The Look & Dinner

" Hey Mom, what's for dinner?" Nancy, sous chef #4 asked.

" Pork Roast, mashed potatoes, and roasted carrots." I decided to tell her instead of the normal gross you out kind of answer. That was a mistake.

" UGH!" Nancy said with the look. Anybody who knows Nancy knows the look. But since you don't know her, let me describe it for you. She has these huge dark brown eyes and well, she opens them up wider, sticks out her bottom lip, not to a full pout, but just enough to let you know she's not happy and then lowers her chin to her chest. Then looks up slightly and POW! gives you the look. I'm 33 and a mom to four kids and I don't have the stare or the look. She's only 9 and she already has it down pat!

" Nance, it'll be okay. Have I ever fed you bad food?"

" I don't like roast or carrots." Nancy said, still with the look. Can you tell she's the youngest?

" Tough, that's what we're having." I told her.

She kinda grunted/ sighed and went to go finish her homework. Whatever...

Roast Pork

one pork roast (3-5 pounds)

dijon mustard (approx. 1/4 cup)

1-2 garlic cloves finely chopped (add as much or as little garlic as you like)

rosemary (one good palm full chopped finely) fresh or dried

salt and pepper ( to taste)

Bring the roast up to room temperature and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rub the roast with the mustard, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Place on a rack, fat side up, in a roasting pan. 30 minutes per pound or 170 degrees on a meat thermometer. When the roast is done place on a warmed platter and cover with foil. Let it sit, because if you are anything at all like me you want to start carving right away. Now if you want to make a little pan gravy pour off the fat from the pan and add 1 cup of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Scrape up all goodies from the bottom of the pan. If you want it a little thicker, add a little flour mixed with water. Done.

Roasted Carrots

12 carrots ( or as many as it takes to feed your family)

olive oil

salt and pepper (to taste)

Peel and quarter carrots. Place them in a roasting dish with enough olive oil to coat the carrots. Add salt and pepper. Don't get fancy and add anything else. Well you could, but why would you? Set the carrots into the oven with the roast. They should finish at the same time the roast does. But keep an eye on them just the same.

Mashed Potatoes

I have talked about mashed potatoes before. Peel them, chop them, boil them, and rice them. Instead of adding all that heart-stopping cream and butter. Add 1/2 a cube of melted butter and 1/2 cup warmed half and half . Add some olive oil and salt and pepper. Very simple.

The smell of roasting pork came out of the kitchen about an hour into cooking. All of a sudden I have all sorts of kids in the kitchen wanting to help. Including Nancy.

" Mom, dinner smells goooood!"

" Is that so, Nancy?"

" Mmm, when is dinner going to be ready?"

" About an hour."

"Okay. Can I help?"

" Yeah, let's make the potatoes." I told her.

Later, I pulled out the roast and after waiting an eternity to carve it, I gave Nancy a little bit of the end piece. Instead of the look I got," Mom, that's really good."

" No kidding it's good. I cooked it."

" I still don't like the carrots, though." she said, walking away.

Ahhh, nine year olds. Aren't they wonderful?