For some, dining out is an experience, a journey of exploration, a fun way to experience the local atmosphere. Mark and I tend to eat out only when we’re desperate, when schedules are crunched and food is frozen and we are both too exhausted to think. Restaurants, by association or otherwise, have simply become an occasional necessity for us. Mark gets annoyed by the service or the wait times and I grumble over paying for a recipe that I am pretty certain I could create myself.
When we really want to indulge, when we really want to relax and de-stress, when we need time and space, conversation and some very good food, we cook at home. There is really nothing that quite compares to savoring a meal with wine or beer (or in my present state, juice) in the warmth of our dining room after we’ve gathered, chopped, combined, and watched with bated breath. For us, cooking is the best kind of magic.
Poor Mark has also been essentially meat- deprived for weeks in the wake of my morning sickness*. So on Friday, we held a phone conference while I rattled off options from the seafood department of Costco. We settled on lobster tails and met at home promptly at 6:00, ready to tackle our dinner of lobster.
I’ve been dying to try to make my grandfather’s dollar-fried potatoes for ages and they seemed like the perfect side-dish to pair with lobster. So I prepped the butter sauce and lobster while Mark worked on slicing the potatoes.
I used red wine for the steaming instead of white and skipped the green onions and the meat was none the worse for the wear. Frying the potatoes was a process a bit more involved than I had bargained for, but the result was beyond worth it.
We happily munched our moist lobster dripping with garlic butter (I had approximately 4 bites of mine before handing it off to Mark…baby nausea is a beast) and thinly shaved, fried-and-lighty-salted-to-perfection potatoes (I stole most of Mark’s), paired with ice-cold Blue Moon (at least for the one of us who is not currently pregnant).
For that little space of time on Friday night, it might as well have been a warm night in July. Summer is coming, friends. But since it’s taking it’s sweet time, might I encourage you to usher in some of your own warmth?
Go buy something that you would never buy at the grocery store, prepare some time-consuming colorful extravagant dish, and indulge for a little while. We spend far too much time tracking and counting and weighing and assessing and criticizing our food. Let’s spend some time rejoicing over our tables.
5 (or 10 or 15) Russet potatoes
Wash the potatoes and slice them as thinly as possible. Pour 1/3 a cup of vegetable oil into a frying pan and warm the pan. Fill the bottom of the pan with sliced potatoes and lightly salt. When the potatoes are a deep golden-brown and crispy on the bottom, flip them over. Remove the potatoes as they finish frying (potatoes may fry at different speeds) and stack on a plate. Continue to fry until all of the potatoes are done, adding oil as necessary and lightly salting each new batch. Potatoes may be kept warm in the oven as they cook.
*Yes, you did read that correctly. We are so absolutely ecstatic to welcome a new member to our little family next summer. I have struggled with deciding exactly how to handle this delightful news in the sphere of social media and am still figuring that out. But I felt that it was only fair to share the good news with my dear readers. More about this in posts to come.