My dad's girlfriend, Chris, is heading back to Rio De Janeiro in a couple of days. It's so sad when she leaves us. We all love having her around. We had a long discussion about us saving up some money to go out to Rio to visit soon. I really hope we can pull that off. I have always wanted to spend time on the beaches of Brazil. Sure, the women in those Brazilian bikinis would be intimidating, but it would be worth it. I think it would be so amazing to have a local, like Chris, to show us around. My favorite type of traveling is seeing how people really live in a different exotic location.
I wanted to have her to spend the weekend with us and to enjoy a special dinner celebration with all of us at our house before she leaves. My plan was to make a marinade that would work for lamb, chicken and fish. The lamb, one of Claud's favorites, was my original idea. Then, I found out that my uncle might not like lamb. He has never had it before but I didn't want to take the chance that he would try it and not eat it. He can be a little picky. So, I decided to cook chicken too. Then, I had to add fish for my pescatarian eaters. Well, I bought some Dover sole and when I opened the package, it didn't smell nice. Actually, it smelled gross and very fishy. I didn't want to risk getting anyone sick. So, I decided it would be vegetables for my pescatarian eaters this time. The fish went into the trash. That was a bummer. I cannot stand throwing out food. But, I will add lots of grilled vegetables to the menu to make up for it.
That's OK. I made sure there were plenty of other foods to keep everybody with all of their different dietary needs satisfied. I thought a yogurt mint sauce would work for the lamb, chicken and the vegetables. Sunday morning, I woke up and marinated the meat. I thought it would be a good idea to let the meat soak up the marinade for a few hours until I was ready to cook it all. I started by heading out to the garden to cut a bunch of rosemary. Rosemary smells so delicious. I love scraping off all of the leaves because the aroma makes me so happy. They even make oregano and rosemary essential oils now that you can burn to make your house smell nice. That's such a great idea. I chopped the rosemary up and added lemon juice, garlic, red wine, olive oil, salt and pepper. Next, I poured this all over the chicken and the lamb, wrapped it all up and placed it into the refrigerator.
Grilled Greek-style lamb and grilled vegetables.
Later, I returned to whip up the yogurt sauce and to decide what vegetables I would use. I bought some white asparagus. I have never eaten the white asparagus before. It never looked right to me. For some reason the whiteness makes it look flavorless. So, I was never interested in trying it. Then, I read about it the other day. White asparagus comes from deprivation of light. Without light, the asparagus cannot produce chlorophyll. So, it doesn't turn green. Apparently, this makes the asparagus milder in flavor. That was enough to get me curious. I had to try it out. I also wanted to include a big green salad with loads of veggies and some rice too.
Once I was ready to cook, I fired up the grill and got everything ready. It is finally cool enough to grill. It has been so hot this summer that I was never interested in standing out there by the grill. Today is a different story. Grilling seemed like a perfect way to spend my time. I took out the marinated meats and prepped my veggies. Soon, everybody came outside to join me. My dad brought me a nice cold glass of wine to sip. What a great idea! Why hadn't I thought of that? When it was all cooked, we headed in doors and placed it all onto the table. It looked like a feast. A couple of wine bottles opened and breathing, a pitcher of ice water, a big bowl of rice, a gorgeous salad, grilled vegetables, lamb and chicken. Who could ask for anything more? I hope this is a meal Chris will cherish in her memory as she heads back to Brazil. Hopefully, it will entice her to return soon.