Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Night Magic

Growing up my mother decalred Sunday night dinners ... Survival. Early in the morning she prepared a breakfast which we all gobbled down in between shifts of bathroom time. Once dressed in our freshly pressed dresses and button down shirts our hair was braided and combed. Off to the car we scrambled, elbows flying, calling out for no prisoners to be sure we got our desired seat near a window. Dad was Branch President and had left before us earlier in the morning and would be seated on the stand when we arrived in the chapel. He would wink and sometimes give us a small wave. For a special treat he would on rare occasions invite one of us to come up and sit with him. Mom somehow kept all of us lined up in our row and quiet. At the end of the hour Mother hearded us off to our Primary classes. Church continued for another two hours. When it was time to leave, we again all scrambled to the car for our seats near a window, elbows still flying. Once home, Mom headed straight to the kitchen. We were sent to our rooms to change our clothes, the older children to help the younger. Clambering back up the stairs one at a time our noses led us to Mother's side. How did she do it? How could she have worked kitchen magic so quickly? There on the table our lunch would be waiting for us. The army of bottomless pits that we were made sure the table was emptied in no time. Plates licked clean. Off to naps we were herded, tucked in one at a time. Mom also napped. She was done. Dinner was declared Survival. We ate pretty much what we found. Sometimes Dad would make breakfast again. And sometimes we had Lucky Charms. Our favorite!

Now that I have a family of my own, on occasion I too declare Sunday dinner Survival. But not tonight. Tonight I wanted to whip up a little kitchen magic of my own for Cesar and Hugo. When our meal together was finished, I noticed curiously that their plates were licked clean. I thought of my Mother and a loving smile overcame my face. A little later I mentioned to my husband that I just might want to write about our dinner. He seemed a little surprised. "Kinda strange" I could see written all over his face. I asked what he thought I should call the post and he answered, "Simple, Light, Fresh and Tasty. A keeper." Well, it might just be a little strange to write about our dinner. But it was our dinner. Our Sunday night family magic time.

I grabbed what was currently in the fridge and cupboards.
Tri-Color Pasta
Shredded chicken (left over from earlier in the week)
2 carrots, peeled, julienned
A bunch of asparagus, snap off woody ends, cut into 1.5" pieces
3 Tbls. butter
A good dose of parmesan
Some chicken stock
A couple splashes of cooking Sherry
salt & pepper to taste
parsley (I recently dried some, used only a small amount) and feta cheese to adorn

Cook pasta in lightly salted water. Zap carrots & asparagus in micro. In large saute pan melt butter. Add chicken stock, Sherry, salt & pepper, and some of the pasta water. Add parmesan stir. Drain pasta and add to stock mixture along with chicken and vegetables. Stir till well blended and warmed through. Plate and adorn with the parsley and feta. Enjoy!

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