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My Last First Eyah Peya-cing (Ear Piercing)

Granuaile, the child who obviously was switched at birth with a child from Boston, a belief I hold based solely on her accent, has decided she wants her ears pierced.  Actually, I’m sort of convinced she has been manipulated in some way by her big sister Eilis to get her ears pierced, but never the less, I find myself on a Friday afternoon at the Sweet and Sassy Store, asking to have them puncture holes in my youngest child.

She is so excited, she can barely contain herself, bouncing in the seat of the big chair that I am sure will soon look to Granuaile very much like the electric chair to someone with a death sentence.  I have to capture the excitement before the tears…

Snooki Light is in charge of our ear piercing, and she decides that in order to effect the damage to this little kid, her hair must first be pulled up.  As if the ear piercing isn’t going to be torture enough!

Granuaile actually got a bit nervous in the car, and asked how much this was going to hurt, so I was suprised to see her still smiling at this point.  But she was.  And she was perfectly still when Snooki had to mark her ears.

I am still waiting for the nerves to kick in and the tears to begin falling, then I gradually begin to realize that I may be the only one fighting back tears.  Granuaile is being a champ through all of this!

The tag team piercing takes a second, and we all stand there waiting for the crying to begin.  It doesn’t.  Snooki (my apologies to this dear girl, who bore an uncanny resemblance with her Jersey girl hair to Snooki – I’m sure she had a nice normal name like Sue or Ann or Mary) asks Granuaile if she wants to check herself out in the mirror, and Granuaile bounces out of the chair to be escorted to the mirror.  Snooki says to her, “Are you in some kind of shock?”  Granuaile answers no.  Does Granuaile even know what “some kind of shock” is?

When we are all finished admiring the sparkly blue earrings Granuaile chose, she is invited over to the Sweet and Sassy stage, where the paparazzi (Snooki again) will take some pictures of her.  She feels like quite the superstar.

Sweet and Sassy gives the kids a certificate, with the photo they took on stage attached, and Granuaile signs her certificate as if she is the President passing a law.  So cute.

Ummm, Snooki?  She’s five. She doesn’t know how to spell “The person I can’t wait to show my new earrings to is…”

And then we are done.  After we buy the Webkinz that she was promised she could have when her father thought this ear piercing would cause permanent psychiatric damage to our child.  Isn’t it wonderful how dads think that Webkinz can cure permanent psychiatric damage done to our child?

And the only one who cried was me.  I did good, though, waiting until we were in the car.  The first person she wanted to call was Brighid, my oldest child, who had the decency to cry along with me when she got her ears pierced when she was five.  Granuaile excitedly said to Brighid, “I got my eyahs peyaced!”  And I started crying.  I am going to miss those tiny little, puncture free ear lobes.  And some other things you miss when babies grow up.

Cross Culture Indian Cuisine – Bariatric Bad News?

I just wanted to quickly wrap up my review of Cross Culture Indian Cuisine in Haddonfield, NJ with my spin for gastric bypass patients.  There are pros and cons to dining on Indian cuisine for those of us that are gastrically altered.

To start with, rice is a big component in a meal here.  The entrees that aren’t composed primarily of rice come with a steaming plate of basmati rice.  For many gastric bypass patients, such as myself, rice is not your friend.  For me, it tastes good, but once I have it in my stomach, it seems to expand to the size of a large beach ball, and makes it not only difficult to eat anything else, but it makes me seriously uncomfortable.

You can opt for things like the tandoori dishes and kebabs, but  keep in mind that unless they are expertly prepared, for many of us, shrimp and chicken can also be an issue.  I skipped the tandoori chicken on our appetizer sampler, heading for the much moister and Gastric bypass friendlier fish.

Lastly, bread is a problem for some gastrically altered folks.  Not for me.  I could have eaten the whole bread basket and been very happy.  But that’s not much of a meal, and for me, bread can be a slider food.  I can eat way too much of it, and come back for more later on.

So, Indian cuisine can be a hit or miss for gastric bypass patients.  Choose the primarily protein based dishes, skip the basmati rice, avoid the bread basket, and watch your proteins for texture.  You should be able to find enough to enjoy without going home regretting the meal.

Twitter Updates for 2010-09-18

  • @Dizneydreamer Check local gourmet shops or deli/sandwich shops – many around here do baskets and can put something together fast! in reply to Dizneydreamer #
  • RT @MomsPanelErin: WDW experts: You have until 11:59 pm to apply for the Moms Panel. Disneyworldmoms.com/2011 It’s the ride of a lifetime. #
  • Don’t know if I’m more nervous that we won’t get our exam results back today or that we WILL get our exam results back today! #
  • 98.5 on my exam! Bring on that Pythagorean guy! I am taking on all contenders! #
  • Philly Peeps – Check out my cousin Rick in “Zacherle: A Prequel to the Last Mummer” at the Adrienne on Sansom St. http://www.zacherle.org/ #

Cross Culture Indian Cuisine – But Wait, There’s More! Dessert

Jim ordered the Indian rice pudding, kheer, which is more of a soupy version of what you expect rice pudding to be.  He loved the flavors, although admittedly, the lack of “pudding” was something to get used to.  This was not my Grandmother’s rice pudding, creamy and thick, then baked in the oven to get a nice golden layer on top.  It was tasty, though.

I opted for the kulfi, an Indian ice cream made with pistachios and walnuts.  I’ve never had this before, but found the texture a little off putting (like ice cream that has been in your freezer too long), and the taste overly sweet.  It did have some interesting flavors, but the texture kind of killed it for me.  The kids’ chocolate ice cream looked much creamier than what I was eating.  It was pretty, though.

Dinner for the four of us, including tax and tip, came to about $140.  This is way more than we would usually pay to just go grab dinner somewhere, but this was my birthday dinner, so we splurged.  We also came home with enough food to feed the whole family another meal – if the whole family was going to eat it.  Since it will likely only be Jim and I eating the left overs, we can eat all weekend!

You can find Cross Culture Indian Cuisine at

208 Kings Highway

Haddonfield, NJ


Cross Culture Indian Cuisine – the Main Event

I knew Jim would want spicy, and I felt like the meals the kids and I ate had to be toned down – flavorful without burning our faces off.  We had thought we’d order only two entrees, but there was so much on the menu that looked like it would be delicious, we ended up ordering two entrees for the kids and I to share, and a chicken vindaloo for Jim.  He not only enjoyed the spiciness of the dish, but the sweat running down his head and his neck indicated that it was indeed spicy enough for him.  I took a small bite.  Yeah, it was spicy enough for him, because it nearly killed me.

The kids and I were going to tuck in to the Chef’s Special Biryani, which was basmati rice cooked with shrimp, chicken and lamb, cashew nuts and golden raisins, and combined with saffron and light spices.  It was delicious, with texture that was like a surprise party with every bit.  Wonderful dish!

I also opted for a traditional lamb rogan josh, which you can find on any Indian menu.  It was well prepared, although the amount of lamb was a little sparse.  The kids deemed it too spicy, but I enjoyed it very much.

What’s for dessert?  Find out next…

Cross Culture Indian Cuisine – The Bread

We ordered a bread basket, which came with Naan, onion Kulcha, and Puri.The least popular was the puri, which the kids thought was great fun to look at, as it came out like a large balloon on the plate, but once the balloon was deflated, it sort of became a soggy, flavorless bit of bread that no one wanted to eat.

The favorite by far for me was the kulcha.  I expected an overwhelming onion flavor, but I was so pleasantly surprised!  The onion added only a sweetness to this warm, delicious bread, and while I had been hoping to save my appetite for a pumpkin scone at the British pub a few doors down, I quickly gave up that idea to indulge in way more kulcha than I should have.  It was that good.

The Naan was typical, warm and delicate in flavor.  The kids ate it up.

My only disappointment with the bread basket is that the $8.50 charge didn’t include any additional dipping sauces or accompaniments.  I would have liked something to go along with the bread, but we did make use of the mint yogurt sauce and the sweet sauce.

Moving on to the Main Event!

Cross Culture Indian Cuisine – Spicing Up Haddonfield

For my birthday, I wanted to eat somewhere different.  I wanted to break free from the same old, same old, where we eat the foods we know, the kids try to convince us that burgers are health food, and we walk away thinking, “Yeah, it was good, but…”

So we decided to try another one of Haddonfield’s newish offerings.  Cross Culture Indian Cuisine is an understated but elegantly decorated restaurant located right on Kings Highway in the heart of Haddonfield.  We decided to go right after school – which for Eilis meant 4 o’clock because of play practice.  By the time we drive over there and find a place to park, it’s about 4:20, and even though the sign on the door says “Open”, the dimly lit restaurant has no one inside.  We stand, we pace, and the kids are even a little bit loud, so if someone is in the back in the kitchen, surely they’ll hear us.  Just as we were about to turn and leave, someone pops his head up from a booth.  Do they siesta in India?

Our sleep deprived host walks to the front of the restaurant, and points us in the direction of a booth, where we go to make ourselves comfortable.  He comes over to offer us the sparkling water on the table, which Jim accepts even though I don’t drink sparkling water, and we will soon discover that neither do the children.  No worries.  I order an iced tea, the kids each get a soda, and the world continues to turn.  Whew.

I make the executive decision that we will order appetizer samplers so that we can get a taste of everything they offer, and then we will choose entrees that are typical of other Indian restaurants, so if this experiment with a new cuisine works with our kids, we’ll be able to order the same items in other restaurants and compare.

Our first appetizer is the mixed Tandoori grill.  The fish tikka masala is moist and delicious, and the lamb in the mixed grill gets eaten up very quickly.  The girls begin tasting some of the spice in the food, and Eilis immediately starts balking about things being too spicy for her, the kid that could eat her father under the table with things like General Tso’s chicken, which is too spicy for me.  Overall, the grilled sampler is tasty and well cooked.

I much preferred the vegetarian sampler to the protein platter, as good as everything on the mixed grill platter was.  Vegetable samosas were crisp and delicious, filled with a delectably seasoned vegetarian stuffing.  The pakoras, assorted fried vegetables, were flavorful and a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables!  The girls happily dipped their veggies into the mint, coriander, and yogurt dipping sauce, and then they found the other sauce was sweet.  Fried and sweet – a winning combination.  Granuaile surprised me by how much she ate and enjoyed the appetizers – they were really a full meal for her!

Up next, the Bread Basket