Tonight, at 6:30, ALL of my kids were at the table before dinner was even ready. A feat never before accomplished. At least not without horse tranquilizers and tasers. I had to blink. I had to look twice, no, three times. I pinched myself. They were all sitting there chatting, laughing, smiling like they actually had some semblance of affection for each other. There is just something about the image of eight kids, all sitting at the table, actually getting along that makes you think its time to see the eye doctor. Or a neurologist…

Not one argument over who sat where, no elbow jabs, no “who farted?” (well, not immediately anyway) and it was all because of a piece of meat.  At 4pm, I took the raw roast and covered it in what Charlie called “green vomit”. “Just smell it Charlie” I said.….ooooooo! ahhhhhhh! yes…. thats it… thats the same sound TylerLee made when she came home from school at 2:30 and smelled it. The same noise Christie, TJs girlfriend made when she smelled it. That is the universal sound that one makes after smelling the combination of salt, rosemary, garlic, peppercorns, parsley and olive oil.

And despite its fetid, green and black lumpy look, the layers of flavor and aroma trapped inside had an almost Zen-like affect on my children when I started cooking it.

The ingredients are SO simple that if you don’t have them at home they are all easily found at your local grocery store.

 

Considering the fact  that I have to cook Because I cook in bulk, the size of the roast and the amounts of the ingredients you will need will VASTLY change for anyone making this for a normal sized family. I made sure to make a conversion chart for you all! Note that YOU are all NORMAL… Us..not so much….

Simply take all the ingredients (but the roast, duh…) and put them in the blender until it becomes a paste. Some of the peppercorns will still be whole. ( I do NOT recommend allowing teen brothers to dare younger brothers to eat the whole peppercorns at dinner, this does not end well. I promise you.) Add extra olive oil if needed to make the mixture wet enough.

I made the paste using the food processor in the a.m. and put it in a  bowl in the fridge.

HINT: fresh, crusty bread dipped in this is not against the rules. Keep in mind,double dipping will get you verbally disemboweled by TylerLee if she catches you.

Take the paste and the roast out of the fridge prior to cooking and allow them to become room temperature first

HOW TO COOK YOUR MEAT:

Sorry kids, we eat our meat rare so that is the only weight of meat vs. time in the oven that I can confirm its accuracy from personal experience. If you MUST ::sigh:: add 5mins per pound for medium. And ::dry heaves:: 10mins more per pound for well.(gharosssssss!)

 The roast will raise about another 5 degrees while standing. No, it doesnt really stand. It actually settles, and gets all nummy and juicy, and because, as my kids will tell you, I’m nerd and a geek who loves to learn weird crap, I will tell you WHY we let our meat stand before we serve it…

Heat causes proteins to set. Meat = protein. Cooking = heat. The setting proteins shove all the juices to the center of the meat. We have all seen Gordon Ramsey poke at his meat on tv. (gosh that sounds terribly inappropraite, hehe) But what he is doing is testing the “doneness” The firmer, the more done, the squishier, the rarer. The “standing” or “setting” once out of the oven allows the juices that were all pushed to the center, time migrate BACK to the rest of the meat. The result, juicier, flavorful, more tender meat.

If anyone tries to serve you meat that has been cut before it has had time to “stand”, stand up and tell them, in a British accent like Gordons “YOU FAT DONKEY! I WONT bleeping EAT THAT bleeping SWILL!” Then duck, because you will probably get hit.

But whatever you do, dont eat it. I will know. And I will find you. And I will bring all 8 kids and 9 dogs with me.

While the roast, slathered in the green paste of angels wings and babies wishes cooks in the oven, throw in some nice big baking taters. Scrub them good so you can eat the skins. “All the vitamins are in the skins!” Who knew, my mom was right! Much to my chagrin I had to cook 15lbs of potatoes. That is 20 big baking potatoes to be exact. Since my first born has decided to break my heart and turn from all things meat, I am forced try my best to meet my lawful obligation of providing him with sustenance with things like mushroom, potatoes, beans and pasta. But even Mr. Vegetarian (not Vegan, he cant go hard core, just yet…) was under the spell of the great green roast.

Dont let anyone tell you otherwise… but that roast… is STANDING!

 Before I even took one bite, half the roast was already gone, the kids were already asking for seconds and thirds.

 My pickiest eaters ate till they thought they were going to pop and all I kept hearing was “OMG, Mom! This is sooooo good!”

As I sat at the table, watching them pass plates around, dishes clattering, voices muffled with mouthfuls of roast beef, broccoli and baked potatoes I remember THIS is why Joe and I wanted to have a big family. Dinners just like this. Good ole’ family sit-down dinners that seem to have faded into obscurity in the last few decades.

    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dinner is a big thing for us. My kids love a night of chicken nuggets and french fries just as much as the next kid, but we tend to be a little more old fashioned around here. Dinner is (usually) every night at 6pm. My kids believe in three things on their plate. A protein, a vegetable and a starch and are adamant that corn “just can’t be” a starch because they go SO well with mashed potatoes! Who has a 13 year old daughter that ASKS for meatloaf? I DO!  And as I was cooking in our tiny kitchen, all 8 kids were jammed in there with me listening to music, drawing on the new chalk board, peeking in the oven and talking about school, sports and life in general. I couldn’t wait for Joe to get home and enjoy the atmosphere with me. The experts are right when they say that family dinners really bring people together and keep parents in touch with their kids… works pretty damn well for us.

 Pick a family favorite, cook it together,

sit around the table and enjoy each other.

You know my motto:

live, love and laugh…abundantly!

And don’t forget, no table setting is complete without a clear glass bowl full of miniature skull heads and hands!

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