The Challenge: Day Twenty-Two

One of my cousins, whom I’ve not seen in 20 years or so, has been in town for about a week. Monday evening, we had her and her son over to join us for dinner. Yours truly had a PET scan scheduled in the afternoon, and it took quite a bit longer than it usually does, as they were backed up. And once things get backed up, the trickle down effect means that if your appointment is late in the day, you get the cumulative effect of the delay. I finally finished with that – and we should have the results by the end of the week – and tried to get to the bank before they closed to get a cashier’s check to send off for the small company we’ve just bought out. Didn’t work, as those bankers don’t keep the same kind of hours I do. So I took off to Publix to pick up a few things for dinner, as Costco is on the other side of town and I didn’t feel like fighting the rush hour traffic to pick up what I needed. As I usually do, I weighed in at Publix, sighed at the result, grabbed what I went in for, and headed home.

On the menu: seared, roasted chicken breasts with a creamy lime sauce, rice pilaf with shallots and parmesan, hearts of romaine with fresh grapefruit segments (courtesy of my sisters, who picked up a bag of grapefruit on their way back from Orlando on Sunday) and walnuts, and sliced fresh tomatoes (because it’s just that season around here).

The salad. Very good with a raspberry-walnut vinaigrette.

The chicken, which looks really white – this is a byproduct of being seared and then finished in the oven in some of the sauce. A couple of lime slices with it, as we’re citrus kind of people around here.

The table. There is nothing like tomatoes in season. In the small bowl is more of the sauce.

After dinner, cappuccino for three of us. I was tempted to put together a dessert, but everyone was full and I was still recovering from the lawn work on Sunday, so I skipped it.

This was almost a grocery store-only menu, which would be fairly typical for most families if for whatever reason there wasn’t time for doing the bulk shopping. Our breakdown for dinner, which includes leftovers:

Chicken (boneless, skinless breasts, 6): 12.32
Rice (including shallots and parmesan): 2.00
Tomatoes: 1.99
Salad: 1.50

Total for the meal: 17.81
Total per diner (5): 3.56

It was an enjoyable evening, I must say. It’s always nice to catch up with people you haven’t seen in what seems like forever and see what has or hasn’t changed in their lives. My cousin joined in on the advice train: you should open a restaurant, she said. Nice to have that kind of support from the people eating your cooking, I think.

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