My family is Irish and Belgian. That means I’m genetically predisposed to make
- making babies, and
- administering guilt
Setting aside items two and three for the moment, item #1 can get intense. I’ve told my last two significant others before meeting my parents that it will be homey, and intellectual debates are guaranteed, but that there will be alcohol involved. Despite this very fair warning, they still have expressed shock at the amount of alcohol consumed in a single evening at the TTENG house. I’m not trying to label my family as a bunch of alcoholics–having met and dated and worked with my fair share of (functioning) alcoholics, my family definitely does not fit the bill. They’re not even close. It’s just more like a modern-day episode of Mad Men [a comment I will make confidently as someone who never watched the show].
Imagine the following scenario: people come over for dinner, and being a good host/hostess, the first thing you offer them is a drink. It’s natural, after all, to start with a cocktail before dinner. You get caught up in conversation, or maybe there was some exciting basketball or football game people wanted to watch, and so the one cocktail turns into two or three as dinner gets pushed later and later. You finally proceed to the dining room, which means along the way you open a bottle of wine [assuming you did not open one earlier “to breathe” which was then consumed during the period of dinner postponement]. You all have a great meal and the conversations are still interesting. Then you exit the dining room to continue to talk (or maybe to start watching a basketball or football game or maybe to start streaming some documentary or movie that was mentioned during dinner conversation); by this time half of the participants are switching back to an “after dinner scotch” and the rest are in “prime wine time”. You wake up the next morning with at-worst the mildest of hangovers (because this wasn’t a kegger. This was like a 7-9 hour “nurse your drink”-athon.). But then reality kicks in: it’s Wednesday morning, and the recycling is VERY heavy.
And this is what happens. It’s completely harmless (when need be people stay the night!). People are usually to always in a fabulous mood. We talk constantly and about everything; sports, politics, books, opera, education, you name it. Everyone has a good time. This is what I remember as a child (modulo me also consuming alcohol and/or having a significant other); I have extremely fond memories of being a kid and sitting with the adults outside on the porch, listening to them argue while drinking wine and smoking (at least some of the family friends at the time did…funny how they’re not around anymore…). Now that I’m older I still love these evenings with my folks, and significant others, and close family friends. It’s probably my favorite part of coming home and I wouldn’t trade these nights for the world.
Having said that, when I return from a trip home, I frequently feel the need to “detox”. That was definitely the case over spring break. So, here’s what I made myself once I got back. This meal is extremely filling, and it keeps well–I ended up making about 8 roll ups with this recipe (which in turn ended up being approximately five meals). Enjoy!
PS: Mom–don’t worry. This is yet another example of a dish that’s also a meal. =)
CHICKEN AVOCADO WRAPS
- 3 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Two avocados
- Red onion
- Cheddar cheese, grated
- Hot sauce
- Make a marinade out of the honey, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken completely, and bake in a 350*F oven until done. (This took approximately 20-25 minutes in my oven. Flipped the chicken every 5.)
- While the chicken cooks, chop your red onion finely, and throw it in a bowl with smashed avocado.
- Add the chicken once it’s ready. Then the grated cheddar and a spoonful of yogurt.
- When you’re ready to eat, get out the tortillas, smear the mixture evenly across the entirety of the tortillas. Place a few dollops of hot sauce on.
- Roll tightly, slice, and eat.