What does a WASP mom cook for Sunday dinner?

A nice roast, potatoes, and a vegetable.*

This week’s dinner: Melt in your mouth meat™, sweet potatoes, peas, and flaky, buttery dinner rolls.

The meat is an old favorite: Take a fresh brisket, place in a 9×13 pan, pour a can of french onion soup over top of it, cover tightly with foil, bake for several hours at ~200-250F. To serve, slice across the grain. You’ll need a very sharp knife; I get the best results when the meat rests for 15 min or so after coming out of the oven. Pour the juice into a bowl for dipping. It’s quite salty; I don’t know if Campbell’s makes a low sodium version, nor if it would be as good.

I’ve never cooked sweet potatoes before, so I vamped on this one. I got one huge potato, peeled it, and cut into 1″ cubes. Mix 3T melted butter with 1T brown sugar; pour over cubes, toss to coat. Put into the oven with the roast for a couple of hours.

The rolls were a new recipe I got by email yesterday, from Cooking.com. I didn’t get the timing quite right, so they rose a bit less than they should have; but they were buttery and delicious. Fairly easy, too. I didn’t spray the tops with cooking spray (yuck!) but brushed them with a bit more melted butter. The results were quite stunning.

Paul loved the meal – “Shouldn’t we feel guilty for having a holiday meal tonight?” I think that’s the point of cooking: celebrating regularly, through food, the people and relationships we’re thankful for.

* My brother and I used to tell this joke to my mom, then break into hysterical laughter when she didn’t get it. I think we were always laughing too hard to explain it to her; but the joke was more about tradition, and sibling sharing, than an actual joke. The point is that people think other cultures are funny, or odd, but never see that their own is viewed that way by outsiders.


  1. Mom
    November 6, 2006 14:21

    Aha! Now I get it. Used to drive me crazy when you two would laugh so hard you couldn’t talk. Celebrating regularly through food, the people and relationships we’re thankful for sounds a bit like the Slow Food movement. Never realized until recently how important it all is, recognizing cultural heritage as well.

  2. Uncle Pete
    November 6, 2006 23:25

    SlowFood USA website is http://www.slowfoodusa.com/

    You’re right, it’s about celebrating regularly through food, the people and relationships we’re thankful for.

    Like apple pie, with apples piled so high, the crust touches the ceiling!

    And spaghetti and meatballs. Or without sauce, just butter and salt. And meatballs on the side. Mmmmmm.

    I’m thankful for my family: Betty, Corrie, my two favorite sisters and all their children and grandchildren.

  3. Denise
    November 12, 2006 16:51

    Those rolls sure do look good. I’ll have to try that recipe.