Last year it was Baked Alaska, while the year before it was a more tropical Key Lime pie. One year he asked for a very lemon layer cake and one year he even drew me a diagram of the cake he wanted.
This year, Ben made his decision early and never wavered: blueberry pie for his birthday. Farmers market-shopper that he is, he worried a bit that blueberries aren’t in season right now (and I certainly never told him how much the organic Chilean berries cost me), but his love of berries outweighed thoughts of sustainability, this time.
His younger brother Eli (not a fan of fruit desserts) announced that he would rather eat graham crackers for dessert, but even he wound up eating all the crust of his slice and then giving the blueberry filling to his brother. Win-win.
When I asked my mom for advice about making the dessert Ben requested for his birthday, she replied pointedly, “I made Baked Alaska. Once.”
It’s not every year that two of the local teams play for the championship, and although we’re really more of a baseball and basketball family, it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement about the Forty-Niners.
Naturally, I’m all about the food, and that leads to two questions: How can our meal support our team? And, having read about Lisa’s Super Bowl plans, how, I wonder, can this happen without me spending game day in the kitchen?
I asked the family what we should eat for a Red and Gold Superbowl Dinner.
“Chips and salsa!” suggested Eli.
“Lemon meringue pie with raspberry sauce,” said Ben.
Tony says he’s going to Gordo’s for a burrito — a Super, naturally, for the Super Bowl. And so it’s set: the kids and I can make the pie Saturday night, and then Sunday all we have to do is open the chips and salsa and take a half-time walk to the taqueria.
I always used to think of my family of four as kind of the difficult eaters among my broader family of thirteen. We’re the vegetarians, and my kids have been picky. But as we all– my three siblings, two siblings-in-law, niece and nephew– prepared to gather at my parents’ home this Christmas, I realized there were more dietary issues to take into account than in the past. Meal planning everywhere these days involves an increasing number of allergies, food sensitivities, and food preferences, and my family is no different. Among the thirteen of us, we currently have two on low-salt diets, four managing chronic illnesses with dietary adjustments, one vegan, five vegetarians, one on an elimination diet and one more still in the midst of figuring out what foods are causing new sensitivities.
Every Thanksgiving, I think, “Maybe I’ll make a different kind of roll this year. Maybe sweet potato. Or even Parker House. I don’t need so many dozens of rolls.” And every year, I dig up the recipe for my mom’s wheat germ rolls and every year, I am glad that I do. We have no trouble polishing off the whole batch before Thanksgiving weekend ends, one of the boys always helps me stir and knead and shape, and this year, Eli gratified us all by inhaling deeply over the bread basket as we gathered for our feast and sighing, “Oh, these rolls just smell like Thanksgiving.”
I can't imagine where he learned to treat dough like that
this is my favorite kind of time in the kitchen
you'd think with 5-dozen rolls, I might get a picture before they're nearly gone