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O-Caramba (aye caramba!)

As latch-key kids, my sister and I had plenty of time to come up with all sorts of ways to occupy our afternoons once the school bus dropped us off.  Sometimes it was tuning the rabbit ears just so on the TV so we could pick up NBC and watch Days of Our Lives (we were SUCH rebels, but we were still sure to turn the TV off at least 30 minutes before my folks were due home to give the TV time to cool off).  Sometimes, however, we would turn our house into a restaurant for our parents.  On occasion, we would even put a sign outside saying, “no dress, no tie, no service” and we would expect our parents to go upstairs and get dressed for dinner before coming down to dine at our restaurant.  Our menus and protocols got more and more complicated.  Funnily enough, we were usually out of most of the things on the menu and would only have one dish left for them to order (which, coincidentally was typically made by stauffers AND the most expensive thing on the menu). My parents were such good sports and those restaurant nights remain one of my most fond childhood memories.

Anyway, I guess I musst have talked about it once or twice (or a thousand times) to the boys when reminiscing about my childhood because they announced earlier this week that they wanted to do “restaurant night” and wrote up the preliminary menu I shared a few days ago.

With a little luck, I was able to sway the final menu a little more in the direction of what we had on hand that night, but I gave them carte blanche to decide the name of the restaurant (O-Caramba) &  the menu format.  They decided that the younger would be the chef, the elder the server, and that we would not be allowed in the kitchen at all (once we finished preparing all the dishes for them).  The sat us at the table outside, took our orders, served out the food, poured some wine (violating a few Alcoholic Beverage Control laws, I know), and explained the meal to us.  It was darling, delicious, and no doubt the first of many, many restaurant nights in my hubby and my futures.

Only problem was that the bill was quite hefty and my hubby and I didn’t have enough cash to cover it, so we had to do the dishes at the end of the night.



(That’s a gluten free rice & quinoa pasta I found at Berkeley Bowl.  It has a very nice mouth feel.  Hooray!)