David drove down from Kamloops on Monday. The purpose of the trip was to introduce us to his new girlfriend. She was very nice, and the visit went well. But I do have to say, it can be an awkward thing, this "meeting of the boyfriend/girlfriend" for the the first time.
As the parent of five adult children I should be better at this than I am. I certainly have enough experience. The problem for me is never knowing if this is The One. There is the occasional dud. The one you hope doesn't end up in your family Christmas photos. And there is the opposite danger, which is that you might really like them, but your child decides they no longer do.
I met Jay's parents over Christmas break back in 1978. I remember having butterflies in my stomach as I boarded the CP Air flight from Spokane to Vancouver. This was back in the days when you were treated like a human being when you flew. The meal was served on real plates and the cutlery wasn't plastic. Those days are long gone, as is CP Air, but the memory of what it was like to travel back then lingers. Sort of like the smell of the cigarettes people were allowed to smoke on board back then, but in a better way.
Overall, things went well at that First Meeting. I was teased about my American accent. I was a good sport about it, even though I distinctly remember thinking they were the ones who had the accent. There was the Sunday roast dinner incident, which I think I've blogged about before, so forgive me if I'm repeating myself.
Jay's dad was from strong English stock. I was an American farm girl. When these two extremes sit down for a Sunday dinner there are bound to be a few differences. Jay's dad sat at the head of the table, carving knife in hand. The roast was placed in front of him, and it was oozing blood. He started carving pieces, and as he moved them over to the plates I realized they were so thin they were almost transparent. Then, after he had finished, he took a piece of bread and soaked up the blood, then ate it. I still shudder at the thought.
The next big moment happened when I asked for Ketchup. I just assumed someone had forgot to put it on the table. All I can say is I hope I had managed to hide the horror I felt over that blood/bread thing way better than Jay's dad did over me asking for Ketchup.
My final disgrace was in actually eating the roast. Of course, everyone was eating their roast. When I say I was eating mine, I mean I was digging in and consuming it with gusto. Proper English bites weren't on my radar. At one point Jay's dad commented in surprise, "And she's so little, too."
Contrast this with a typical Sunday roast on the farm. My mom would cut the well done roast in big hunks and set the platter on the table. Everyone would dig in, taking as much as they wanted. The Ketchup was front and centre for anyone who wanted it. In under fifteen minutes my brothers and I would have polished off the platter of beef and be onto dessert.
For now I will refrain from naming the girl or posting any pictures from Monday's visit. If this isn't The One I hate to leave an online record that the actual One could someday run across. Instead, I'll share the recipe for the dessert I served when they were here. It is out of the May 2014 issue of Canadian Living.
Orange Almond Flourless Snacking Cake
6 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups ground almonds
1 ½ tsp. baking powder (the recipe doesn't call for this, but it needs it)
2 tbsp. orange juice
Grease 9-inch springform pan; line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl and using a hand mixer beat together egg yolks, sugar, orange zest, vanilla and cinnamon until butter-coloured and thick enough to form long ribbons that hold their shape for two seconds when beaters are lifted, about five minutes. (I ignored this and just mixed it until it looked right.) Fold in almonds and orange juice.
In separate bowl beat egg whites unit stiff peaks form. Stir ¼ of the whites into egg yolk mixture until combined. Fold in remaining egg whites. Scrape into prepared pan.
The recipe in the magazine said to bake at 350 F for 35 minutes. I baked mine at 325 F for about 50 minutes and it was perfect. Run a knife around edge as soon as you remove it from the oven, then let it sit for 10 minutes before removing the outer springform pan. The recipe calls for dusting it with icing sugar. I opted for whipped cream instead. No surprise there.
How about you? Have you had any awkward first meetings?