my my parents’ house to celebrate Uncle Jonny’s birthday. Hannah made him a birthday card, and Nathan and I (somewhat jointly) gave him the giant hardcover book, Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library — a book created via Kickstarter that reviews pretty much every NES game ever made. The weather was delightfully warm, so the kids got some quality time outdoors playing with balloons (some filled with water) while grandpa brought some Chinese food and pizza home for dinner.

Something fishy

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Because once is never enough, on Friday last week we dropped by St. John Vianney a second time for a fish fry with our friends. This time around, we braved the line with Lisa, Jenny, Kody, and Jon, as well as Phil and Jen when they finally arrived a few hours later. A bunch of Vivian’s friends from Friendship Program also came along, including Cliff and Amber and their baby boy. We all had our fill of fried fish and carb-laden sides as Guitar Guy played our standard set of songs. Lisa also happened to win another package of raffle meat, repeating her win from our very first first fry back in 2009 (no meat dress this time around, though). After dinner, we enjoyed playing with some eye-gouging paper airplanes before calling it a night.

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Spring definitely seems to have returned to Nebraska, at least for the time being, so on Saturday we took the kids down for some quality time at the Sand Park. Aaron braved the slides like a champ, repeatedly flopping his way down the curvy, bumpy slides without a problem. Hannah also made a friend with a set of construction toys, and even Grandma and Grandpa came by to visit a bit before we went home.

The next day, we had our first grill-out of the year, having burgers out on the patio as a way of kicking winter to the curb, at least for now. (We could still certainly have another blizzard or two before June. You never know.)

Fish Fries and Chocolate Dinners

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The Lenten Season is upon us again, and that means Fish Fries (in addition to giving up Facebook). Our friends Nate and Lexi had their fourth young-un the other day — Gabriel — and dad decided to give mom some alone time with the baby by joining the Johnson Family for a fish fry down at St. John Vianney’s. They had the usual assortment of fried fish, pancakes, tomato soup, et cetera, and we got there early enough to avoid most of the line that usually accumulated by mid-evening. Of course, we also had five kids in tow, but a couple balloons (and an extra long French Fry) kept them fairly occupied before we were able to get our food. This was also Aaron’s first fish-fry experience, and he managed to clean his plate fairly well with the rest of us. We saw some familiar faces, including Frank and the Guitar Guy, as well as Cliff, who I used to work with at Land and Sky some eight years ago. It’s a small world.

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In other news, Twin Valley Church has a new pastor. You may remember back in November Pastor Drew and his family left our church and moved to Clear Lake, Iowa. Since then, we’ve been searching for a new pastor for our little flock, and after a very brief search came across the resume of Pastor Ryan Folken. He and his family used to live in Nebraska back in 2008 but had to move due to the recession. They seemed to be quite eager to move back, and after visiting extensively with our church family, Pastor Ryan agreed to become our new head pastor. On Saturday, I helped a bunch of people from TVC (and a few of Ryan’s old friends here) move into the parsonage next door to the church. He and his family seem like a wonderful fit for us, and by some coincidence they have two boys and two girls (one Hannah’s age) just as the Rietjens did.

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Sunday, of course, was Valentine’s Day. Vivian got up early and made me a lovely flower-shaped apple tarts for breakfast and a handmade valentine. Hannah and Mommy both got a cardsflowers and candy, some of which Hannah ate right away, of course. Hannah had also made cards for both grandmas, and Aaron got to give Grammy a bunch of roses when she came over to babysit.

That evening, Vivian and I went down to James Arthur Vineyards in Lincoln for a chocolate-themed Valentine dinner. There was a personal chocolate fondue, salad with chocolate vinaigrette, and a coffee and cocoa-crusted Beef Tenderloin, each with its own wine pairing. Jenny and Kody came as well, and we stayed so long talking about wine and other things that the four of us were the last to leave. Visiting JAV always brings back memories of when I poured for the Lincoln Ad Club’s Taste of the Vine events a decade ago. I’ll have to remember to come back and visit when they have live music again in the summer.

Four-course Wine & Chocolate Dinner
Food by Dinner & Company and wine from James Arthur Vineyards

  1. Appetizer: Chocolate Caramel Fondue with Fruit. Paired with Amo Te, a very sweet red wine.
  2. Salad: Spring Salad with Strawberries and Chocolate Chunks. Paired with Horizon, a lighter red wine meant for summertime.
  3. Entrée: Coffee and Cocoa Crusted Beef Tenderloin, Asparagus with Chocolate Drizzle, and White Chocolate Risotto. Paired with Nebraska Red (dry) or San Realto (sweet).
  4. Dessert: Chocolate Macaroon Bars, Raspberry Brownie Dessert, and Bavarian Mint Fudge. Paired with Aura, a clear, port-style wine.