…Did you know that it is possible to teach old goats new tricks? Just don’t tell that to Bebe’s goats.
…There’s not always a good story behind a great meal, but, sometimes there is.
….I think that with all the holiday hurrah, it’s really important to remember that any day of the year can be a memorable one with the people you love, you don’t have to wait for the holidays. Any day can be a special occasion meal for the people you love. And, sometimes, it’s really nice to go all out….
This all started in the middle of October, when my daughter and I went to visit my mother-in-law, Mimi, in Central Louisiana. While visiting with some of the aunts on Saturday, Bebe- one of the aunts- tells me that she is going to get a Prime Rib Roast for thanksgiving, because “I’m 75 years old and I’ve never had Prime Rib Roast!” She was concerned about it being overcooked, being dry, etc., and I said, well, there are many excellent cooks in the family who may be there, and if they’re not there, I’ll come cook it. I showed her pictures of the one (and only one) I had cooked before, and she got sooooo excited, and Susu (another aunt) got excited, so it was settled. I’d “help” cook it. So, she went down to the corner butcher shop and placed her order for a Prime Rib Roast.
Everyone goes home for the holidays, right? Of the five siblings, all five still either live there, or still have a home maintained by the kids for when they go there. So, Thanksgiving went from a few people (the 4 aunts, and us, maybe a few more) to almost 30 people. The Sunday before thanksgiving, we discovered that all the “kids” within driving distance made plans for attending.
On Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Bebe called me at work. This NEVER happens. And her voice was so distraught, I immediately thought the worst and braced myself. She said, “Kathy, I went to pick up the roast, and it was a PORK rib roast!” I almost laughed, since I was expecting bad news. But she was truly distraught, and very disappointed, and took her pork rib roast home. Now, to be totally fair to her local butcher store in the country, this is the store that supplies the pigs for the greased pig contest at the annual Cochon D’Lait festival – they specialize in all things of porky goodness.
Thanksgiving day comes, the pork rib roast was delicious, as was the Kentucky ham a cousin picked up on his drive down from New York City, and Mimi’s famous slow-roasted brisket. But, the story of Bebe’s Prime Rib Roast was told over and over, and by the end of the day, I resolved to cook a Prime Rib Roast for this old lady who had never had it. It also happened that Mimi, my mother-in-law, was chosen to be the Grand Marshall for the little town Christmas parade on December 3, so, win-win, December 3rd is set as a date to celebrate.
December 3rd comes, and it is cold, and wet, and rainy, and it’s the kind of miserable weather where everyone just stays home, and the parade was cancelled. But, I was there with the roast, so dinner was on. And, everyone was there. Aunt M. was recovering from hip surgery, and had been holed up for several weeks, starting to get stir crazy. Aunt Susu was back home from a trip to Scotland, so, to have all four of these wonderful women home on this particular weekend was turning out great for me, since I had this beautiful roast with me, and had planned on making the traditional steak sides : mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus, sautéed spinach with garlic, and sautéed mushrooms. And, then, of course, with steak, there is always a sauce. This meat did not need any help with flavor, or anything to cover up the wonderful texture and flavor, but, I was going all out here. So, I made sour cream horseradish sauce, hollandaise sauce, and the au jus sauce. When I go out to eat a steak, I usually want all the sides, and all the sauces. But that’s just me.
They all asked what could they bring? Rolls, dessert? I just looked at them, shook my head, and said, “You’re not really going to have room for dessert, and bread? Why waste room in your stomach?” And these women just looked at me and said okay…
Somewhere in the middle of the meal, I stated that I think it all turned out for the best, that a pork roast was ordered instead of beef; that these grandmothers didn’t have to worry about kids, or grandkids, or food in the oven, or carrying stuff over to another house,… This was a meal cooked just for them. Stress free. They declared that they were happy that they didn’t have to share with anyone. And, that they really, really enjoyed it. And for that, I am glad.
They also enjoyed watching me cook, as I finished up the roast, made the pan gravy, whipped the mashed potatoes, made the immersion blender hollandaise. None of them had ever heard of this 500 Degree roasting method, and were so impressed with the result (and lack of effort) that two of them said they were going to cook a roast for themselves the next week. They were impressed by the immersion blender hollandaise method, and, even the way I made the mashed potatoes? Apparently, so. So yes, you can teach an old goat new tricks! And if you cook your loved ones a prime rib roast, they might let you call them an old goat, too. Just don’t tell Aunt Bebe’s goats that!
Aunt Bebe’s goats are eyeing the colorful Easter eggs as if surely they must be for them! (From Easter several years ago)