The Family Meal

Conversation with my assistant during breakfast prep:

Clara: Are we using a recipe?

Me: Yes, but we’re not for dinner tonight.

Clara: Oh, so you’re going to season?

I hope the enthusiastic family affair this project has turned into during January lasts throughout 2013.

Tonight’s dinner, compiled entirely sans recipe, included roasted tilapia, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, parsnips, and carrots. After a brief glance outside to see if there were any non-snow covered herbs, I decided to keep things simple-olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon-and focus on technique over worrying about innovative flavor combinations.

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However, my more creative counterpart came along, adding dill and rosemary on her own accord. She also took charge of the post-plating-lemon-juicing. Although when she suggested topping the filets with grated cheese, the look on my face must have changed her mind. I guess I’ve watched too many Scott Conant judged episodes of Chopped to mask my concern.

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The fish how-to came from NPR. We opted for #3, although I’d like to try #1 before the end of the month. A nice crust sounds delicious.

My other assistant handled the cocktails.

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What I learned:

The kids can tell the difference between butternut squash and carrots. Both Calvin and Clara have a tenuous relationship with winter squash. From where we started, I’ll take tenuous.

Keep an eye on oven temperature. I stuck a thermometer in, and although the oven was set for 425, the thermometer initially read 475. 350 seems to be 350. I’m a bit perplexed. And a little concerned.

Clara loves her some fish and was the only diner to take and finish a second piece.

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