Mother’s Day Weekend
We feasted on Ocean and Ovenbird, family style with Jordan.
By Jan Walsh
We had big plans for Mother’s Day 2020. Jordan’s 40th birthday is May 23. So, we planned one big celebration for the family.
Plan B… I will not allow Ross to fly yet. But Jordan lives a drivable distance. So, thankfully he makes it. On Saturday, we feast on a spread of Ocean Restaurant’s Mother’s Day menu—including by special request, baby lobster tails! As soon as we dip the succulent tails in hot butter, I know all is right with my world this weekend.
Among the entrees of slow roasted angus beef brisket with local mushroom gravy, Southern buttermilk, fried chicken, and rolled and tied pork loin stuffed with baby turnip greens, pine nuts, and Manchego—we select Kev’s favorite, the pork. The tender pork melts in our mouths, elegantly enhanced by its Southern stuffing.
All the fixings are included. Among the starters are cold dishes: Alabama strawberry salad, Gulf shrimp salad, and deviled farm eggs. Two salads are an awesome idea. The strawberry salad bursts with spring freshness: dead ripe and aromatic Alabama strawberries, crisp baby greens, crunchy candied almonds—all topped with a lovely green plum vinaigrette. The shrimp salad boasts Castelvetrano olives, red pepper, feta, and oregano, mixed with cavatappi PASTA! Delicious deviled farm eggs are accompanied by house pickled veggies of okra, baby carrots, and cauliflower. And hot dishes of squash, zucchini, and turnips, loaded scalloped potatoes, and fresh baked yeast rolls round out the main course. Creamy layers of scalloped potatoes are loaded with bacon, green onion, and cheddar. And we slather Alabama honey butter inside the fabulous, freshly baked, warm yeast rolls.
For dessert—our own coconut crème cake ends the evening with sweet dreams.
On Mother’s Day we sit down to another beautiful meal. Our entrée option of Peruvian chicken with warm bread salad is served at the table along with deviled farm eggs, and Chris Hastings famous tomato salad. The chicken is perfection, moist, tender, and tasty. The divine eggs are deviled with anchovy, romesco, and espelette. And what is not to love about Hastings tomato salad? Not a thing… It is our tradition to dine at Hot and Hot each spring as soon as they start serving the tomato salads.
Thankfully, Chris will not allow us to break this run, as he is serving the salads curbside at Hot and Hot. And we were one of the first in line. Today’s thick, dead ripe slices are enveloped in veggies of crisp, golden, fried okra and tender kernels of sweet, white corn, earthy peas, and beans. It is all topped with bacon, and we finish with a drizzle of balsamic over it all. Just like old times!
For dessert, OvenBird sent Jordan’s favorite of strawberry shortcake. When he was just a boy, as soon as the strawberries were ripe, I would make shortcakes. I macerated and chilled the strawberries. And once they made enough juice, I topped those little round sponge cakes with them, and added whipped topping, from a can… I am embarrassed to say. Today’s strawberries top warm, plump biscuits, and are finished with a fresh, vanilla cream—making another delicious memory.