My parents celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Kylie and I went Old School and decided to do what we did when we were 13 and 15 years old and make my parents a gourmet meal.
Now, when I say Old School, this what usually happened 15-17 years ago. We would declare that we were going to fix a fancy meal for my parents. My mother would go out and buy what ever we said we were going to make (usually this was steak) and we would take the meat hammer and beat the ever living shit out of that piece of meat. Why? Because it was a)a fun kitchen tool that chefs use b) needed to be done - a steak must be tender and we were tenderizing it and c) fun. Then we would bake some potatoes and maybe over steam some other "fancy" vegetable like broccoli or asparagus and we were done... with the meal, but by no means was this end of the evening. No, no. We were going all out here. This was The Howk House after all. A 5 star family run bistro of the highest caliber. We had the chefs waiting on the guests, complete with white dish towel draped over our arm. Pouring the wine, asking if we could refill their water glasses. The works.
Some kids put on plays for their parents... we put on "fancy" restaurants. While other children aspired to be signers, comedians, and actresses, we aspired to be Maitre D's and Executive Chefs. We had a long way to go in skills, but we had the spirit.
As I have become more sophisticated (remember: that is what we say instead of 'old') both Kylie and I's culinary skills have bloomed. Rigorous televised classes of Top Chef, Good Eats, and America's Test Kitchens, along with required reading of cookbooks, food blogs, and magazines have helped tremendously. Not to mention my personal field trips to various establishments in the cities I visit.
This year was a return of the Howk House Anniversary Special. Which was on a 15 year hiatus. Guest chef from Chez Saari (my sister) joined me in the prep and presentation of the meal. Kylie donned the tea towel on her arm and escorted the guest to the lounge (the living room) and served the wine and cheese while I prepared the soup in the kitchen. It was a fire roasted tomato soup... that was not made from scratch. It was a last minute choice, as our original plan did not make it to the plate. It worked out fine with our Honey Glazed Wild Salmon and Pea and Fennel Salad. The dessert was a Double Chocolate Brandy Cake, that I broke from my wheat restrictions to eat... because it was damn delicious. The headache and wheezing were totally worth it.
Needless to say, we redeemed ourselves from the days of pulverized steak. My sister has pictures that maybe I'll get from her to put on here. I have yet to replace the camera I lost nearly a year ago. My phone has been filling in for me since then, but alas I forgot to take the pictures.
Favorite Quote From Howktown: "Don't forget, it was my generation that invented these boots" My mother after asking to borrow my knee high boots to wear out on a date with my dad.
I've decided to keep a list of all the things that Howktown approves of a the side of this blog (for you fackbook/rss readers you'll have to visit the actual page to see it).