There are some holidays that I don’t get too worked up about; stuff like Labor Day just doesn’t really get me going. Amos, though, takes holiday apathy to a-WHOLE-nother level. That guy, if he had his way, would not celebrate anything from President’s Day to Christmas. It particularly bothers him, he says, when presents are expected. He’d rather give and receive gifts on the fly, not dictated by the day on the calendar. I get it, I truly do, but now that we have kids, and especially one old enough to realize what all this stuff means, we’ve made sure to celebrate every birthday and holiday in some way. With the small, notable exception of Mother’s Day. He didn’t acknowledge that at all beyond saying, “Happy Mother’s Day” in the morning. I get that’s his thing, but I was totally let down. Plus, it turned out to be one of those awful parenting days where everyone is crying, running away in public, not napping, and just being irritable.
Because Father’s Day comes after Mother’s Day, I thought briefly (ok, maybe for longer than I’d like to admit) about wreaking some kind of karmic vengeance for the screamy holiday I had. But really, I thought I would use this as an opportunity to show Amos how we can exploit these kinds of holidays to do the fun stuff that we really like but don’t do that often. Soooooo, I planned a fancy antipasto dinner for Amos (really for all of us). As a gift, I bought him a natural foods cookbook (used, $5 with shipping, and totally rocking) and helped Hazel make him a shirt that reads, “Hazel Loves Daddy.” She also made a tank top for herself and a onesie for Julia.
We had SUCH a lovely time! This antipasto was one of the funnest meals we have ever had. Because it was for our dinner rather than an appetizer, I made sure to have a couple choices for each of the basic antipasto elements. Here’s a rundown of the menu –
Fruit: heirloom tomatoes, cantaloupe, and cherries (all served at room temp, thankyouverymuch)
Meat: speck, an aged soppressata, and anchovy fillets
Veg: roasted cauliflower, asparagus, a roasted pepper salad, and artichoke hearts tossed with sundried tomatoes and fresh thyme
Cheese: Shropshire blue, a young manchego, and a 2-year-old aged gouda
It was just lovely. Nothing was really difficult to put together, either. In fact, most of the food just needed to be basic prepped, like slicing the melon. The veg I just roasted in the broiler with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and the roasted pepper salad that actually required a recipe was just mincing a bunch of delicious stuff up together. We toasted with prosecco, which I thought was an excellent palate cleanser for this type of meal. Hazel went nuts (check out this hilarious video of her, plus my first attempt at subtitles for her!), probably because she got to stay up a whole hour and a half past her normal bedtime. It was one of the best nights we’ve had together as a family, and I just love that I got to be a part of it with those lovely people that make up my family.