Several weeks ago, we started a tradition in my family. Every Sunday, we gather at my parents’ house for Sunday dinner. It’s a lot of fun because it brings us all together, (what brings people together better than food?), and we all help out in one way or another.
Having a weekly dinner with my family can be a challenge because we’re all so different. Half the time some of us have to compromise so the others can enjoy what’s on the menu. Or we just end up making extra sides.
My dad and brother are the “foodies” of the family. They would be thrilled to have ox-tail soup with a side of foi gras. Their ideal meal takes 3 hours to prep, 5 to cook, and about 10 minutes to eat.
My husband and I like to try new things. However, I have a line I won’t cross (no bone marrow for me, thanks.) If we had our way, dinner would take no longer than an hour to prep and cook, and it would be filling and delicious.
My sister usually helps with whatever we make and she is a little adventurous, but also timid. She wanted to try lobster once but her lobster turned out to be female. One look at the eggs and she was out.
My mom, well, she tries. Her palate is the least adventurous of all. She is happy with salt and pepper as the only seasoning. That’s not to say she doesn’t enjoy good food. She does. As long as the meat is thoroughly cooked and she doesn’t have to touch bone or shell, she’s down.
The kids get stuck with whatever we make and they will either eat it or end up having a late night PB&J. I’m a big fan of feeding the kids the same foods we eat. Our rule is they have to try two bites, and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to eat it. At four years old, my daughter is a pretty adventurous eater and I couldn’t be prouder. Don’t get me wrong, she has her picky moments too, but she was more than willing to try freshly dug clams a few months ago, (it also helped that she did some of the digging).
With this mix of likes and dislikes, we have fun searching for a middle ground. One thing we always tend to agree on though is dessert. All of us except my husband, sometimes he’ll eat it, other times, he won’t. He didn’t grow up as a dessert person. My family on the other hand, we’re all dessert connoisseurs.
Saturday afternoon, my Uncle took my dad, husband, and me out on his boat to check his crab pots. It was a long, chilly ride, but worth it! He felt a bit bad because we “only” got 3 crab. We, on the other hand, were so excited! We love crabbing and we usually go off the dock and only catch little Rock Crab-if we’re lucky. Using the boat, we came home with three full-sized Dungeness!!
We got home right before bedtime so our Little Lady got try fresh crab for the first time. She loved it! I’m so proud that she tried it at all, but the fact she liked it, gave me visions of crab fishing outings with her every season.(Photo Credit: Rex Rudee)
For the appetizers, my sister and my dad made coconut shrimp, with a sweet chili sauce on the side.My sister made a salad with avocado, cucumber, and freshly picked lettuce. She threw together a homemade dressing too, which was delicious. She used olive oil, lemon, balsamic vinegar, some sugar, and salt. So fresh and tasty!We also had steamed cauliflower on the side because cauliflower goes well with our main dish.
Which leads me to the main course, Crab Alfredo. I got to make the sauce. Nothing too difficult, just a lot of standing by a pot making sure nothing boils over.The finished product. Everything was delicious!
For dessert, I thought I would try my hand at homemade brownies. Nothing against the boxed brownies, but there’s something about a brownie made from scratch.
I turned to trusty old Pinterest for a recipe. I made the first one I found because it met all of my chocolaty needs. It was a delicious and perfect end to our incredible dinner.I’ll spare you the adorable photos of the kids covered in their food (because, gross!). Just know my girl loved it all! And the boy liked everything except the crab and shrimp. So far, he is the biggest meat-eater I know, but he won’t touch seafood. Something to work on, ha!Next Sunday we’re skipping family dinner because we will be on vacation. Hopefully we’ll find some fun new things to try when we’re out of town. That’s part of the fun of vacation, isn’t it? Finding interesting places to eat!
Are you or your kids adventurous eaters? Have you ever had crab? What is your favorite family meal? We’re always up for new recipes to try!!