Things went well, I think. The food was delicious, the company was enjoyable, and the heat is working.
In addition to my aforementioned planned dishes, Margot made a cranberry sauce with pomegranate seeds, fresh orange juice and sections, fresh ginger, and cinnamon. It was very interesting and tasty with the halibut. My mom ended up preparing the potatoes since we had about three dishes getting whipped up in a frenzy to serve warm, and they were damn tasty. The the little white buttercream potatoes worked well with the vegan sour cream and chives, mmm.
My attempt at modifying the recipe for aromatic vegetables so they would be roasted seemed to work well: I toasted any whole spice seeds (cumin, coriander, and peppercorn, in my case), then crushed in a mortar bowl, then cooked with the minced onion, olive oil, cinnamon stick, and pre-ground spices in a big pot before adding the chopped vegetables, stirring to cover, and removing from the heat. Then I put them all in a foil-lined 9x13" cake pan, covered with another layer of foil, and roasted at 450'F for probably 40 minutes or so, until things seemed cooked. The fresh herbs were added just before serving. I didn't use potato or chickpeas, but it seemed like a pretty good side dish this way.
My mom met both Kevin's parents and they seemed to get along. We offered the beach house to Kevin's family for a couple days after Christmas, since it sounds like his sister wants them all to come to Portland.
Yesterday, mom and I went to the Winchester Mystery House, at her request, and did the full estate tour. It was pretty cool, though mom said she felt like David Sedaris when he was visiting the Anne Frank house: that all this cool stuff was going to waste, and how could she get ahold of it to use. Kevin took my brother mini-golfing, hee. We all then visited a used bookstore, Streetlight Records, and got Ethiopian for dinner before taking them to the airport. I was impressed that my brother even consented to trying Ethiopian food, although he couldn't finish because the kofti was too spicy for him.
Today, I am meeting my sister in Mountain View so she can go to Target and Ikea on the way up to the city, where I will then help drive some of her things that are hard to hand-carry seven blocks to her new place.
I need coffee.