Sunday Dinner Week #9: Ken takes over

After 8 weeks, I'm running out of ideas for Sunday dinner. Usually cooking is like writing for me. I'm constantly gathering inspiration from what's going on, I'm observing, reading, dreaming about what comes next. But this week, nothing inspired me, so this morning (Sunday), my husband decided to take over, look in the freezer, and take out the large, uncut sirloin for a prime rib type of roast. When he makes roasts, he tends to cook it less than he thinks he should, because he's always afraid that it will be over cooked, so the sirloin was PERFECT for me - medium at the ends, but bloody, soft and and juicy -- like butter! He paired it with roasted root veggies, stir fried squash and mushrooms, mini popovers and red wine au jus.

I used to work at a restaurant in Volcano when I was in high school, and besides peeling a lot of potatoes, I remember making popovers on Friday nights because Friday night was prime rib night, so for me it's a natural pairing. The best part of popovers are that they're simple (salt, milk, flour, eggs and a little bit of roast grease), and when they're in the oven, just before you take them out, they do that magical rise out of the muffin pans. They're almost hollow in the center, and a little chewy on the outside, with just the right hint of fat. The problem, though, with having a husband that cooks, is that there's another cook in the kitchen, and for us, we've always had small kitchens. It's like things are harmonious (to me) if I'm the boss in the kitchen, but if I'm the sous chef, or the dishwasher when Ken's in charge, the kitchen is so tiny, we're constantly banging into each other. We definitely have different energy when we cook, and we're almost incompatible. Ken has a frenetic energy that to me sucks up all the oxygen in the room. He's always on the brink of panic. He uses half the dishes in the cupboard just for prep. I think I'm more calm. I am a minimalist when it comes to prep, dishes and pots. If I don't have something, I do without or I substitute. On the other hand, he is more daring than I am. I tend to stick to recipes while he will venture off the beaten path. When I change something on a recipe (like my jello quests), I will only change one thing at a time. (This week I used yellow cake instead of lemon cake because, well, KTA didn't have any boxes of lemon cake).

So what did I actually do for this week's dinner? Make rice and an ugly, but tasty 7 Up jello cake. Ahi's girlfriend brought over some mini oreo/chocolate pudding cheesecakes made by her mom that were just yummy! I'll have to get the recipe for that, but it looks like a lot of work. In Japanese, that's called mendokusai, humbug - probably something Ken could do. It is a labor of love, and this is Labor Day weekend, but seriously, if I had to make a living with my desserts, we would be homeless. Want recipes? Let me know, I'll go ask the chef.


  1. In my own defense, I try to time things. So for the roast (rib eye not sirloin) I had to time it so while it rested, root veggies got done, the popovers were made and the sauteed veggies were cooked as well. In addition, I had to make the au jus with the pan drippings. With only one oven it was tough, but I thought it went well timing wise. but that means all kinds of pots and pans are going at the same time so that everything comes out at once.


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