When I was single (the first go ’round), I brought a few boys home to meet my parents. I think four total, but one wasn’t because it was serious, it was just happenstance. The three that I brought home actually all ended up proposing to me. I accepted the third one. I didn’t bring home a stream of people that I dated, just the ones that I was more serious about. My sister brought one boy home to meet our parents. And she married him.
When it comes to getting feedback from my parents, it’s important to me. Although it pains me to admit it, they have been pretty good at judging boys and relationships in the past, so their opinion holds quite a bit of weight. I’m sure they’ll be surprised to learn that, because I’m also pretty stubborn too, and as history has proved, just because they say something doesn’t mean I’m going to listen to them. But as I near 41 in a few weeks, their seal of approval, or lack thereof, is not necessarily a deal breaker either. I obviously want them to like and get along with whomever I’m with, but I have to make my own decisions too. That being said, I can tell you from experience, it’s heaps easier when it’s a giant lovefest. We’re a pretty close family, and spend a lot of time together so if someone doesn’t fit, it can be awkward.
It kind of feels really weird to do the whole meet-the-parents thing at this stage in my life. Like I’m in my 20s again. But then again, dating has largely felt like that too. In some respects, it feels like a huge step backwards. In some ways, it’s felt kind of fun.
Today Mystic met the parents. Another hurdle passed. Heck, after getting our combined five kids together on many occasions over the past several months, including parents in the equation is a breeze. Well, almost.
So what does one serve for such a fete? Ignoring the soaring 94 degree temps today, I decided to heat up my kitchen for a solid two hours and went with Cristina Ferrare’s Roasted Chicken, a shrimp salad and a new side dish. Chocolate Decadence for dessert.
On Monday, one of my co-workers admonished me for not checking my mailbox. She had stuck a new recipe in there. A “must try” she said. When I was trying to figure out what to serve tonight, I had already decided on the chicken, so her new recipe for roasted vegetables was a natural accompaniment. Of course, it might have been more ideal for Fall weather, but I have never been one to cook by the calendar. Why start now?
I texted my co-worker, Jill, midway through the recipe to complain about the amount of chopping. Ten Yukon Gold potatoes. Two sweet potatoes. A pound of green beans. She told me to quit whining. It honestly only felt like a lot of chopping because I was in a bit of a race against the clock. Which I’m sure had nothing to do with the fact that I dumped a carton of eggs on the kitchen floor midway through. Cracked eggs have to be one of the worst kitchen spills to clean up. Like ever.
Anyway, the vegetables? Make them. The fresh dill. The delicious roasted garlic. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes. All ’round goodness if you ask me. I added a touch more salt and Parmesan cheese, but otherwise would totally make this one again. It got a thumbs up from the table. Well, all except Nick, but that was to be expected. And Madeline wasn’t the least bit interested, but she stuck with Cheerios for her dinner of choice. We’re in a bit of a phase. Chicken nuggets for lunch and Cheerios for dinner. Nick, on the other hand, has taken up the appetite of a college football player. God help me and my grocery bill.
Oh, and Mystic? Totally survived the dinner with the ‘rents. And lived to tell about it.
July 12, 2011 – Bonus Photo
Picked up this print a few weeks ago from Etsy. Love it. Great parting words as we leave the house in the morning. I traded dinner over the weekend for getting it hung on the wall. I need to stop handing Mystic a hammer every time he walks in the door. He might think that’s the only reason I’m keeping him around.
Roasted Potato Salad
Recipe courtesy of How Sweet It Is
2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and chopped
10 small yukon gold potatoes, quartered
1 pound of fresh green beans
2 heads of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Chop sweet potatoes and yukon golds into uniform cubes and throw them in a bowl. Cut the fresh green beans in half to shorten each piece and add them to the bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss potatoes and green beans until all is coated. Spread them on a non-stick baking sheet. Take the garlic heads and chop off the top to reveal the top of each clove. Rub the head chopped side down in the oiled bowl to coat with olive oil (there should be some left in the bowl that didn’t sick to the potatoes). Place garlic heads face-up on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, flip and bake for 15-20 more.
While the potatoes are roasting, in a separate bowl combine 1/4 cup olive oil, parmesan cheese, dill and parsley and whisk. Once the potatoes are done, remove from the oven to cool and set garlic heads aside for 5 minutes. Once cool enough to touch, squeeze roasted garlic into the olive oil mixture. Using a whisk, smash and stir the garlic into the olive oil.
Dump potatoes and green beans into a large serving bowl and cover with the garlic and olive oil mix. Toss to coat throughly and serve.