Noted. Mom was probably referring to the duck fiasco of Spring 2011. I WON’T revisit the details, but WILL say it ended in tears. So for this more recent get together, I picked things I’ve made lots of times with good to great results: a green salad with a shallot and walnut oil vinaigrette to start, followed by cod steamed over lemony braised vegetables, crispy thyme-flecked potatoes on the side, a bottle of Riesling. Cookies, dates, Cara Cara oranges and tea for dessert. I can do this menu in my sleep.
But apparently not awake! The roast potatoes were too crisp (another way of saying burnt), the braised fennel and leek too soft, and the tea I made with dessert was too strong. Three mistakes in one meal? Total and utter humiliation.
Maybe it’s just bad luck. We’ll go with that. In any case, my mom and step dad were gracious and chatty, and unlike the last time I cooked for them, we came away from the experience unscathed.