Every year, on a Saturday near St. Patrick’s Day, a 15k run takes place in my hometown. The route of the race takes the runners up the road of my childhood home. For the past few years, my parents have been enjoying this annual spectacle seated on lawn chairs at the foot of my neighbor’s driveway, Bloody Marys in hand. As such, when this year’s big day arrived, my parents made their way over to the neighbors at the appropriate time, took up their annual seats, turned up the music, and awaited the sprinting masses.
This year, they waited for longer than usual for the first of the runners to pass. When, at last, the frontrunners arrived, they turned up the music, cheered and waved their Blood Marys in spirited support. A short time later, they repeated this routine as another pair of runners made their way up the steep, windy road. Moments after that, the third group of runners ran past; a man, two women, and two children. They were struggling their way up the challenging incline of my parents’ road. This was certainly not the type of group you’d expect to see leading the pack during a 15k race, gasping for breath, backs arched in weary fatigue. It was at this point that my parents began to suspect that something was amiss. But, as the group struggled to pass, my parents and their neighbors rose from their lawn chairs, turned up the music, and shouted cheers of encouragement, Bloody Marys raised in supportive salute. You can do it! Keep going! One of the women gave up her struggled run and switched to a walk as she passed.
I know from my running experiences that loud, peppy music and cheers of encouragement can be quite motivating during a race. I’m equally certain that the runners who passed my parents that morning would have been brightened up by their support…had it actually been the morning of the race. But, no…There was no race scheduled for that morning. The race would take place the following Saturday. My parents had not, in fact, spent their morning encouraging racers. They’d spent their morning drinking in their neighbor’s driveway and heckling innocent health-minded joggers. My parents; the hecklers. The following Saturday, on the actual morning of the race, they repeated their well-practiced routine.
This story is neither here nor there in regards to the following recipe. But I’ve been giggling for weeks over the thought of my well-intentioned parents harassing random joggers. This is what happens when all of the kids grow up and move out.
Today’s recipe is one-dish meal, which makes me think of camping, for some reason I can’t fully explain. Slices of kielbasa, potatoes, peppers, and onions are tossed in a bit of olive oil and roasted together in the oven; so simple that it’s more of a meal idea than an actual recipe. Enjoy this dish as a family-pleasing weeknight meal or make it for a crowd! It would even make a tasty snack to keep you well-nourished on those mornings where you find yourself heckling joggers from the comfort of your driveway. Serve with a spicy Bloody Mary.
Kielbasa with Roasted Potatoes, Peppers, and Onions
- 1 Polish kielbasa sausage, cut into 1/4″ slices
- 3 pounds baby red potatoes, cut into 1/4″ slices
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine kielbasa, potatoes, peppers, and onions on a baking sheet. Drizzle and toss with olive oil until evenly coated. Arrange the mixture in an even layer on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the peppers and onions are tender and the potatoes and kielbasa are golden brown. Occasionally turn the mixture with a spatula to promote even browning as it cooks. Season with additional salt and pepper, as desired.
Serve with a warm, crusty baguette.