Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fussy Eaters, Lactose Intolerant and a Vegeterian

It is no secret that I do not enjoy cooking. Cooking at the best of times is not something I enjoy, do well or do unless it is absolutely necessary. So you can imagine my delight to find myself planning a menu for two fussy eaters, one lactose intolerant and a vegetarian.

The desire to go out for supper was overwhelming. A restaurant kitchen is designed for this challenge. Me? Not so much.

I wandered up and down the food aisles in Walmart, thinking that if I could find some brand name marinated chicken kabobs, a garden salad and some potatoes I would be well on my way.

All I could find was pork kabobs. I am not a huge fan of pork. I looked up and down the meat counters and my stomach was heaving at the sight of beef (I am a vegetarian wannabe 90% of the time ... shopping for meat kills my appetite and feeds my take-out food habit).

I grazed the ready-to-go salad aisles and anything I was interested in, appeared to be far beyond its expiry date. I picked up the greens, looked at the 'rusty' lettuce within and carried on. Potatoes held no interest to me by this time.

I gave up. I walked out of the store with nothing but a shower curtain and soap scum cleaner ...

I then went to our family's all-time favorite food store. Our neighborhood Co-op. They are famous for their meats and I enjoy perusing their fresh food aisles.

Once again, I walked up and down ... up and down ... away and back ... and finally decided on some marinated chicken breasts that my eyes could tolerate the look of. If I never saw a raw meat product again, I would die happy.

The easy part, was finding the produce. The challenge was, to find a salad(s) that my picky eaters would eat. Caesar salad is my favorite side dish with chicken and this did not bode well with my lactose intolerant guest.

I ended up buying plain iceberg lettuce ... but did not dare add any extra vegetables or color due to the fussy factor. We had diced and sliced carrots, celery, broccoli, baby tomatoes and cheese on the side ... and a very pretty herb salad (that looked very much like the salad I remembered our guest ordering when we went out for supper together).

The rest was easy. Baked potatoes, garlic toast and I picked up some prepackaged vegetable kabobs. Voila! The menu for our supper for six was chosen and in the fridge.

My Oldest was eager to show off his new home to his aunt, so we packed up our supper and took it along with us.

My Oldest took over barbecuing the meat. My Middle Son tended to the vegetable kabobs. Between the three of us, we got the garlic toast in and out of the oven. But for the most part, I did basically nothing except bring out the salads just before it was time to eat.

My Oldest has a very striking dining room set. A dark glass table with place mats, square white plates, teamed with cutlery and glasses that actually come from a matching set. Add the colorful array of foods ... and the supper table was a work of art.

The scent of our supper cooking whet our appetites and by the time we all sat down and started our meal, I had to admit that no restaurant could have done it better.

Easy conversation, a variety of foods that appeased all appetites and diet restrictions and a team effort to put our meal together made for one of the best 'Sunday Suppers' that we have had in a very long time.

It was a family supper that enveloped a sister that I gained as a result of my marriage. A sister that was a huge part of my life before we moved out here. A sister that I 'adopted' as my own, when I lived in a world far away from my own sisters ...

It was a meal that combined a lot of good things together at one table.

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