A Monday night story…

It’s date night and I’m running 20 minutes behind leaving work. I’m responsible for dinner and there’s only a few things from the farmers’ market in the fridge. I pound on the steering wheel and yell a rainbow of inappropriate things as I inch up to the bumper in front of me. Some days I think road construction was invented for slow and traumatic torture.

Screw road construction and tough days. Not going to let it ruin my date night. In 30 minutes I’m going to have a gorgeous local meal on the table. Maybe even enough time to fix my frizzy pony tail into something. Let’s see how it’s done:

5:15 PM – Arrive at home. Dump all my stuff on the living room floor and scramble to find my apron.

5:16 – Flip the oven on to 350°F and the electric griddle to 400°F.  Take out a bunch of fresh asparagus from Lorence’s Berry Farm in Northfield, MN. Toss into a colander for a quick rinse.

5:18 – Trim off the ends of the asparagus (and nearly the end of my finger). Remind myself to slow down. A visit to the emergency room is not my idea of a good date. Season the asparagus and prep it in a baking dish. Set it aside while the oven finishes preheating.

5:25 – Grab a ham steak from the fridge. The folks at Pastures A Plenty Farm in Kerkhoven, MN are coming to my rescue tonight with their uncured, nitrate and antibiotic free smoked ham. Starting to think this might all come together.

5:26 – Mix up honey maple glaze. 1 tablespoon of each: honey, maple syrup, soy sauce, and spicy brown porter mustard. Brush on both sides of the steak and toss the ham on the griddle.

5:32 – Oven is pre-heated and in goes the asparagus. I set the timer for 15 minutes. Nothing kills a dinner like overcooked, mushy asparagus. Bleh.

5:33 – Set the table and open a bottle of crisp, fruity Sogn Blanc from Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls, MN. It’s a perfect pairing for a late spring dinner. At least that’s what I tell myself. Maybe it’s the perfect pairing for a road construction headache. Either way. A few sips and my drive home is starting to fade away.

5:35 – Exactly 5 more minutes for both the asparagus and the ham steak. I barrel upstairs to change and make sure there’s no stray bits of play-doh in my hair from work. Kitchen partner will be home in 10.

5:40 – Asparagus and ham both are ready to be plated. Ham needs a few more minutes to rest before cutting but it’s hard to wait. I’ve just slowed down enough to realize how hungry I am.

5:45 – Take that road construction. I just prepped for date night in under 30 minutes. There’s even a leftover slice of Stockholm Pie Company apple pie in the fridge for dessert.

**Note: The complete recipe for my date night roasted asparagus can be found over at 20Food.net.

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