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Richard’s Turn

We decided to have our Decision Bowl Dinner early this week as Creighton returns to England in three days (insert Mother pouting here).

The beauty of this game is that cooking experience is W A A A Y less important than the willingness to give it a go. Richard has this spirit (and creativity) in spades.

He began his planning and preparations early in the day (music to my left-brained soul). He also made his main sauces and dishes from scratch. Impressive!

His feast consisted of Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Skewers, Roasted Garlic-Lemon Potatoes, Lemon Rice Pilaf, Horiatiki (aka Greek Salad) and Tzatziki with Pita. All was prepared calmly and confidently and was seriously delicious!


What’s that you ask? Didn’t Richard pull “Chinese Cuisine” out of the Decision Bowl? , Well, yes, but….here’s where his creativity comes into play. Having lived in China for fourteen years, he was able to channel a favourite Beijing restaurant, 雅典娜希腊餐厅 (Athena’s), and copy his memory of one of his favourite meals served there.

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Richard at Athena’s Greek Tavern, Beijing, 2014

What hungry people would argue with that? Certainly not these two!

20200524_172407You have to admit that the table setting and beverages were highly appropriate.

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As was the Xīguā with Bīngqílín for dessert. Yum!

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With Creighton’s Wednesday departure, this version of Decision Bowl Dinners sadly comes to an end. Please continue to watch this space. This game just may reappear in a brand new form.

Oh, and if you’re visiting our home, please feel free to ask for a repeat of this meal. Richard just may oblige!

 

 

68 thoughts on “Richard’s Turn”

  1. Hi Donna! Oh yummy! Next time we get together I would LOVE to Richard make his dinner for us! I do think that the Decision Bowl is a really fun thing to do but not sure it would work for just Thom and I? Hmmmm….if the four of us ever get together again we should try this. What do you think? And sorry to hear your son is leaving soon. I am sure you have enjoying having him with you for a while. Definitely a sign that things are gradually changing. And from the looks of the photo…it looks like your kitchen “work” is all done. With your son leaving and the work soon done…it will be very QUIET at your house soon….. ~Kathy

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    1. Hi, Kathy – How are your birthday festivities going?!
      I agree that the Decision Bowl is a great idea for the six of us when we do our Tahao (or similar) retreat. I think this idea also works well for just two people. After Creighton leaves, Richard and I are considering replacing Creighton’s card with ‘Take Out”. So Richard cooks, I cook, or we do Take Out for whatever cuisine card is pulled. Prior to this game I did 99% of the cooking, so I have become an instant fan of this fun change!

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    1. Hi, Janis – Prior to this game, I prepared almost all of our dinners and Richard did the dishes. The cool thing is that Richard really enjoyed cooking today….and having the priviledge of reading a book while Creighton and I did dishes. I ❤ this new change!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. He did an amazing job. Sorry to hear that you’re about to lose Creighton – I’m surprised there are flights available. There’s nothing in or out of Western Australia – our borders are completely closed, so I was amazed he could fly out of Canada and into England – obviously we’re being more paranoid down here!

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    1. Hi, Leanne – I agree that Richard did a fabulous job. So tasty!!
      As Creighton is a resident of England, and works there, his return ticket is still valid. At least so far! It would not hurt my feelings at all (quite the opposite) if he was required to stay in Canada a little longer. 😀

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  3. That looks amazing and delicious Donna well done Richard! Cooking is such a creative act. My husband is really getting in to it and surprises himself no end (and me of course).

    Have a great week, tinged though it is by Creighton’s leaving. All best wishes to him – and to you and father chef.

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    1. Thanks, Susan – Richard has typically shied away from cooking. He found that he actually enjoyed preparing yesterday’s meal — and the delicious results were very reinforcing. Perhaps this may lead to a brand new hobby for Richard. I can always hope! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AHA! Richard, I see what you did there. Clever! “Ah, yes – remembering that fabulous Greek restaurant we ate at in Beijing…” So, technically a Chinese meal!
    The meal looks spectacular and I have no doubt it was, too.

    I’ve enjoyed reading about the Decision Bowl culinary adventures, very much!

    Deb

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    1. Hi, Deb – The ‘Decision Bowl Dinners’ were such a great idea. It is truly amazing what we can steal from other bloggers. These dinners are a fun and challening way to shake up the monotony of routine. See you on the other side. Looking forward to it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think Creighton will just get in before the compulsory 14 days quarantine for new arrivals. They are slowly lifting restrictions here so life is getting less difficult. That meal looks fabulous.

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    1. Hi, Anne – Thanks so much for dropping by. Creighton has had more than his share of Quarantine here (mostly self-quarantine just to be safe and respectful). So, he is happy to just miss official quarantine there. Still, he will self-quarantine to be careful. It’s all of our little actions that make a huge difference.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing! Richard certainly took his part seriously. My husband liked to cook alot also but even though he was very good at it, he managed to baptized the kitchen from floor to ceiling with his flare, sauces, and fixes. Somehow he felt priviledged enough not to have to clean up.

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    1. Hi, Antoinette – Being the one who regularly does dishes, Richard was an amazingly clean cook. Much cleaner than I am myself. As most of his dishes were prepared in advance, he regularly did dishes as he went along. It was a pleasure to clean up afterwards — especially as Creighton washed as I dried and put away. 😀

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  7. Hi Donna, Richard’s dinner looks fabulous. He got bonus point for being clever and creative. The rotation of cooks and take-out after Creighton leaves is a very good idea. Safe travels to Creighton and I hope the 14-day quarantine is lifted by the time he arrives in the UK.

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    1. Thanks, Natalie – When Creighton first realized that we were actually having Greek Dinner instead of Chinese — he did a quick ‘no fair’. For his first turn, he would have preferred to prepare Thai food over Mexican. I on the otherhand was delighted. To maintain this game it has to be fun, doable and rewarding for all involved.

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    1. Hi, Susan and John – I am so glad that my posts got through for you. Did they come directly to your email? I also sent them (the Indian food one, and this last one) to you via FB Messenger. Each of the meals have been absolutely delicious!

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  8. All right! Now we definitely have to return! Looks lovely, tasty, colorful, and so appropriate. Chez Richard might become a popular hangout soon! Sorry to see Creighton go. Time flies… And, is the ceiling fixed??

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    1. Hi, Liesbet – Yahoo to you and Mark returning! I ❤ that thought!
      The kitchen ceiling is now fixed, and the surrounding open-concept room has been put back into place. Sadly, the downstairs bathroom has one more week to go so we continue to make the pilgrimage to the upstairs toilet. First world problem, I know. But still….
      Time certainly does fly. The Decision Bowl Dinners have been fun and memorable! I hope that all is well for you, Mark and Maya.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, that food looks good. It’s only 10:00 a.m. as I write this, and I am so ready for lunch. Best of luck to your son. From experience, I know how much we miss our children when they live too far away to visit easily. Thank goodness for Zoom!

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    1. Hi, Laurie -I’m usually ready for lunch around 10 am as well. Must be because we both get up so early!
      I am also thankful for Zoom, Skype, Facebook Messenger Video and the like. I’m glad that these are all free services. I’d hate to imagine the long-distance bill otherwise! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Donna, there is nothing quite like a little lemon rice pilaf on Chinese night! Good for Richard. Daughter’s boyfriend heads back to Miami June 1 and I suspect she will follow shortly after. So, I know exactly how you feel about your son returning to England. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

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    1. Hi, Suzanne – I do realize that awesome opportunities (like having our grown children stay with us) do not always last forever. I am incredibly grateful for this time together. Good luck to your daughter and her boyfriend in their upcoming travels.

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  11. If we did that here, whenever my husband’s name was pulled it would be either pizza or Chinese takeout. He makes great burgers but whole meals are a downfall for him. His timing is always off. Even when he grills I have to coach him on when to put the food on the grill so everything gets done in the same decade. I’ve enjoyed this series and hope it comes back.

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    1. Hi, Kate – The reasons that you state here are exactly why Richard went with this meal. 1. It is a meal that he has eaten often, and loves. 2. We had prepared it together before (two years ago on Valentine’s Day). 3. He could prepare 95% of it ahead of time (and not need to worry about timing). 4. He found step-by-step instructions on the interet. 5. We already had most of the ingredients required.
      For reason #3, we have decided that this may just be our new “Company’s Coming” dinner!
      Although I did not help prepare this meal at all, he did ask me what ‘tsp’ meant. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi, Donna,
    Most guys that cook, don’t worry about cleaning up, but I learned long ago, that’s it’s much easier if I clean as I go. That appears to be Richard’s M.O. as well. Would love a sample. Love the “tsp” comment! Have a great week. Joe

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    1. Hi, Joe – As Richard is usualy the dinner-time dishwasher, the clean-up part came very naturally to him. The ‘tsp’ comment shows how much of a non-cook he is (or at least ‘was’). 😀
      You are most welcome to drop by anytime for a sample of what’s on the stove!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Such fun and as usual your photos are making me hungry. We have yet to go out to eat anywhere and that’s ok, but while cooking at home we’ve not aspired to your level of international cuisine. A missed opportunity?

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  14. Yeah, I’ve sorta cooked my way through this pandemic. It’s kept me busy and never bored. The Decision Bowl Dinners have been a very welcomed addition. I could actually read a book while others were cooking! I definitely plan to continue this gig even after Creighton leaves. 😀

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    1. Hi, Jo – Last night’s meal was so much fun! We truly couldn’t fault Richard (we were way too busy greedily eating). All three Decision Bowl Dinners have been delicious, enjoyable and added an extra spark of conversation and excitement. Thank you again for sharing this terrific idea!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Never fear, Terri. The three of us have been getting lots of excercise. Creighton is a marathon runner and runs every day. Richard and I do two long walks each day – usually at least 10 km in total. When our gym closed I planned to do more home workouts. But somehow those never quite happened. I’ve been way too busy cooking! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Donna, I love the concentration on Richard’s face. You make a good point on attitude and willingness to give it a go. Yum! Yum! Greek food. Our favourite! Even the roasted garlic lemon potatoes. Wow. Richard is going to make some lovely woman a terrific husband. 😇 Wonderful how you found the 2014 photo of Richard. He has not changed a bit. Is that two bottles of wine on the table? All of the photos are great! Extra hugs to Creighton for a safe trip home.💕

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    1. Thanks, Erica – Richard took his task very seriously, and was very creative as well. He demonstrated what can be achieved when simply following directions (recipe directions that is, not necessarily Decision Bowl directions). Yes, he had made a lovely woman a terrific husband. Although the first half of that sentence is simply IMHO. 😀

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  16. Hi Donna – sorry for tomorrow … Creighton is returning to wonderful weather and has missed the cold recent horrors of the east coast – so good timing. I’d definitely ask for a repeat of Richard’s meal … I think Greek is my favourite … but time with Creighton looks to have been fun and entertaining … I have to say the asparagus season is here … pre raspberry and strawberry from the farms … sooo good! With thoughts for departure day … stay safe – Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary – Creighton left for Vancouver this afternoon and flies to England tomorrow. His been checking the weather there and has been pleased with the upcoming forecasts. Thank you for your kind thoughts. They are greatly appreciated!

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  17. I must admit to getting a bit confused with the menu and had to check! Thanks for your explanation and very clever of Richard to use his creativity this way. It looks amazing!!!

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    1. Hi, Debbie – Richard did originally check recipes for Chinese cuisine dishes. The ones he checked required many ingredients that we did not have, and lots of rapid last minute cooking. — two things that he was trying to avoid. The Greek meal was one that he has had tons of times before. He was able to find a step-by-step recipe for it. As a bonus, he could prepare 95% of it ahead of time. I loved his creativity in connecting this Greek meal together with “China”. And…it was way more fun that takeout! #MLSTL

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    1. Hi, Sue – Thank you again for mentioning my Destination India post in your recent newletter. I greatly appreciate the shout out.
      The Decision Bowl Dinners have been tons of fun. You’ve hit the nail on the head (as usual). This has been an easy way to involve the whole family in dinner preparations, and to turn an average weekday meal into an anticipated occasion without too much fuss or expense.
      Hope all is well there! #MLSTL

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  18. Ahhh yes that IS a VERY creative approach! Bravo! Looks and sounds delicious. Reminds me of a time when we lived in Granada Nicaragua and two of our sons happened to be there and we did a family TOP CHEF competition. We did at least four or five rounds of them… it was a lot of fun! Somehow a game or event made us all put in that extra effort to come up with something inventive and creative and stretch our taste buds.

    Peta

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    1. Hi, Peta – Your family’s version of ‘Top Chef’ sounds fun! I agree that giving an everyday activity a little twist can liven things up immeasurably. As Richard has limited cooking experience, I’m not sure that we would have convinced him to play ‘Top Chef’…but you never know!
      I hope that all is well there. I look forward to your next post.

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  19. What a fun family project although I think Richard kind of cheated, hee hee. No matter, a beautiful meal was prepared and enjoyed and you can always tell the story of how your husband was supposed to make Chinese but somehow it came out Greek. I had a good chuckle!

    Susan

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