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home cooked meal.

my parents and local relatives (one of my mom's sister's family) have generally had a christmas tradition of going to either a local japanese buffet or a local chinese buffet for a christmas meal. my uncle is really into those places (he goes to the chinese buffet place at least once a week), my mom likes the convenience of it, and everyone else generally plays along because no one else in the family has much experience cooking for a large group.

This year, there were seven people involved instead of nine because my one cousin and his wife are currently in india. My mom was talking about going to a Pho restaurant as a christmas eve dinner gathering, a place that they took me two years ago that i ended up not liking because i'm spoiled for Pho now with the vietnamese population that lives in New Orleans. in my recent house poker game i had cooked a beef stew of some sort for the group and that sparked a rediscovered love of cooking that i generally don't get a chance to do on a large scale because it's too inconvenient to put forth that effort for mostly myself, so i convinced my mom to let me cook.

i came up with the menu a few days in advance with the intention of going shopping the day of. on recommendation of Tyler's girlfriend i found a pot roast recipe that looked both flavorful and easy to do. i emailed Amanda to ask for her mac and cheese recipe. figured that the salad could be pretty basic as well as the garlic bread.

the previous night i had played poker at Sands until roughly 3am and i wasn't able to really fall asleep until roughly 5am, so getting up at about 10:30 was a little rough and my leg was hurting a whole lot, but i gritted through it during the food shopping. we went to the store at about 11:30, grabbed everything i needed, stopped by Einstein so i could pick up some lunch, then went home. I started cooking pretty soon after we got back, around 13:30 with the intention of dinner being ready around 17:30. my aunt's family showed up around 15:00 and we hung out and played a lot of games while the pot roast was in the oven before i had to start the mac and cheese. everyone put in a helping hand for some of the final prep, which was nice.

the pot roast turned out pretty awesome. i bet i could have left it in the oven for another 15 minutes, but it was still incredibly tender and it was a big hit. the mac and cheese turned out pretty well too although i think i could have made it a little bit cheesier.

leading up to this, my mom continually fussed to me about the whole ordeal. "are you sure you want to cook? we can just go out." "i have some frozen rib eye from costco that we can use for the pot roast." "so you're sure you don't want to go out?" "we have a lot of vegetables here that we need to eat before it goes bad." typical mom stuff because she's a fusser, but the biggest message she was trying to bring across even just before we went shopping was, "we can still go out to eat if you don't want to cook. or we can get a store premade meal." Like the other day for lunch she had picked up some Walmart fried chicken. which was pretty horrible.

i was insistent. Nothing beats a home cooked meal. i like cooking for large groups and don't get a chance to do it often. i was going to turn one of the more annoying parts of christmas with my family of shitty buffet food into a highlight.

and yeah. i think it's a good new precedent to set. I want to do it again next year. we'll see what happens.

okay. super tired entry on slow computer now done with.

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shazamaramack
Dec. 27th, 2011 09:03 am (UTC)
I don't think I've ever seen a Japanese buffet before... what kind of stuff do they have out?
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