When one thinks of an 11 year old female, one, often, does not think, “old soul.” I find myself thinking that often, especially when she requested a weekend with “Grandma and Grandpa.” “Can we have a, sort of, special Thanksgiving dinner with just the three of us?” Of course I answered, “yes.” It was the following that surprised me. I suppose I was thinking a traditional U. S. American Thanksgiving meal with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and pumpkin pie! So, I asked “Sammy” about her preferred menu. “Let’s have grilled beef steak, fried potatoes and asparagus. Also, I want root beer floats for dessert!” That’s easy!
We just had one full Saturday with her, so we wanted to make it special. We began the day with her requested breakfast of Honey Combs breakfast cereal. I checked the ingredients. Because of the name of the cereal, the consumer is led to believe that it has honey. The product lists its ingredients as: corn flour, sugar, whole grain oat flour, modified cornstarch, corn syrup, honey, salt, turmeric (color), wheat starch. We were feeling indulgent, so we allowed her to have this allegedly healthy breakfast food.
After breakfast, we made our way to thrift stores (her old soul showing) and the mall (her pre-teen soul showing). We followed that with lunch at an Asian themed fast food place having to do with a panda. We knew we’d have a healthful dinner, so we moved forward. Here she is by a colorful mural on a wall downtown. Getting both her face and that of the mural’s subject meant that I had to sacrifice a close-up.
She actually tired of the activity, so we went home for a relatively quiet afternoon to prepare for our feast.
Grilled Rib-eye Steaks
Fried potatoes (we mixed bintje and red gold potatoes, thinly sliced)
Sparkling apple juice (instead of wine since the guest of honor is 11 years old)
Root Beer Floats
Grandpas purchased the steaks at a specialty meat shop. He patted them dry and applied salt and pepper before landing them on the grill.
I sliced the potatoes (with skins) thinly and allowed them to sit in very hot water for 10 minutes. I patted the tubers dry before adding them to hot sunflower oil. Salt and pepper were applied along with a lid in order for the potatoes to steam for five to eight minutes. I removed the lid after eight minutes to allow the potatoes to brown. Once the potatoes began to brown, I added two pats of butter, which aided further in the even browning. By the way, I fried the potatoes in a carbon steel wok, which aids in easy stirring.
The asparagus were simply steamed with added butter and salt toward the end of cooking time.
Here we are:
Here’s the happy menu planner, ready to tear into her special meal.
Now, the root beer float has been a topic of discussion and debate. Do you add the ice cream first or the root beer? When you put the ice cream in the glass first, adding the root beer causes a great foaming! Grandpa insisted that we pour the root beer in the tall glasses, first! Then we added the ice cream. It worked! No foaming! Let me know your thoughts on this. No matter, they were wonderfully creamy and delicious with the soda’s hint of allspice, ginger, sarsaparilla, dandelion root, and vanilla bean. It foamed, but the foam never ran over the sides of the glass. A great treat!
By the way, the lovely dandelion, the featured image, was taken by Sammy while playing on her uncle’s farm. She has a great eye for taking pictures.
Thank you for reading.