My Parent’s Anniversary Dinner #2

If you’ve been a long-time reader of We are not Martha, you may remember 2 years ago when my sister, brother-in-law, and I cooked my parents dinner for their anniversary. Well, I have no idea why we skipped a year, but 2 years later, we did it again! This week was my parents’ big 35th anniversary! 35 years is a huge deal and, of course, a major reason to celebrate.

We decided to cook a bouillabaisse (fish stew), roasted vegetable salad, and blue cheese popovers.

The bouillabaisse was filled with all kinds of good stuff, like lobster, mussels, scallops, scrod, and flounder. We got all our fish bought fish stock (so we didn’t have to make it from scratch!) from The Lobster Tail in North Andover. Then we hit up one of my favorite spots, The Butcher Boy, for all the rest of our groceries.

While I absolutely love lobster, I have something inside me that just will not let me cook them. Perhaps some day this will change and I know it’s totally ludicrous to say I love eating lobster, but will not cook them myself. In any event, I made my sister do it.

She acted all cool about it until it actually came time to take the lobster out of the bag.


But she did it anyway! And yes, I still feel bad for the lobster.


Obviously Chris had to show off his Lobster and Beer Festival t-shirt. We have matching ones 🙂


We whipped up the popover batter and chilled it in the fridge. Easiest thing ever!


Then we got started on roasting tons of veggies. Like these beautiful beets!


And, of course, some fennel. It’s kind of a family joke, but my sister and I refer to our parents as “fennel people.” They’ve been loving it for as long as I can remember. Now we’re all pretty much fennel people.


Shallots! Roasted shallots are some of the best things in the world.


And carrots and turnips.


We topped them all with rosemary. And chopped up plenty of garlic for the bouillabaisse.


And drizzled some extra virgin olive oil on top. One of the simplest, but most delicious dishes you can make.


I love cooking in my parents’ kitchen because a) plenty of counter space, b) there are two ovens, and c) there’s room for everyone to sit and hang out so you’re never alone in the kitchen. Also, my mom has about 50 aprons. I wore one my sister got her in Hawaii (please excuse my horrible roots. I need to make a hair appointment, like, yesterday, but I’ve had zero free time. Ahh!).


Team work as we finish up the fish stew!


We toasted with some champagne that my Aunt Judy had us buy for the celebration.

And then dug into dinner. I could probably have an entire meal of roasted vegetables.


But this fish stew was to die for! It was absolutely packed with tons of different fish and was basically a seafood-lovers’ dream. Because we bough the fish stock, this dish was super easy. Just clean, chop, and prepare the fish (um, I never knew scallops had a mussel you have to remove!), add potato, and season the broth with plenty of onion, fennel fronds, saffron, tomato and more.


The popovers were awesome! However, we were allegedly supposed to use a mini “muffin” pan and we used a mini “popover” pan. So, instead of getting 4 dozen popovers, we got 8. Ha! Luckily there were only 6 of us 🙂


The dinner was enjoyed by all!


Yay for my mom and dad and 35 years of marriage!!


We’re planning on matching them, plus more 🙂


We ended the meal with a glorious assortment of cupcakes from Sweet. Really, my sister and I had plans to make a chocolate mint cake… But then we decided my parents’ kitchen would probably be a chocolate disaster after. So, we ran to Sweet and picked up a half dozen.


Usually, when we head to my parents’ house they cook for us, because they’re awesome cooks and that’s just what we’re used to. But it was nice to hang out and cook dinner for them. I think they really enjoyed it and a delicious dinner was had by all 🙂

And now it’s time for the weekend! I’m headed to the Cambridge School for Culinary Arts to take a couples sushi class. My sister and Adam got the class as a gift for me for my birthday (back in September!), so I think we’re all excited to go and participate. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a sushi-making expert 🙂

What are you up to this weekend?


27 Responses to "My Parent’s Anniversary Dinner #2"

  1. What a sweet thing to do for your folks. They were so lucky to enjoy such a delicious, thoughtful meal. Let’s see, my weekend will be spent taking care of my husband! He has a 104-degree fever and I’m trying not to catch it, haha. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!

  2. Camels & Chocolate says:

    The photos of your sister and the lobster totally bring to mind images from Julie & Julia! I REALLY want to like lobster, but I just…can’t. Not for ethical reasons, alas, but simply because I just don’t find it that appetizing. (I know, I know, I would be condemned in your part of the country! I am here in San Francisco for my refusal to eat oysters or crab. I guess it’s just shellfish in general I don’t dig.)

    So cute of you guys to throw a little shindig for your parents! I called my parents at midnight on Jan. 13, there 32nd anniversary, to tell them happy anniversary and that I almost forgot–and neither of them had remembered their own anniversary! Too funny.

  3. Sharlene says:

    How sweet of you and your sister to make dinner for your parents!! A couple years ago my mom, brother, and I cooked dinner for my dad’s birthday and it was a ton of fun. We’ll have to do that again. Your entire spread looks awesome.

  4. Simply Life says:

    wow, what a great meal!

  5. Kelly says:

    Congratulations to your parents on their anniversary! I just have to say that perhaps if there is something in your heart of hearts that won’t let you boil a lobster alive, there is a reason for it. It’s certainly NOT an ethical way to kill any animal – but you obviously know that or else you wouldn’t have a problem with doing it yourself! At the very least you could give it a quick kill by stabbing it down the back. I love your blog but I really wish the two of you would consider the treatment of the animals you eat.

  6. Erica says:

    awwwwwwwwwww! You guys are so sweet to put on such an incredible meal! Happy Anniversary to your sweet parents! And tell your sister I said hi! You both look fabulous (roots and all ;)). Lobster is amazing…but I don’t think I could cook it either. I use like cry when my Dad did it. Butcher boy rocks! My parents use to shop there at least once a month. And the popovers look so tasty! Happy weekend

  7. What a delicious looking dinner! What a wonderful way to celebrate your Parents’ anniversary:-)

  8. Shannon says:

    wow, what an amazing meal!! love this idea, too, i should try to do it for my rents 🙂

  9. emily says:

    Ahh, I have never cooked lobster…they scare me, too. 🙂
    Those roasted vegetables look amazing!
    Happy 35th to your mom and dad! 🙂

  10. What a nice thing to do for your parents! Those veggies look so good as do the popovers! I’m with you, totally freaked out by having to kill a lobster!

  11. Joanne says:

    Wow crazy mega congrats to your parents! Thirty five years is INSANE!

    It was so sweet of you guys to cook such a decadent meal for your parents. Everything looks amazing! I kind of want to dive into those roasted veggies. Is that weird?

  12. Michelle says:

    Happy anniversary to your parents! A couple of thoughts: 1. I also love the Butcher Boy; 2. Boiling a lobster is on my 30 by 30 list. I love eating them but boiling them still makes me a little squeamish; 3. I love cooking at Bret’s parents house because there is so much more space with two kitchens!

  13. Daisy says:

    You are too good to your parents! Happy anniversary to them 🙂

  14. Kerstin says:

    What a feast! Happy anniversary to your parents!

  15. Quisha says:

    Awww Sues, that’s the sweetest thing ever. I love how everyone chipped in!

  16. Sharon says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful wishes! We are the luckiest parents in the whole world. This celebration was a perfect way to honor our 35 years together. We are truly blessed with 2 loving daughters and the 2 wonderful men in their lives…may they enjoy 35 loving and happy years together too.
    Many thanks to Susie, Beth, Adam & Chris for making our family what it is…close, caring, supportive and loving…it doesn’t get any better than this!!!
    Love, Mom & Dad

  17. so sweet of you guys!!! i hope when i have kids one day they’ll do this for us…

  18. Karen says:

    Happy Anniversary to Bert and Sharon! Congratulations on their 35 years together. What a wonderful tribute to your parents, Susie. You guys all did a fabulous job. Looking forward to spending some time together in April.

  19. SO nice. I love that you cooked for their anniversary. I would LOVE to try that fish stew! Looks tremendous!

  20. Looks so yummy! And congrats to your parents! Have you ever been to New Deal in Cambridge? I get all my fish there -especially to make sushi! They get multiple shipments of fresh fish a day and supply most of the city’s sushi restaurants with the sushi grade fish.

  21. Kiki says:

    Congratulations A. Sharon & U. Bert! Thirty five years ago I had the honor and pleasure of being your flower girl rockin a cool “Holly Hobby” style dress that I forever will remember! Wishing Sues and Beth just as many if not more, years of wedded bliss! Yummy spread!

  22. beth says:

    hhmm…. I don’t know about stabbing a lobster in the back to decrease it’s pain upon it’s impending death. I do know,that at least we got it out of a crowded tank and that it was able to enjoy some solitude beforehand. Also, it was thoroughly enjoyed and that our family has the utmost respect for any animal that we enjoy for a meal. Anyone who knows Sues will know that she is a lover of all animals. What a great anniversary celebration….. and may the rest of us follow in our parents’ foot steps!

  23. What a beautiful dinner menu! I am wild over roast veggies. I roast everything!!! Today I roasted broccoli for the first time and it was AMAZING. (Recipe on my site.) Congrats and way to go on a great dinner menu!

  24. Susan says:

    That’s so sweet of you guys! I’m the same way with lobster, I will never ever be able to cook it but I love it.

  25. emily @ the happy home says:

    yummmmm! what a perfect dinner, for warming up with family. lucky you have access to all that delish, fresh seafood!

  26. What a sweet post! Happy (belated) anniversary to your parents. But I have to ask: Why didn’t you wear your matching lobstah t-shirt?

  27. rita says:

    CONGRATS to your parents!! wishing them both many, many years of happy life together.

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