About 10 years ago my in-laws bought a Prime Rib for Christmas dinner. No matter what meat is served, usually ham, we also do a meat-less lasagna since my sister-in-law Jennifer is a vegetarian
Anyway, I roasted the rib to rosy-pink perfection and served it with a Porcini au jus. It was magnificent. As we sat and ate - you know, one of those meals that are so good everyone stops talking (which for a large Italian family is quite a rarity) - I could see Jennifer starring at the prime rib as she ate her meat-less lasagna and meat-less salad.
All of a sudden she said, "Okay, cut me a slice, I have to try this." I waited a moment to see if she was kidding, but her bloodthirsty stare said "cut the meat, and cut it now." It was, and still is my proudest moment as a chef. Bringing a vegetarian back over from the dark side is usually one of those tall tales cooks tell over a post-service beer.
She had been a vegetarian since high school, and except for a little fish here and there, it had probably been five or six years since she had eaten meat. I sat in complete awe as she torn into that slice of beef, making all the right noises and smiling like only perfectly cooked meat can make you smile. It's a facial expression that no salad has ever produced.
I now refer to this as "the Christmas Miracle," and we reminisce about it every year. By the way, it's Jennifer's birthday today and I get her the same thing every year, a pot of lobster bisque that has become somewhat of a Christmas Eve ritual for the family. Happy birthday Jennifer!
And a very Merry Christmas to all of you from Michele and I! You've helped make 2008 a breakthrough year for Food Wishes, and I can't express how much I've appreciated the support and participation. I look forward to an even better 2009 and wish you all the same. Enjoy!
Peace and Love,
Photo (c) krisdecurtis