Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kiddies and Kale

Last night just felt right for an old-fashioned 'steak dinner' at home.  Nothing real elaborate; I broiled steaks then I topped them with mini crab cakes and bearnaise sauce, smashed potatoes and kale.  If you'll indulge me, I want to take this meal piece by piece and then, maybe just then, I'll actually get to the point.

A steak with bearnaise on it is simply my idea of Heaven. If I were on Death Row, my last meal could be anything as long as it has bearnaise on it.  Hell, I'm not that picky...I could eat it with a spoon.  To me, bearnaise is the queen of sauces; it's buttery, full of tarragon, smooth and it just looks pretty.  Steak and bearnaise is a match made in Heaven alright, but wait, add crab to the party and look out!  Here in the South, we catch, clean, cook and cherish our blue crabs.  When you've spent hours and hours over the course of 42 years killin', pickin' and cookin' with crab, you're entitled to that righteous indignation that we have when we see crab cakes on a menu for $18.00.  I can make them for less and they'll taste a whole lot better too!  Ok, back on point...sorry!

What?? We're having mashed potatoes!  Sign me up!
Next, Neil is a potato lover.  Please don't misunderstand-he's NOT one of those guys who only eats potatoes or requires potatoes at every meal. But, he just appreciates a good potato from time to time. One thing I really can't stand on today's menus is the term "smashed" potatoes.  It's overdone, no longer trendy and generally just sounds silly to me.  But, that is in fact what I did to these potatoes.  Cooked some red-skins, smashed them up with some milk, sour cream and butter and viola!  They really did turn out yummy.

One thing I know about myself is that I must have something green on every plate. It's some sort of inherent rule implanted in my psyche.  All plates must have a green vegetable; likewise, there shouldn't be two greens, unless they are vastly different in shape, consistency, starchiness, etc.  You get the picture.  So, I had a bag of kale on hand.  I sauteed some bacon then garlic.  Threw in the kale and wilted it.  Then I added about a cup of water and let it simmer to get the kale nice and tender.

Now, here's the whole point of my story...breathe, breathe, here it comes.

My four-year-old wunderkind Vivian LOVED the kale!  I fibbed just a little at first.  She already likes collards (I know, right?) so I just called the kale collards and she was in.  She liked them so much that at one point, Neil pretended that he was going to eat hers right off her plate.  This caused her to push his arm away and instruct him to "get his own."  

Oh, I am a proud mama today!  I feel quite accomplished actually.  Yes, it is I.  The one who can make children eat dark, leafy greens.  I can even make them defend their greens with vigor and conviction.  No applause necessary.

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