My friend Anne keeps a beautiful, thoughtful, and inspiring blog: Mom, What's For Dinner? She's a good cook and a caring person, so her family is lucky to have her in the kitchen. And in the blogosphere, we are fortunate to have a thoughtful woman sharing her dining table... the food, the recipes, the ideas and aspirations... even the pitfalls, and the timely conversations that we hope to find at a family table. She doesn't preach, or pretend to have all the answers. I think she enjoys being thoughtful and recognizing the value and significance of dinner time.
Alex is taking a class he calls, "Food," and he says it reverently, with a grin. He's doing very well in this class, and all the others too (w00ts), and recently he's been bringing home recipes and new menu ideas. Cooking at home is not a requirement, but he enjoys applying what he's learning and logging some bonus points. Last week he brought cranberry-chocolate chip cookies to class, and tonight he made dinner. He dreamt up a dinner he thought would be extra scrumptious. He's supposed to consider nutrition, making good tasting meals healthy too... which is as it should be, yeah?
Alex's dream dinner: Pork chops, apple sauce, and corn on the cob. He would have added ice cream and berries, but I sort of vetoed that. He points out that our dinner was missing dairy and grains. Is corn on the cob a grain? If we dried it, ground it and made tortillas, I would think those were whole grain... hmmm... I am not going to worry about the dairy omission. We were going to make salad, but the last of the lettuce went to their school lunches.
Alex let Maria help him peel, core and slice 8 organic Gala apples. He put them in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of organic apple cider and simmered them until they were soft. Once the apples were cooked, he put them in our blender and added a dash of cinnamon. He let them blend until they were free of chunks and bits... he likes a smooth apple sauce. The corn was steamed. The pork chops were seasoned with salt, pepper, lots of garlic and some dried Rosemary. He seared these on the stove top and then let them finish cooking in a hot oven. They came out juicy and flavorful. The applesauce was heavenly... not too sweet, but with the pleasant, complex flavors of fresh fruit. The chicas get corn cobs tomorrow... what's left after they were happily gnawed by 4 hungry children.
William set the table. Max was able to finish his homework, so he joined us in a relaxed mood. Geoff is working, and we missed him. He'll read this post and be glad his children are well, that I am getting help. Whatever is for dinner, I think I like it best when it is shared... either in thought or action, with as many gathered together as possible, feeling at ease, welcome, with gratitude and recognition.