Cooking dinner for your parents shouldn't be a big deal, especially for someone, who like me, cooks all the time! But this, in fact, was a momentous occasion. My dad was out at my house mowing one of the vineyards and mom didn't have any dinner plans. I miraculously convinced my mom to come to my house to eat and convinced my dad to stay! My mom is a notoriously picky eater. She only eats things that her grandmother would have fixed. She's not too impressed with my 1001 uses for radish tops. My dad will try anything I cook and most of the time he likes it, but any time I'm cooking for mother, I have to do it by the book, southern style.
So what did I decide to fix? What did we have at the farm stand that day? Why tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, onions, potatoes, rosemary, a bit of butter, and a few peppers. Why not peel the cucumbers and put them in a blender with the onions, peppers, tomatoes olive oil, salt and pepper, and make gazpacho? And how about roasted potatoes? Just cut them up, toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in the oven at 400 until tender. I knew that dad and I would want a sauce on our potatoes, but that mom hates, I MEAN HATES, rosemary. Solution? Put two table spoons of butter in a skillet and chop up some rosemary in there. Let that roast with the potatoes and then add a little bit of white wine. Stick it back in the oven for 5 minutes, let it reduce, and voila, there is a sauce! For me and dad! Mom doesn't get any.
Finally, while the gazpacho was chilling and the potatoes were roasting, I set to frying the squash. I know I sound like I'm a sales person for House Autry products, but I'm not. They are simply a staple in my family's kitchens. So I cut up the squash into little medallions, put them into a tupperware, throw in some House Autry Seafood Breader, and then shake. Then I go back and separate the pieces which have stuck together, add a bit more seafood breader, and shake again. Finally, once they have sweated a bit, I throw in a bit more seafood breader and give them a final coat. I get my oil hot in the pan and start frying. Once they get puffy on one side, I flip them. It doesn't take long, and these things are sweet and golden brown and delicious. I do one frying pan full, unload it into a pan for the oven, and do three more, keeping them warm in the oven all the while. Once I've finished, the potatoes are roasted, the butter sauce is made, and the gazpacho is cold.
|yep. this is food. i can eat this.|
Dad gets in from mowing, complains a bit about something, I get him a glass of the new Rose (Come to our party on July 15th to celebrate all things ROSE!!) and serve him a plate. He doesn't complain. But he never does. Mom gets herself a plate (she had brought over other food just in case she didn't like my cooking), and I get a compliment. The squash a perfectly done! WOOHOO!! She liked the potatoes and even tasted the gazpacho. Said it was well balanced. I'll take that!
|my plate, and yes, i turned the label to the|
wine to face the camera for extra brand management.
|ok. i'll try this.|
And this is just what I did with the produce I had on hand from our farm store. My customers are doing even more things and I can't wait to share with you their ideas of how to eat the food that's coming off the land right now.
|they belong to the clean plate club.|