Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cooking for company

This was a cooking day, the kind I really enjoy. Oh, I got time in for some computer work and a nap but primarily I was preoccupied with this evening's meal. Jordan had invited friends of theirs, with a son Jacob's age. It both pleases and flatters me that she wants her friends to eat my cooking at my table. But she always comes an hour early to make sure the house is to her liking (I actually had straightened my desk and done a few things like that). But she lights candles, moves this here and that, and fusses. And she gets  bit uptight about it--I know the thing to do is wait quietly until she has a glass of wine. I only fussed when she turned on the a/c thinking she was just lowering the temperature.
We debated over the menu a lot--from a down-home casserole that is a family favorite to a fancy fish dish. I was told that our guests like seafood, so the final choice was sea bass cooked in parchment and seasoned with ginger, soy, sake, and green onions, rice, and stir-fried veggies. That meant a morning trip to Central Market to get fresh sea bass. It was a simple meal, but I spent much of the day putting it together--making the soy/sake sauce, cutting up veggies, making an appetizer of goat cheese and wasabi, cooking broccoli so the young boys could have plain broccoli while I mixed ours into the stir-fry. I had set the table last night, so when I finished chopping and fixing, I had a wonderful tuna sandwich and a great nap. (I'm afraid to say this aloud but I sleep so well lately!).
Our guests arrived, we had appetizers on the deck, and then I realized the husband had to leave early to catch a plane, so I rushed to make packets of sea bass, stir fry the veggies, and get Jordan to fix the boys' supper (Cane's chicken, broccoli and rice). I was worried that cooking sea bass filets for 10 minutes in a 400 oven might leave them underdone--turns out I did them for 15 minutes inadvertently and they were perfect. I think the parchment contains the moisture.  Anyway, it was a successful dinner and met with lots of raves. Dinnertime conversation was lively and entertaining--for some reason we got off on the JFK assassination and various aspects of it.
One guest left and the rest of us sat around having a great discussion about this, that, and the other thing over vanilla ice cream with chocolate/raspberry liqueur sauce. A perfectly lovely evening.
Jordan is wonderful about doing dishes--I helped on the fringes but she basically had the kitchen cleaned while I was packing up the few leftovers and putting dishes away. We make a great team--but then we've always known that.
The event of the evening: Jacob's loose tooth came out. He's been worrying it loose for days but refused to let anyone touch it, in spite of threats, promises and whatever. He and his dad were roughhousing tonight and whoop--there it came. Such a tiny tooth to cause so much fuss, but it did leave a gaping hole in his smile.
Tonight I am thankful that I have kids who value my company and want me to meet their friends and cook for them. I love my friends my own age, but it's a blessing to have friends of all ages. One of the many blessings of my life. Thanks, Jordan! Life is good.

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