Last Saturday's dinner date was planned before I knew what Friday would bring. Friday was an absolute slog at work, busy and frustrating. I was stressed out an aggravated about something that seems just silly now. Then I started hearing little news blurbs out of Newtown.
When I finally got into my car at 6pm, I closed the door and began sobbing on my whole drive home. Newtown in not far from us - and more so than any other shooting, it really confused and affected me.
So Saturday when I woke up still upset I went to yoga. There it seemed that others had the same thing in mind. It was so nice to be in a room with other people just moving and breathing as one. You could just feel the positive energy in the room and I needed that. I needed to feel like there was still good in this world. There is still good, and there is a lot of it - that reminder Saturday morning helped a lot.
Saturday evening we had planned on having Rafe's father and stepmother over for dinner. Part of me wanted to cancel and hide in my room. The other part of me wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate.
Not a party or anything. But an everyday celebration of the luck and love in our lives. I wanted to spend my day making a delicious meal for my family, putting love into my food, and thinking of how grateful we are to have SO many positive and good people in our lives.
Comfort food was on the menu.
Grass fed beef and ground white meat turkey meatloaf - I used a recipe builder from Fine Cooking. I chose to deglaze the aromatics with dry sherry. It was delicious, though a very involved recipe for something as humble as meatloaf - it was just the ticket for this meal, and very well received.
The meatloaf was accompanied by Rafe's famous mashed potatoes (butter, half&half, raw chopped garlic and roasted garlic) and these roasted Brussels sprouts.
Rafe also makes terrific salads with lots of 'stuff' this had strawberries, feta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onions and pecans.
This is butter. Once I got into the kitchen, put on some Paul Simon Pandora, and started prepping...I didn't want to leave. I wanted to play. I made some flavored butter for our delicious loaf of french peasant bread from Hartford Baking Company. The first is a pesto butter, the second a honey butter. These were really easy, and VERY well received. I might try making a grilled cheese with the pesto.
Our lovely guests brought wine - so we sipped this Apothic Red while we dined.
And Rafe requested his favorite, first eaten when Megan gifted us with a loaf, Grapefruit Greek Yogurt cakes.
This was a simple and humble meal, but it did feel so much better to share this night with family. This day, this meal, was my reminder to take it a little slower. Not sweat the small stuff, and have a little more gratitude for the everyday blessings in my life.
It's easy to get caught up in the little nothings of life. Recognize the things in your life that truly matter, and be kind to one another....that is what its all about.