Having learned to cook from my mother, it felt a little like bringing coals to Newcastle. Cranky and I had packed three partially prepared meals to freeze and lug down south in a cooler, with the intention of finishing up some quick dinners in my mom and dad's kitchen (which doesn't get used much these days).
I really sweated. Was I being impertinent? Would we offend my folks by splattering up their nice, clean kitchen? Would this food even survive the road trip and become anything presentable, much less edible?
Well, I think we did the right thing. The sausages rewarmed nicely and made good sandwiches. The grilled steak turned into a yummy beef stroganoff (with the help of the paprika that we remembered to pack). Luckily we had been taught by a butcher how to freeze cooked pork tenderloin: slice it first.
The tender little pork slices got the gentlest warming in the microwave and were delicious with a drizzle of what I thought was a rather daring, modern relish: blueberries with cabernet vinegar and (here's the brilliant part, according to me, who thought it up) black pepper.
While we were visiting, I happened to pick up a copy of this month's Sunset magazine. I appreciated its redesign (I don't look at Sunset often, but I think the return to the retro logo is recent.) I appreciated the work of the magazine's young new editor. I noticed all the old-school writers and editors seemed to have moved on, taking their frumpy Home-Ec sensibilities with them. But it was still dear, century-old Sunset: predictable and safe.
And then I noticed the recipe for Blueberries in black-pepper Syrah Syrup.
Anyway, mom and dad thought it was good.