Peace and harmony?

My children won’t stop squabbling. We are all home together, all summer, and they fight about everything. It is driving me insane and nothing I do is stopping it. Today I had to pull out the big guns: no TV, take the ipods away until they get along, and make a great meal that everyone likes.

I do believe that food can bring some level of peace to a household. When people eat well, they feel good, and are less likely to drive each other crazy. Or so I hope. I made a new recipe tonight that I clipped last week from the Boston Globe: Lamb with tomato and olive relish, with an edamame and bean salad. Simply put: it rocked. And we got through an entire meal without bickering, and then my children went outside and played a game on their bikes. Together. Voluntarily. And there was laughter. Can I get an Hallelujah?

I urge you to make this recipe soon. We roasted the lamb because our grill was out of propane. The marinade is easy and delicious and includes things that most people keep in the house: mustard, soy sauce, garlic. The relish was easy and delicious: chop tomatoes, toss with kalamata olives, shallots, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley. Garrett had three servings. Marc and I had two each.

Kyra ate most of what was on her plate. She was too busy eating her edamame salad to focus on the lamb. The salad was so easy, relatively healthy, and appealing to kids. Most kids these days eat edamame. It is funny, I had a fairly adventurous childhood with regard to food (know any other non-Lebanese children that were eating Tabbouleh at the age of ten in 1984?), but had never heard of edamame. These days, every suburban mom in America gives those green pods to their kids from toddlerhood. This is a good development, and makes this salad more approachable. Add proscuitto, white beans, fresh herbs and lemon juice, and it is a great combination.

This whole meal could be easily doubled to feed a crowd. The lamb is the only pricey ingredient; otherwise the shopping list is simple and inexpensive. But the meal is colorful, tasty, and impressive: great for entertaining. Or hosting a peace summit.

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