We planned a relaxing Easter brunch at J’s Restaurant at the Bolton Winery so that I could have a break from cooking a big meal and try to shake the winter blues (yes, it’s still freezing here). I must have some sort of guilt thing going because rather than just take it easy I decided I just had to make a major stuffed roast chicken with half a dozen sides on Saturday night. It might have gone well since I’d prepped almost everything early in the day but after setting the oven temp and putting the chicken inside, I forgot one thing – actually turning the oven ON. Now there’s not much you can do with a 7 lb. bird when you realize your mistake 2 hours later and the dinner planned for 7:30 pm turned into a 9:30/10:00-ish event with me just trying to keep my eyes open. If I had been thinking, I should have taken the stuffing out of the bird and cooked that in foil to speed things up, but alas I did not think of that. I also forgot to embarrass Niki with an old flashback to when she was 5 years old. So I’ll do it now…
I was in the kitchen when Niki came racing in, back from church with my husband.
“Mom! Mom! MOM!!! Did you hear what they did to Jesus Christ?”
Whoa, this sounded like breaking news. Not sure where she was going with this and was expecting something had happened at Mass, I let her go on…
“Well they hung him on a cross!”
Okay, I already knew that so all I could say was something like, yes that was a really horrible painful way to die.
Mom, that’s not the worst…they made him carry his cross.”
Oookay…still not sure where this is going but I could tell I was missing the point in this conversation.
“MOM! The cross was made out of WOOD – like my swingset – I’ll bet he got splinters. Now those things really hurt!”
Ah, finally I get the picture and I guess what it comes down to is we can only truly relate to what our own experiences are, especially when you’re only five.
But back to our Saturday dinner, everything did come out fine, especially these cheesy baked vegetables which I had prepped well ahead of time. I used a large zucchini and two medium sweet potatoes but any type of potato or squash would work.
It’s so easy to make and you can have it all prepped ahead of time, ready to pop in the oven for about 20-30 minutes at 375°.
– Dice a medium white onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Saute onion in butter until translucent – add the garlic at the end so as not to burn. Spread onion/garlic mixture in the bottom of a small pan (depends on the amount of vegetables you’re making).
– Slice the zucchini and sweet potato, about 1/4″ thick then arrange in layers in the pan, dotting the top with bits of butter. Bake until vegetables are just softened, then sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese. Put back into the oven for a few minutes until cheese has melted.