Jessica and Nathan were in town for Grandma Korky's 75th birthday party, so we had them over for dinner tonight.
The boys had been working all day - Bobby had recruited Dad and his buddy Murray to help install some underground pipe up in Big Bear. They'd finished up early so they then headed out to the job site in Woodland Hills to finish up some work there. It had been a productive day for them, but when they made it back it was clear they'd all worked very hard.
Mom and I came home with groceries right about the time the boys finished unloading the truck. My uncle Kevin and his family were already at the house to meet Jessica's baby Alora while they were in town.
We came in the house and the production began. At least that's what it felt like. It was already nearing 8 o'clock, and Mom and I were starting to get hungry. My kitchen is on the tiny side - it's actually more of a hallway with a stove and some cupboards. It's a little cramped with just two cooks, so with Mom, Nathan, and me, I was sure we'd be stepping on each other's toes. But we didn't! We were a bit like a well oiled machine - gracefully staying out of one another's way, using the minimum of space needed.
I started making my Red Pepper Cream Pasta (this time with Shitake Mushrooms - yum!), Mom started seasoning the New York Steaks with a combination of Olive Oil, White Truffle Oil (just a tad), Worcestershire Sauce, and Montreal Steak Seasoning. Nathan started on an appetizer of Seared Ahi Tuna with Cucumber, Avocado, and a special sauce he cooked up - though Ponzu Sauce would be good too. When the pasta sauce was simmering, I prepped the Asparagus, generously drizzling it with Olive Oil and Kosher Salt. Then I put Dad to work manning the grill.
Kevin wasn't originally going to stay for dinner, but he was intrigued by how good everything smelled. We finally convinced him to stay and have some with us. He had mentioned that he'd never cared for asparagus and hadn't eaten it since his childhood. We convinced him that when cooked right it can be very good - I don't like boiled asparagus either. He tried some, and while he couldn't decide if he liked it, he didn't dislike it. His son Stephan had some of the steak and loved it - said he couldn't stop eating it. And this from a boy that doesn't like steak. We cooks were pretty pleased with ourselves.
When dinner was over, I could see Bobby's, Dad's, and Murray's eyes start drooping. Between the business and school, Bobby had been working very long days for weeks now. In the last week he was coming home after I was in bed or just in time for bed, and waking up before me. He eventually said goodnight to everyone - that he would love to stay up and chat but he needed to take a shower and get to bed. A few minutes later I walked into the bedroom to get something, and found him still fully clothed and passed out on top of the bed. If he hadn't been dirty from working all day, I probably would have just tucked him in. Instead I started the shower for him and woke him back up.
I wish that I had some pictures from the evening - of the people, of the food - but I was just too hungry to bother, and by the time I'd thought of it, the food was gone and the people were starting to leave. Oh well, c'est la vie.