Once upon a time, I did not give a thought at all about dinner. I just made something. Victor is one of the easiest people in the world to cook for. We both have the philosophy of “If you’re cooking, I’m eating,” so dinner was often whatever inspiration came through that day – or what needed to be used up. For the past few months, however, I’ve had to make a conscious effort to make things that will appeal to an 87 year old. It’s decidedly different. From winging it – which really is where my kitchen talents lay – to structure – not always my strong point.

I’m already finding myself getting into a rut.

So… yesterday when I saw some really nice lamb chops at the grocers, I brought them home. I chopped up several cloves of garlic and braved the rain for some fresh rosemary from the garden. Olive oil, salt, pepper, and a zip lock bag. I placed everything in the bag and let it set in the refrigerator overnight.

Tonight, it was merely a matter of taking them out of the bag and placing them on the grill. Simplicity.

The potatoes were thick-sliced, drizzled with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika. I laid them out on a sheet pan and baked them in a 425° oven for about 25 minutes. Simple steamed broccoli.

It was a hit – and a miss. While the chops were extremely tender and had a great flavor, they were a bit difficult for Nonna to chew. And she does like her vegetables over-cooked-to-mush.

I’ve done separate vegetables in the past so that may become the wave of the future. I’m loathe to start cooking separate meals altogether because I don’t want her to feel like we’re making her different food while we bask in gastronomic luxury, so I may just start chopping the meats a little smaller. I certainly have the experience from my health care days.

It’s all a learning curve. We’re learning.