not all who wander are lost.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Family. Food. Alcohol. Acrobatics.

I'm about to be thrown head first into's going to start all at once. So in the meantime, I am enjoying as much time as possible with my family. Sarah Rohrman and LP (Little Paul...because my Dad is Big Paul...sometimes he calls him "Junior") are family as well as far as we're concerned, so they've been in on the fun too. The other day I told the troops that I was going to be making dinner - a healthy, delicious, nutritious totally vegan meal. For my Dad, who is one of 10 children from an Irish Catholic family, can't wrap his head around a meal without meat. Growing up, EVERY meal had meat: breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, I pulled out all the stops and "prepared" (no cooking really) our dinner for that night. I definitely wanted to have a family dinner, but I was cooking with a fury that was inspired by being a bit sad. When I'm down, being around food - buying it, preparing it, serving it - cheers me up. Though my Dad is looking AMAZING, we have noticed things that people looking at pictures have not. His vision is going, pretty quickly. His hearing has gotten worse. But the biggest of all is his memory. They are small things that we've been picking up, but each little thing breaks my heart. He's forgotten his 4 digit password for his voicemail, he forgot that the thing we toast our bread in is called a toaster, he didn't remember getting the results from the most recent on and so forth. All of this kinda hit my mom and I at the same time on Thursday, so I think that we drank a bit more to ease the stress of it. WELL: it was the best goddamn dinner that I've ever made up, and it was the best night I've had since being home. THIS is what family is about and THIS is why I love coming home. Sarah brought over some wine and we already had started in on some bubbly. EVERYONE had a serious buzz on: Dad, Mom, Me, LP, and Sarah. We enjoyed an outstanding dinner {don't mind if I go ahead and say so myself...} and we laughed to the point that everyone was clutching at their sides. A bit of booze, delicious food and alot of laughter will cure the most broken of hearts! On the menu was:

*Kale Salad with Mango and Pepitas

*Nori Wraps 2 ways...
- Apple, Raisin, Spinach and Pumpkin Seed Pate
- Cucumber, Spinach, and Pumpkin Seed Pate

*Fresh Spring Rolls (rice wrappers) stuffed with...
- Fresh Mint, Cilantro and Thai Basil
- Finely Sliced cabbage

I put links onto the recipes that I've posted in the past, but the recipe for my delicious Kale Mango Salad is...

- a coupe fistfuls of Kale
- one large ripe mango
- small handful of raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- juice of one lemon
- e.v.olive oil
- honey

Cut the ribs out of the bottom half of the kale (the long, hard stalk that runs up the center). Just tear the kale up a bit and put in bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 the lemon onto the kale, and hit it with a shot of olive oil. "Massage" the kale for just a minute so it's not so aggressive. Slice up the mango -- I wouldn't recommend DICING it, because then it doesn't stick to your fork and you're left with a bunch of diced mango in the bottom of your salad bowl. Instead do long, beautiful slices. Place on top of the salad. Sprinkle the pepitas on top, and then squeeze the remaining half of lemon on salad - drizzle with another shot of olive oil - and finish with just a touch of honey. Give a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground pepper...BOOM. BEST.SALAD.EVER.

A few bottles of wine later, Rihanna bumping through the stereo -- Sarah and LP begin some Sauvignon-Blanc-Inspired-Acrobatics......

Disclaimer: Don't Try This At Home.

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