Mother’s Day Feast

My oven is still broken. And my vehicle. And various other things that should be in working order, all of which my mom has heard me complain endlessly about. Sometimes when I call her, before I even say anything, she asks me “oh no, what happened now?!” because she is awesome like that, and also knows that things around me just happen to be constantly breaking. Anyway, my point is that she wasn’t expecting anything for Mother’s Day – I told her “But I have LOVE to give!” and was told in jest “Erin, I am sick of getting the same thing from you every Mother’s Day!” (okay, I won’t argue as she had a valid point.)

Anyway, when my boyfriend suggested we cook dinner for our moms, I thought it was a fabulous idea (putting to shame my gold glitter macaroni card I planned on making if I didn’t come up with something else – ha.) I mean, what better says “Thanks for putting up with our crap for almost 30 years” than a single home-cooked meal made from scratch? Not much.

We planned that Luke would make ricotta gnocchi from scratch and I would make the main course of veal picatta. Of course I have had beef before, but never veal, much less cooked it. As Mother’s Day neared, two additional guests were added – which meant that the total people would be SIX and not four. I got really nervous because I am used to cooking for just myself and Luke. More people means more food to cook which just means more to worry about overall, especially six disappointed people if the dinner didn’t turn out and we had to wind up ordering pizza. Eek!

Off to Luke’s mom’s we went. Did I mention I was also cooking in a foreign kitchen? Of course, it is 900 times nicer than my kitchen and had every utensil and gadget that may be needed, and what I can only assume is a professional kitchen grade stove to cook on, but not knowing where everything is can be tricky! I decided that the most important thing for this was impeccable preparation, measuring out everything and putting it into bowls, putting everything in order, and reading the recipe over and over and over so I didn’t have to keep running to the iPad. Usually Luke is around if I need to ask him a question, but I knew he would be busy making gnocchi, which of course is very tricky.

So as our moms and other guests were outside drinking wine and eating cheese, as well as undoubtedly talking about us as mothers tend to do, we were in the kitchen getting things started. It may have looked like a big mess, but we had everything under total control. It was so nice to actually have SPACE to put things, as opposed to my tiny kitchen that has like no flat surfaces.

We started cooking things up. In addition to the gnocchi and veal picatta, there was also a salad that Luke’s mom made. And Dave, one of the other guests, has a very specific way of making green beans so he made those.

Once I started cooking the veal, things actually went smoothly, as soon as I got the hang of them being cooked the right amount, doing it in a lot of batches so I didn’t crowd the pan up with meat, which I have read constantly on other blogs is bad because it winds up cooking the meat differently, or something like that. Maybe I don’t know exactly why, but I know I have read that time and time again as far as meat goes. Once the meat was cooked and set aside I made the sauce with white wine, capers (yum), butter, chicken stock, salt, and lots of parsley. I couldn’t wait to eat and see if everyone liked the dinner!

Finally, all was said and done. Luke and I did an awesome job at finishing right at the same time, the table was set and it was time to go.

Veal picatta.  Looks pretty good, right?! And it was!!  Everyone loved it, or so they said. Being that people were going back for seconds, I figured they weren’t just saying that to play nice.

Ricotta gnocchi – as my mom said, she’ll never be able to go back to store-bought gnocchi again! *sigh* I spoil her…

Delicious salad with mandarin oranges, crasins and walnuts and cheese.

Here’s a photo of the whole spread. It was all delicious and hopefully I gave my mom a Mother’s Day to remember! There is nothing at all different I would have changed in the veal recipe (I followed Emeril Lagasse’s).

So all in all… I declare Mother’s Day (and me cooking main course for six people) a smashing success! We followed up with delicious chocolate cheesecake from my absolute favorite bakery in Western New York, The Village Bake Shoppe in Lewiston.

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