Sunday, September 13, 2009

Citrus Cornish Hens with Baby Vegetables and Baby Mashed Potatoes

Before I was even able to confirm my pregnancy, I started to research ways that I could tell my husband we were expecting. I just didn’t want to tear out of the bathroom with a pregnancy test in hand. I wanted to surprise him.

I remembered an episode of "Full House" when Rebecca told Uncle Jesse they were having a baby. She made him dinner with ‘baby’ everything. Baby vegetables…(and I think baby potatoes and something else I don’t quite remember. Give me a break I was like 7 and didn’t pick up on ALL the details!). So after browsing the net for awhile, I settled on making a meal with mini cornish hens, baby potatoes, and baby vegetables. And if that didn’t spark any interest, I had a backup plan. (A pregnancy test shoved into a gift bag).

So after 3 negative pregnancy tests over the duration of two weeks, I knew something was not quite right. I knew I was. Certainly I wasn’t crazy. So early one morning while my husband was in the shower getting ready for work, I locked myself in the guest bath. Two minutes later, my fate sat in front of me. Two lines. All I could say was “Oh god, now I have to figure out how to birth this thing.” All I ever wanted was to become a mother, and suddenly the reality sunk in that I would someday have to birth this baby.

How I composed myself to send my husband off to work was a miracle. I certainly couldn’t send him off to work with that news—he is always in a hurry to get out the door and what if all the excitement caused him to get into a car accident. I couldn’t live with myself. I would have to stick to my plan. Send him off to work. And make the dinner.

So off I went to the grocery store, pushing my cart, singing “I’m making a dinner to tell my husband we are having a baby”. (Silently of course).

Fast forward, 8+ hours. I’m laboring in the kitchen (no pun intended) getting dinner ready and my husband calls.
“Hi buddy (he calls me buddy), I am going to be a little late. Maybe an hour.”
I nearly fell over. He picks TODAY to be late? Does he KNOW I’ve been alone all day stewing this information ALL BY MYSELF???

Fifteen minutes before my husband is about to arrive, I get a phone call from my brother in law’s girlfriend. She needs to come over to borrow a cooler. I’m beginning to sweat.

Seven o’clock rolls around, and my husband finally pulls in the driveway. I suddenly get nervous and I think my knees might buckle.

Ten minutes later, we are eating. He finishes in about 10 minutes, not noticing anything except that he really likes it. He doesn’t take notice of the baby hens. He doesn’t notice the baby vegetables.

The backup plan, thank goodness I have another plan. I suddenly tell him I have a gift for him. I grab the gift bag and say, “It’s a gift. I got it for you in Italy.” He looks at me strangely, because one: we had been home for nearly 15 days, and two: we were never even separated in Italy, not once. He opens the bag, pulls out the pregnancy test with a clutched fist and examines it. For a looong time.

I prod, “Do you know what that is?”

He is still examining the stick. Confused. Then his head turns to actually read it to see that is says “Pregnant.”

He looks up and says, “NO WAY! SERIOUS?” “I thought you got me a nose hair trimmer!”

So that is how I told him—over dinner—well after dinner. I suppose in the end, running out the bathroom probably would have suited just fine…but what could be more fabulous than telling him over a great meal.

I found the recipe for the Cornish hens on the Food Network, by Giada De Laurentiis. Then I sautéed the vegetables in a skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil until soft. The potatoes were boiled until soft, drained and then mashed with a fork. You can leave them whole, but I ended up having gravy from the hens that I wanted to use.

The hens were amazing. I had never made them before and I am not sure why. They are super easy to make and very flavorful. You could even prep these early in the day, and have your roasting pan waiting for you after work.
The gravy for this is like nothing I have ever had. For those who have never ventured into making their own gravy, it's simply the pan drippings and a few other ingredients (I most often use flour and water). I really loved the cranberry bits in this recipe and the citrus undertones from the lemon and orange zest, it really makes this over the top good. I would definitely make this again; maybe sans an announcement.



Jessica said...

Congratulations! What a cute way to tell your hubs the news.

Rachael Schmees-Black said...

I don't know why I'm such an emotional girl, but this just made me cry! How sweet. The meal looks awesome-will try! I distinctly remember the "baby carrots" episode of full house too.

As for birth, I can only say that for ME, I got to the hospital late- very late. I didn't know I was in labor until I was nearly 8 cm. I immediately asked for an epidural, and thanked the heavens for the pain relief. With the epi, seriously- it was no big deal...nothing like I had worked myself up over the past 10 months. I couldn't tell you how women do it naturally though- no thank you!

Rebekah said...

You are AWESOME! As soon as I saw your picture I thought "Oh she did the full house thing!" :)

I cracked right up at your birthing freak-out because to be honest, I don't know what the heck I would have done if I had to do it. Boy am I glad God had a different plan!! :)

Sweet as Coco said...

Thanks everyone for the encouragement. ;) I think being a first time mom is a bit scary...but amazing at the same time. I'm trying to come to terms with giving birth--however I think that first birthing class may put me back at square one. ha!

{kiss my spatula} said...

sooo gorgeous - what a perfect meal!