A peek at the Santa Barbara coast from the Major’s family room.
Like most families, everyone in ours plays a different role: The Pilot adheres to a routine, the English major (the Major) is great with words, the Nurse showers us with hugs and kisses and the Architect keeps the humor fresh.
And we cook.
Last week, the Pilot fell ill. So we skipped out on our jobs, our dog and our blog to be with the family at the Major and the Nurse’s house in Santa Barbara, CA (about 2 hours’ drive from the RGB). And while we were there, we did the only thing we know how to do in a crisis: cook for loved ones.
Sunset in Santa Barbara.
So we offered to cook dinner for the family on Saturday night. And the first thing we thought of to make was a roast chicken. Because to us, nothing echoes a warm family meal more than a simple roast chicken. And the chicken had to include lemons, because like ours, the Major’s garden is full of citrus… and because he’s a better gardener than we are, he’s able to coax lemons off the tree year-round.
After our daily visit to the hospital, Saturday afternoon found us at the local market, where we stocked up on all sorts of goodies. Our evening toast to the Pilot and subsequent feast included the following:
Flatbread with caramelized onions, prosciutto and fresh mozzarella. And some local Santa Barbara Chardonnay.
Red leaf lettuce salad with pears, walnuts, dried cranberries, crumbled blue cheese and a homemade crème fraîche blue cheese dressing (recipe from the Elle Décor magazine that was occupying the coffee table).
Roast chicken and russet potatoes with lemon, rosemary and thyme. And a local Rideau Vineyard red wine blend.
Side of sautéed spinach with onions and dry white wine.
Pecan pie with fresh-whipped cream.
Dinner went almost as planned. Evidently, an hour is not enough time to roast a 5-lb bird, so the first time it came out of the oven, it was slightly undone. Eh, life goes on…
We can hope.
P.S. A special thanks to all of you who sent us messages over the weekend. We are grateful for your thoughts and prayers. And we hope to be back to our regular routine soon.
What’s your go-to family style meal?
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro
Updated photo from March 2013: