It is a weird feeling to sit across the table from my parents and realize there's 20 years of difference between the three of us. My mom, right in the middle, just turned 50, almost old. My dad, nearly 70, is old for sure. And me at 30, starting to look old to my parents. I can see the look in their eyes, the one that says, "At your age, we were blah blah blah." The husband later pointed out that when we first met, at the innocent age of 14, my mother was already 34 years-old. Yikes. I closed my eyes, and pictured myself with a 10 year-old kid. Yikes, again. Luckily, when I came to, there was a full glass of wine to greet me, and remind me that I have no other responsibililties tonight, except for doing the dishes. A complete relief.
To celebrate this milestone in my mother's life, I decided to make dinner. Something fancy, but simple, since I'd be cooking after work on a weeknight. I headed to Bristol Farms for lobster, and after selecting three tails, I knew exactly the response I'd get from my mom ("Lobster so little"), so I decided to purchase a couple of calamari steaks as well. Once home, I soaked the calamari in milk, and seasoned my breadcrumbs with paprika, salt and pepper. The soaking technique tenderizes these steaks and keeps them moist during the cooking process. I have to say, the calamari was the highlight of the meal. And a steal compared to the price of lobster.
Along with the seafood, we enjoyed a salad, roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts. Lately, I have been par-boiling my potatoes before popping them into the oven. I've found this saves time, and ensures the potatoes cook through. As a potato lover, I get really sad when I bite into an undercooked potato. For dessert, we had chocolate ice cream with berries marinated in sugar and cognac, and red velvet cake, served with tea.
My mom's big birthday bash was planned for the upcoming weekend, but it felt nice to celebrate in this quiet and cozy way first. It's been a long time since we sat down, just the three of us, and talked, ate, without the mention of babies. I knew this would not last, so I savored every minute, even when my mom impatiently blew out her candle before we finished singing happy birthday.