Wednesday, August 17, 2005

There’s KIDS in my soup!!

There are things in life that just make the whole thing worth doing. Good food, to me, is one of them. I’ll lug my laundry out to a clothesline to save $15 a month and buy all my clothes at Goodwill if it means that I can turn around and drop $100, $200 or even {gasp} $300 on a really fabulous meal at a really fabulous restaurant.

Sometimes, when I’ve just dropped that kind of cash for a meal, I say to myself (with great severity), “You know, you have a kitchen of your very own, girl! You could so totally have made that!!”

In which spirit, last night we had a little dish called Ossobuco alla Milanese, prepared by yours truly with minimal substitutions (beef shanks instead of veal shanks). I’ll put the recipe below.

Let’s see…in what ways did this differ from the $100 Fine Dining Experience, or FDE?

FDE: Arrive at restaurant, put in cocktail order, nibble on breadsticks or what have you while conversing in quiet tones.

Homemade: Start to make cocktail. Make four rounds of apple juice, provide crackers, pretzels, and coloring books. What’s this glass of melted ice doing on the counter? Oh yeah, I was making a drink. Receive orders up for more apple juice. Pour apple juice into cocktail by mistake. Curse in Preschool Appropriate words: Gosh darn it all to HECK! Give up on cocktail, drink wine straight from the bottle.

FDE: Peruse wine list, acquire waiter and even, for the daring, sommelier suggestions regarding food and wine pairings. Sit back and continue with quiet, stimulating conversation. Ah! Hahaha! You’re so droll, my love!

Homemade: Receive phone call from SO stating that he will be 35 minutes late. Take crayon out of baby’s mouth. Dice something. Realize it was your own finger. Curse, forgetting about Preschool Appropriateness. Tell children that it means, well, it means a word that mommy shouldn’t have said and let’s not tell daddy about it, OK? Bandage finger, give screaming baby a handful of marshmallow cereal ‘just this once so he’ll stop that infernal racket’, start sautéing and stirring and doing more dicing and tasting and adjusting and glancing occasionally at the sink, which is rapidly filling with every single pot in the cupboards.

FDE: Eat, drink and be merry. Sit back and wait while dishes are cleared, dessert menus brought. Discuss the relative merits of a nice glass of port versus a lovely cappuccino. Decide to have both. And the Ultimate Chocolate Dessert of Doom. No, just one spoon, thank you…

Homemade: Plate food lovingly, and present to family. Wait for it, wait for it….here it comes… “Eeeeeeew! What IS this? Beef? It doesn’t look like beef! What’s that orange stuff? EEEEEW! I hate carrots! And tomatoes! And whatever that white one is! Can I just have rice? Is there butter in it? I can’t see the butter! Can I have more butter?! Is that a dinosaur bone? Are we eating dinosaurs?! Mommy, can I have more rice? Can I have juice? Can I have more milk! Mommy? Can I have a banana instead?! I don’t like this, it’s ICKY!!”

And for the finish? A couple fresh (so, I had that going for me at least) chocolate chip cookies and the last of the wine.

Oh yeah. A meal fit for a queen.

But…that ossobuco was very good. And it only got better in the fridge overnight – I took the leftover beef and chopped it up and made it into more of a soup and DANG. It is tasty. I had it for lunch, with great delight.

The kids…had fish sticks. With ketchup. Lots and lots of ketchup.


Oh, waiter...?

1 comment:

Myownigloo said...

Oops. That's what I get for reading your posts in date order. I missed the point. Sorry.

I vote for the restaurant and clothespins option.