Three Nights, Three Dinners

Night One
It was a fairly typical evening in that I was rushed to get dinner on the table. The Girl and I did a dash through the Food Emporium on our way to the pick up The Husband on the 6:28. I was thinking of grilling some Portobello mushrooms, but we were already having rib eye steak, so that seemed redundant. I decided to opt for the endive salad that I had learned from Chrystèle, a variation of which I e-mailed off to Natalie for her Unitarian potluck. Chrystèle served this great salad at a party to celebrate the birth of her second child. She and Pierre displayed a vast array of cheeses with the confidence and pluck that only the French can, and in the back was this simple salad of endive and roasted walnuts in a simple, simple vinaigrette. I gorged myself.

I was trying the version that I shared with Natalie, all of the above but with some chopped apple and dried cherries (Food Emporium didn’t have a good selection of nuttish cheeses—surprise).

I have been on this kick of trying to serve two vegetables at dinner, so I steamed some broccoli too. The steak was simple and quick (salt and pepper, direct grill heat for 10, indirect grill heat for 6). It cooked so fast that I was constantly going in and out of the house, crunching snow all the way.

The dinner was done by 7:20, everyone was happy and well-fed.

Night Two
The Girl and I had gone to the Inwood section of Manhattan for her piano lesson, and by the time the lesson was over we were both zonked. There was no way I was cooking dinner. We climbed into the car and just started driving North on the Saw Mill. “Think there’s anyplace new we can go to?” I asked (and by new I meant new and cheap). Nothing was coming to mind, and we just kept passing exits. “Let’s see what kind of diner Bill Clinton goes to in Chappaqua,” I suggested.

So the next thing I knew we’re in the Chappaqua Café and Restaurant, aka Jacques. It didn’t really look like the kind of place where Bill would hang out, but it was definitely kid-friendly. Every booth had at least one kid in it; it almost seemed mandatory. The Girl ordered the pasta “wheels” which went with the model car décor and the hot wheels brought along with a basket of crayons. The best part, she decided, was the jello that came with kid’s meal. Not being a whipped cream fan, she missed out on being handed the whole can to garnish her dessert.

We got in the car, took a wrong turn and ended up on a dark (and to The Girl scary) country road that eventually led us to the cosmopolitan hub that is White Plains. We overcame our frustration and fears by singing Rockin’ Robin extra loud.

addendum: I was wrong! Look here for correction info on my favorite living former president and the Chappaqua Restaurant and Cafe.

Night Three
As a parent I try to listen for the subtle cues my child gives me. I watch for the ever-so faint indications of what is going on with my child in order to support her the best that I can (see Mutiny Over Mac & Cheese). That’s why she and I had Arthur pasta for dinner on the third night. Teh Husband was getting a haircut, so it was just the two of us again. [The Husband took umbrage about being called “finicky” in a previous post, but he would be the first to admit that he draws the line at Arthur pasta. He absolutely refuses to ingest it.]

First we mixed it in bowls with peas and chicken (the florescent orange of the so-called “real cheese” and the shamrock green peas make a colorful plate), then she wanted to try it on a plate, all separated. Dinner went on and on. She reveled in it all. I was done much sooner and picked up Haroun and the Sea of Stories, reading aloud as The Girl savored every last Arthur-shaped piece.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: the steamed broccoli and two vegetables--we like to steam a mix of broccoli and cauliflower, followed by spinning it in a salad spinner to dry it out, and putting some beurre blanc sauce on it. Beurre Blanc is easy to make, with butter, shallots, white wine and wine vinegar (see page 790 of How To Cook Everything)