It is my beautiful boy's birthday today. I could not possibly love him more. Our life has had its challenges, as all lives do, but we got lucky. We got the BIG LOVE as my friend Renee says. Here are the two of us in mmm, maybe 1983.
We both were a bit blue yesterday but thanks for the kind words. These are hard times for everybody as we try to figure out where we are and what we can do next in all the various aspects of our life and our society. It sort of feels like a new kind of sandwich life again as we deal with stress in our personal life and the stress (and more) in our society.
Regardless, yesterday, we perked up. We ordered some wine from Binny's and wondered why they didn't get back to us. Whoops…turned out they were still closed after being broken into on Sunday. We went elsewhere got some wine and snacks and sat and watched more My Kitchen Rules. I made the potato salad for today and of course, he had to try it out. Amazing how happy potato salad can make a boy. My sweet pea. The original sweet pea.
Owen was at his girlfriend's and Leo was up in his room and as we cooked dinner it reminded me of us cooking dinner together before the boys were born. I don't know why. We cook dinner just the two of us plenty these days but somehow it made me think of those days. It was when we lived in Chicago, in Rogers Park, that I really started to enjoy cooking. I started buying cookbooks…oh, remember the days of the cookbook clubs? I would buy both the Tribune and the Sun-Times on Wednesdays (or was it Thursday) for the food sections. In the days before the internet the food sections were required reading. When we moved down here to Champaign we lived in an ugly little ranch house in Centennial Park and that when we really started cooking together. Cooking out of our Rick Bayless cookbook…the Cuban cookbook Ernie got me after we won the Mavericks trip to Miami. Exploring all sorts of food. We missed the food markets in Chicago but we had a garden for the first time.
Dinner last night was some chicken legs from Triple S Farms. Their stuff is so beautiful. We marinated them in lemon zest, lemon juice (two lemons), a good 2 tablespoons of thyme leaves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and then salt and pepper for about an hour and a half and then just roasted them at 375 for a bit over an hour. Oh, and I sprinkled the rest of the thyme branches over them. They were ridiculously good. Sometimes I tend use my go-to spices like smoked paprika or cumin, or Asian seasonings too much. This tasted so wonderfully simple and fresh. We had some pretty little carrots that I overcooked a bit, oh well, as well as some spinach. It was a good, simple dinner and I felt like it centered us.
Potato salad and oven-fried curried chicken thighs, per request, for the birthday dinner.
Oh, and happy birthday to Ian Hunter too ❤️