Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dinner with the advisor

My mother decided that it would be a good idea for Ken and I to meet her financial advisor. She wants us to be in the loop so that we can give her second opinion on money matters. Past experience has left her almost phobic with regard to any type of investment. So she invited us over to share a dinner.

The advisor is an Israeli woman in her early 60's. She's not an orthodox Jew, but observant enough to keep strictly kosher, which results in a lot of dietary restrictions. One of the rules of kosher meat is that it may not have any blood on or in it, so don't expect your Jewish pals to order their steak rare.

At 7:00 pm sharp, my mom grunted as she heaved a roasting pan out of the oven. It contained a roast beef as big around as an ancient redwood trunk. She said, "I hope this is done! The butcher told me not to leave it in for more than two and a half hours or it would get tough."

I eyeballed the enormous roast. I'm no chef, but even a single chicken breast takes an hour to bake through at 350 degrees. There's no way that roast could be well done in two and a half. But I didn't say anything. Too late now, anyway.

My mom asked Ken to carve the meat while she put the finishing touches on some side dishes. Meanwhile, I sat at the table with our guest, making conversation. Later my mom told me what I'd missed back in the kitchen.

Ken cut into the roast, which was, of course, almost raw in the middle. My mom held her face in her hands and panicked. They had a quick, whispered strategy session. It was decided that Ken would carve the roast in concentric layers, like peeling an onion, rather than slicing the roast all the way through. That way the most cooked meat could be served and the rest would be sent back into the oven to finish the job.

Ken cut enough meat to fill the smallest serving platter in the kitchen. Even after his best efforts, much of the meat on the plate was quite rare. They set to dabbing at it with paper towels to blot up any traces of pinkish juice. Apparently by this time my mom was having giggling fits.

Finally the platter was brought out to the dining room. There were only two pieces of meat that were well done in any sense of the phrase, and these were the two very ends of the roast. I helped myself to pinkish meat, which I wouldn't ordinarily choose, in case our guest decided that she wanted to go back for seconds. In the end, the crisis was averted.

After my mom told me this story as I was washing the dishes, I asked her what possessed her to get such a big roast for just the four of us. "So that you could take home the leftovers!" she said, like, why else? My mom likes to feed me. Apparently I need several pounds of roast beef to get me through next week. Hey, I'm not complaining. I'm lucky to have my mom looking after me like she does.

So, does anyone want to come over for roast beef sandwiches? I have fancy mustard!


Warped Mind of Ron said...

I'm so there!! I loves me some roast Beast and fancy mustard. You guys have a financial advisor that comes over and has dinner with you? My advisor will only give me a pen and tell me to go away.

whatigotsofar said...

That's the same way my mother treats my brother. He visits my mom once a week for dinner. At which point she hands him all the food shopping she did just for him. Keeping in mind she already bought him a Costco membership. An engaged man living on his own with no kids doesn't need a Costco membership. One visit for him will supply him with a years worth of cookies. After dinner, she packs everything up (leftovers and such from this meal and other meals) so he has food for the week.

Leighann said...

I love your mom!

Anonymous said...

You should have a vampire fly into the kitchen and drain the roast that way.

Sparkling Red said...

Ron: The advisor lives two blocks away from my mom, so they do the neighbour/friendly thing as well as the professional relationship. She didn't bring us any pens. She brought a fancy, hand-braided egg bread, but it wasn't branded with her company's name. Clearly she needs to work on her promotional strategies.

Whatigotsofar: My mom would totally go that far, if she thought that I would accept it. Up until a few years ago I would always leave her house with several shopping bags full of groceries. Then my mom overheard me smart-mouthing to my aunt about how it was like going to the food bank, and I think her feelings were hurt. :-( I am a bad daughter. My punishment is now I only get one bag of groceries per visit.

Leighann: Me too. :-)

Unsigned: That would have been perfect!

Karen said...

Can you freeze some of that meat? My grandma does the same thing. For Sunday dinner (which we must eat at noon???) she cooks 2 pounds of pasta and 3 pounds of meatballs and sausage. There were only 3 of us there to eat. So I got more leftovers than one could imagine. I sent to my neigbor, but I thought about freezing it.

jameil1922 said...

I'm on my way!! I need a financial advisor, too!! my mom is a feeder. i need to get closer to her!!

San said...

Red, I could go for a roast beef sandwich right about now. Bring on the fancy mustard.

I'm impressed that Ken was able to carve a roast in concentric circles. That must take focus.

Your mom sounds so sweet!

Sparkling Red said...

Karen: I could freeze it, but then it would probably sit forgotten, in my freezer, until it fossilized.

Jameil: It is wonderful to be fed. :-)

San: Ken is handy in the kitchen - much more so than I. I would have given up on the roast and ordered Swiss Chalet. ;-)

Tink said...

That's some quick thinking! I live with Hoop, the food-poison-phobic. He actually inspects everything before he eats it and usually asks, "Is this OK?" at least three times. Which is kind of annoying when you were the one who cooked the food. Sometimes I've had to strategically give him the more done pieces of meat so he doesn't freak out. :P

Aurora said...

It was definitely sensible to carve concentrically! And since you're taking home the leftovers, it's probably good it wasn't all dried to bits. Yum! I can haz roast beef?

Jenski said...

I can just imagine your mom and Ken in the kitchen trying to keep the laughter down! Good save on their part. Enjoy your leftovers.

ConverseMomma said...

I'm a veggie, so I'll pass on this one. But, please put me down as RSVPing yes if Tofu is ever in the house.

Sparkling Red said...

Tink: I have the perfect gift idea for Hoop's next birthday: a meat probe. You stick it into the meat and it tells you the internal temperature. I probe everything at home. Although if I go to someone else's home I'll eat whatever they put in front of me. I've even eaten undercooked chicken and lived to tell the tale (didn't get sick- phew!)

Aurora: As it happened, my mom put the core of the roast back in the oven... and forgot about it. She remembered with a start at the very end of the evening, and thought she must have turned it into a log of charcoal. But of course it was fine.

Jenski: Yeah, I'm kind of jealous that I was stuck in the dining room making serious conversation while they were up to shenanigans in the kitchen. :-)

Conversemomma: I love tofu. I think we should make tofu next time - then we won't have any worries about the kosher issue.

Keera Ann Fox said...

Ken is a very smart man. Which also means you are a very smart woman.

And yes, thank you, I'd love some roast beef.

Nilsa S. said...

That story is hilarious! Especially because I'm working with an intern who keeps kosher. And I, being the very bad Jew, have learned so much from him in just a few weeks time!

Sparkling Red said...

Keera: Thanks! :-)

Nilsa: I hear you. I've learned more Yiddish from Ken than I ever knew, after he worked for a Jewish boss for a few years. Ken's not Jewish, but he's a better Jew than me! ;-)