Monday, May 09, 2005

Day Of The Mama

Any time a family holiday, ie Mother's Day, Father's Day or Thanksgiving, pops up, I get excited. I enjoy spending down time with my family, because, while I work in a business with my father and my sister, it's always a bit hectic and I'm usually on the clock, so when we get to spend time away from the office, it's good.

So yesterday being Mother's Day was no exception. My other half and I were on the same-ish schedule, because her family was heading out from Marin to Napa, which meant she needed to be on the way to her parents before I even left my apartment to handle my Mother's Day errands. So for a change, despite being three hours behind, her schedule was running ahead of mine.

Once dressed, I finished prepping my Mother's Day cards and headed out into the cool spring NYC air. I picked up a bouquet of pink and white roses for the guest of honor, then dropped them off back at my apartment and headed out to Eli's Gourmet, a gourmet market a few blocks from the Casa de Boogie. Dinner per se was already handled, but my job was to set up a combination of brunch and dinner appetizers and other snackable fare. We were going to be in New Jersey around 3:30, but we rarely do dinner before 8, so that left four hours of noshing that needed to be addressed.

Since my mama had already gotten a few dips, I didn't bother with any of that. Instead, I picked up fresh guacamole, sweet roasted-corn salsa, a bruschetta mix (just diced tomatoes, onions, olive oil, garlic, capers and basil), two loaves of bread -- one triple baguette and a ciabatta loaf (one or both for the bruschetta), some duck pate, both white- and blue-corn chips, and an organic mango from Mexico for dessert.

Once we arrived in NJ, we started prepping everything. Neither of the loaves wound up being ideal for bruschetta, because both were very airy and thus had a lot of space in each slice, so we opted to skip the garlic and toasting the breads and just used the slices to scoop some of the mixture onto the bread. Considering it was so nice out, it was almost preferable having the non-toasted bruschetta at room temp. On top of that, we sliced up some cabachons (a fancy word for gerkin pickles) and set them out along with the pate. We also had some chopped liver, grape tomatoes and baby carrots, and the fresh guac -- which was almost as good as the table-side guacamole at Rosa Mexicano -- was awesome. On top of that, my sister's boyfriend brought champagne so we enjoyed it along with all the yummy foodstuffs. We went through about 80% of it, which meant I'd bought just enough to make sure there wasn't too little but wasn't too much. So far so good.

Several hours (and another Yankee shutout) later, we were just sitting around, digesting the good eats, and watched as my mom opened her Mother's Day goodies. We had a real problem figuring out what to get her, but we ended up getting her a couple of things from a store near the office, and to our relief she was very pleased with our choices.

Once the gift-opening and the digesting were in the past tense, I managed to steal away and call my other half, who, unbeknownst to me, was back in the car on the way back from Napa with her parents. As she later 'splained to me, they had gone to a function/event at a country club and it was over by about two or three their time, which put them -- duh -- in the car on their way back to Marin. So on top of the usual pleasantries, as well as the "Happy Mother's Day" greeting for her mom, her dad, it seemed, was coaching her on Yankee uniform numbers, which, as I explained to him, will be part of the quiz I am preparing for her to test her loyalty to the Yankees. The quiz is similar to that from the movie Diner, which both she and her dad loved, and when I originally advised her father via e-mail that I was prepping said quiz -- and if she failed said quiz she'd have to endure an hour of Shakespeare as performed by Joe Pepitone -- I thought he might be a little put off. "Testing my daughter?" Instead, he laughed, as did her mom (as she advised me). So now, with the three of them in the car, her father -- turning the tables -- had her ask me former Yankee Gene Woodland's uniform number.

Now, admittedly, I am a long-time Yankee fan, since about 1976 and before-ish. But I don't even know who Gene Woodland is, let alone that he indeed played for the Yankees or in what capacity. So I bluffed. "40," I answered. I could hear her father in the background telling her it was actually 14. Hmmm. So he was about to fire another salvo when I responded, "Ask your dad this one: Danny Tartabull." She started laughing. "He'll know that one for sure," she responded confidently between chuckles. Several seconds passed and Kaia advised me that her father was notably silent. In the background I heard her mother laughing and then, slowly, her dad as well.

"Tell him 45." We all started laughing, although I think her dad wasn't laughing as much as the rest of us were ;-)

Dinner rolled on a little while later. We prepped three two-person london broils with some garlic, soy and olive oil, let 'em marinate for a couple hours, then stuck 'em on the grill. On top, my sister sliced up and sauteed a few portobello mushrooms with two cloves o' crushed, sliced garlic and some olive oil (sense a theme?) as I prepped some onions with some cracked black pepper and -- you guessed it -- olive oil. After about fifteen minutes of grill time, the onions went on the top rack o' the grill. In the meantime, I started in on the salad -- a mozzarella, tomato, basil and onion salad with extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. We also had corn on the cob and health and cucumber salads (the former just a bunch of marinated veggies, the latter cucumbers in some vinegar with dill). And as dessert-time approached, we sliced up a fresh pan of brownies and topped each with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Not over the top, and not a cake, but a tasty way to wrap up a day filled with eating and relaxation.

I took a bunch of pictures with a new digicam I'm reviewing. It's called the Nikon Coolpix S1 (Link), and the fargin' thing is so damn small that it's almost difficult to use. But it fired up in no time, took incredible pictures and was a lot of fun. Included below is a pic of Ozzie, my sister's shitzu. Having an unobtrusive camera around is a nice thing to have, and when it takes great pictures and doesn't make doing so a big deal, it's a plus. And it's always nice to have pictures of memorable, happy events to remember.

And it's always nice to have memorable, happy events to remember.

Happy belated Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there...and you know who you are :-)



No comments: