Tuesday, July 16, 2019

An All-American Dinner

So my friend, Aqil, was coming for dinner and about a week ahead of time, I asked him for his input on the menu.

"Hmm, this might be weird," he prefaced, "but what's the most American dinner you can think of?"


That was a good question. A very good question.

My mind instantly began to whirl

Pot roast.
Macaroni and cheese.
Hot dogs.
Fried chicken.

The more I thought, the more I waffled and weaved among the many possibilities. So I asked Aqil for more time to think, laid down my phone, and began polling my family. More and more ideas flooded into my brain and onto my list; I wasn't getting any closer to a decision.

Two days before the dinner, I was driving my fourth-born to work. I knew her mind was already transitioning into work mode, but with just a few moments left in our trip, I posed the question to her.

Without missing a beat, she replied with conviction and certainty.

Steak and potatoes.


That was a good answer. A very good answer.

And so, in celebration of Aqil's college graduation and bon voyage as he sets off on a well-earned summer break at home in Malaysia, I cooked him the most American dinner I could think of.

^ A fruit and cheese board featuring Ranier and Bing sweet cherries, Wheat Thins, two Tillamook cheeses, and summer sausage. 

^ Grilled tri tip and mashed potatoes in our family favorite peppery au poivre sauce, roasted green beans and asparagus.

^ Strawberry shortcake on fresh flaky biscuits from my mother-in-law's best recipe with Tillamook vanilla bean ice cream.

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We all ate until we could eat no more, and then sent Aqil off to Kuala Lumpur with a bag full of leftovers and a promise that we will treat him to another all-American dinner when he comes back to school in the fall. 

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For another story about my mother-in-law's amazing flaky biscuits, go here.

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More stories about my friend, Aqil:

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