G and I went on a road trip to Kansas to celebrate our new nephew’s arrival. We spent a week clamboring around with the families — his and mine — in both urban and rural settings. My folks live in backroads Missouri, so it was easy to keep eating simple and hearty with most of our meals prepped at home. I showed my mom how to use leftover chili to make an easy breakfast by stealing the format of huevos rancheros and substituting chili. She added a super-fiber tortilla to the mix, and it was a match made in heaven. Meanwhile in Kansas, G’s mom made me my own meatless lasagna. She used a local Italian family’s homemade ricotta, so that part was amazing. But there was only sauce over the top and then layers of pasta and cheese underneath. She served a nice pot of marinara and meatballs alongside, so I stared in jealousy as my husband piled extra sauce onto his plate. I then ate an additional serving of mine out of guilt; subsequently, I felt enormously full and dissatisfied. However, G’s mom also made the most amazing eggplant parmesan I’ve had in a very, very long time. It made up for the lasagna disappointment in spades. Plus, she told me how to make it!
As for my parents’ meals, we hit up the farmers market and had the best veggie barbecue in ages — including a freshly-picked corn feed! Mmm. Nothing better than fresh corn! All told, the trip was less of a disaster than I’d imagined, but I still felt like a pain to my in-laws. I also took daily trips to Starbucks for breakfast because they tend to skip that meal. As if I’d skip ANY meal. Oh, and driving thru Kansas, we stopped at Taco John’s (my childhood fave) at Colby and asked for a taco with refried beans instead of beef. I got a taco with only beans in it — nothing else! I have the worst picture in the world of this sad taco, but it’s way, way too ugly to showcase. Veggies of the world, avoid the Colby T.J.’s!