Monday, November 9, 2009

A Sunday Drive, A Sunday Dinner, and Bourbon Glazed Carrots

Sunday dinners at my house are not what you might expect to see in a Norman Rockwell painting. Since my daughter's house is not yet done and she has no kitchen, her new Sunday tradition has begun while they're staying with me, with an open invitation to all who might like to join. While ours is not a Rockwellian family composition, it is a happy group and our current round-up includes Katie, Bill and Henry with any and all grandparents (me, Bill's father Richard and his significant other Sydney, and Bill's mother Penelope). Also invited are Henry's aunts and uncles, though my sons Joe and Jeffrey are the only ones to make it so far. Meghan and Tricia typically work on Sundays and haven't yet joined us at my new table, though they are palpably missed and I am looking forward to the time when they will be able to make it.

Hayden the Bloodhound and Oden the Black Lab would be eager dinner participants, but I insist that they go outside when dinner is served, lest we all deal with the pathetic eyes and jowl-ful drooling that inevitably accompany their presence. They are fed well ahead of the rest of us, and just as dinner is about to be served, I lure them outside with two dog biscuits with an invitation to play in the yard. They are welcomed back in as soon as the table is cleared. I don't know about you, but for me it's pretty difficult to enjoy dinner when there's a whining dog waiting anxiously by your side. Perhaps a session with the Dog Whisperer is in order.

Last night Katie made individual meat loaves (I have a special pan), mashed potatoes, and bourbon-glazed carrots. I exchanged kitchen duties for Henry supervision, happily. Katie, Penny, and Sydney peeled carrots, apples, and potatoes. I read to Henry. I did set the table and took care of the dishes, so I don't feel too guilty about it! Sydney put together another one of her lovely apple pies, and with it we served Mann's scrumptious pumpkin ice cream, hand-packed at the "Ice Cream Mann" shop in Greenwich, New York. We'd traveled through Greenwich earlier in the day on our way to see a lovely house for sale, just for fun. My sister Anne is a local realtor and she was hosting this open house for the owners who are being transferred. It was a beautiful, light-filled farm house in Salem, New York (a very New England-y town, just a few miles from the Vermont border, and about 45 minutes from Saratoga) with nine acres of rolling hills, two barns, fancy chickens, friendly goats, and a sun-drenched front porch! The huge country kitchen is perfect for preparing big, celebratory dinners. It will make a lovely home for one fortunate family.

Katie's Bourbon Carrots

5 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut in to 1/4 inch slices
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. dark brown sugar
1 shot bourbon (1 oz.)

In large skillet, melt butter and add brown sugar. Add carrots and simmer till soft. Add bourbon and cook a few minutes more.

Norman Rocwell's Freedom From Want:

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