My mom is visiting from California and she is one of the two women who have influenced my culinary life. France, my wife, is, of course, the other. The other day, after we’d been up at the mountain skiing all day, the three of us tag teamed a fantastic dinner: Lamb Chops with Minted Pesto with Mashed White Beans and Sweet Potatoes, and a Roasted Beet Spinach Salad.
Oh, the hardships of my life.
France came up with the idea for a minted pesto, which I’d never made before, and I was responsible for making it happen. A little of this and a little of that, toss it in the food processor, and bam, we had ourselves a delightful sauce to top off the lamb chops.
It’s a real treat being able to spend time with my mom since we live so far away from each other. She, and most of my family, live in San Diego. It’s a long ways from Vancouver Island and we don’t get to see each other nearly as often as I’d like. It’s even more special to be able to cook with her since I wasn’t much of a cook growing up. Whenever, we get to cook together, I feel like I’m getting to know a side of her that I never fully knew all those years.
That said, I have lots of fond memories of my mom cooking up something delicious in the kitchen. I can remember rocking out to the oldies station in the kitchen of our Oklahoma home (that’s where I’m originally from), while Mom cooked up an amazing meal, the smells making us all salivate.
It’s funny to think how much of our lives, the conversation, and connections with our families happen within the tiny space of a kitchen. There’s something special about the act of creating food and breaking bread together, whether you’re actively involved in the process or not, that allows us to connect with the ones we love in a uniquely freeing kind of way.
What are your favorite memories of cooking with those you love?
1 cup mint, packed
1/2 cup cilantro, packed
1/4 cup parsley, packed
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until it is well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve on lamb, grilled veggies and polenta or as a yummy sandwich spread. Leftover mint pesto could also be used instead of chimichurri to make this fabulous Roasted Cauliflower Sandwich.