How to make a happy mom

I’m sitting in the Boise airport, BOI for those who have never flown through. It’s a wonderful airport, if there is ever such a thing – relatively small crowds, coffee from Moxie Java (which isn’t particularly tasty but serves as a touchstone for the birth of my addiction), free wireless, and a half dozen people sitting riveted before a televised poker game whose announcers are doing Olympics-style flashbacks of the players’ lives. The game resumes and I see a guy actually lean forward in his seat. “He doubled up over the break to retake the chip lead over Paul . . .”

Despite what I said before, I did go home for Mother’s Day, and for the dinner, and for other things. Only my mother wasn’t there, she was at a high school reunion wearing The Dress (BTW here’s a blurry photo of Sis in The Dress at the dinner, with me pretending to be shorter than her in her massively high heels). I fly back to Seattle this morning, Mumz returns to Boise tonight.

So this morning I made what I hope will be a recipe for a happy mom. She’s not a person particularly obsessed with cleanliness or organization, but likes it when things look clean and organized. I cut blossoms off their dogwood tree and put them in a big blue pitcher on the counter. I reorganized the two drawers whose contents looked like they’d been hit by the biggest tornadoes (which will undoubtedly last about 3 days), and put the following dinner in her fridge:

1. Arugula, avocado, and bell pepper salad, to be topped with bleu cheese and dressed with a lemon-hazelnut vinaigrette from The Arrows Cookbook, which is simply equal parts toasted hazelnut oil (here’s the kind I buy), good olive oil, and lemon juice, plus salt and pepper.

2. Two pounds of baby white creamer potatoes, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and tons of chopped fresh rosemary. To be roasted at 400 degrees for an hour.

3. Chicken breasts, marinated in a zip-top bag with a heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard, a few tablespoons of olive oil, a huge handful of lemon thyme from the herb pots on their porch (all chopped up), salt and pepper, and a whole lemon, sliced into thick rounds. To be grilled, then brushed with a balsamic glaze I made by reducing about half a bottle of balsamic vinegar down until it was thick and syrupy. I do hope they grill the lemons, also.

4. The olive oil cake, only made with this great orange oil I invested in and a tablespoon of Grand Marnier instead of the vanilla beans. Sliced, macerated strawberries to pile on top.

The idea is for my sis to set the table, pop the potatoes in the oven, preheat the grill for the chicken, and throw the salad together as they drive home from the airport.

So, no traditional recipe – but one that I hope makes my mom happy. (And if this ain’t #133 to you, you can file a complaint with her.)

How was the chicken?



Filed under commentary, recipe

2 responses to “How to make a happy mom

  1. Amy

    Yes, this made a mom very happy. The roasted rosemary potatoes are a big favorite–especially when you come home and walk in the house and it smells of fresh rosemary. Someone knows I love arugala and the olive oil cake was wonderful. Not heavy, not too rich, just right. The chicken turned out perfectly done and knowing it was good meat, I was happy to include it in my “flexitarian” ways. I didn’t dare go near the rubber chicken at the reunion. (Jess’ culinary adventure has taught me that although I gravitate toward a vegetarian menu, there is so much more to food and life than whether or not you eat meat, a little flexibility goes a lot farther than the rigidity of any particular regime) Of course, the best present is always the family being together and in this case it was getting to see Jess during the week and then the two sisters together on the weekend. I love the way Jess always goes local–I have never thought of harvesting the dogwood tree for flower arrangements.

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