Best meal ever

Last night, like most nights, I made my son dinner. At 11, he’s one of the most active people I know. He cycles to school and plays outdoors after school doing all the stuff that marks a suburban childhood: skateboarding, shooting hoops and chasing friends around playing tag.

I’d eaten my fill at the test kitchen during the day so I threw something quick together for Oliver: a three egg omelet with ham, cheddar and red onion, a green salad and some leftover boiled new potatoes that I seasoned with lots of sea salt and pepper and pan-fried. It took about 5 minutes to make this meal.

O came to the table and gobbled the entire meal down with few pauses for sips of water or conversation. After he finished his plate of food he professed this dinner one of the best meals I’d ever prepared. I laughed, since really, this was hardly cooking on a grand scale. But he insisted that he had never eaten anything as delicious. In fact, he requested that I make a duplicate omelet for breakfast today (I obliged, by the way).

His exuberance reminded me how long it has been since I was truly hungry from an active day outdoors. Usually when I’m very hungry it’s because it has just been a long time between meals; that kind of hunger, although urgent, is different from activity-based hunger. It tends to make me bitchy and picky. Activity based hunger is more open and accepting. It’s grateful for any effort at all.

My mom made (and still does make) the best mashed potatoes ever. They are fluffy and light, salted and buttered perfectly. They’re the perfect little starchy cloud to cradle dark, beefy, homemade gravy. Although I still love and crave them, they never tasted as good as when I came in from running around the neighbourhood to find them waiting for me.

Do you remember how great food tasted when you were a kid? What did you love to find on your family’s dinner table?


8 Responses to Best meal ever

  1. Martin says:

    The best thing my mom used to make when I was a kid was Dutch Apple Pie. She made lots of other good things, but that pie was always the centrepiece of any special family meal.

  2. C.Broughton says:

    Activity based hunger…..the answer to why I run!! Kind of like guilt free eating……… interesting thing is anything over 15K I have to force myself to replenish. Chocolate protein shake with frozen berries does the trick. As far as my childhood food memories: my dad forcing me to eat caviar in Russia when I was eight……I’d take 15K and a protein shake anyday 😉
    I love your blogs….read them almost everyday:)

  3. Kristen says:

    That omelet looks great!

  4. danamccauley says:

    Hey Ms. Broughton – thanks for dropping by! I hope all is well chez nous. Drop me an email to let me know your address, phone number etc…

    Kristen, thanks. I have a way with eggs.

  5. Jamie says:

    That is such a cute story! And the omelet does look very very good by the way. One thing I remember eating as a child and being so excited about it was my grandmother’s homemade macaroni and cheese. Then for dessert she would make homemade chocolate pudding that would form that skin layer on the top that my brother and I would fight over. Every time we would stay with her, that was what she would make us. Thanks for suggesting the walk down memory lane 🙂

  6. danamccauley says:

    Your grandmother sounds like my kind of lady! It’s funny how the skin on pudding is so polarizing. People either find it the best part or the worst!

  7. adrian says:

    My Mum’s apple and blackberry pie: I’d run around a soccer field all afternoon, pick the berries from the bushes on the way home, drop them off, take the dog for a (long) walk and have a slice of pie when I got home. Best. Dessert. Ever.

  8. Muaz says:

    and how to make a meal like this one?

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