This is the story of two big cooking days. The first is pictured here. Saturday was a good food day, a good food-making day anyway. Good tasting food might be pushing it further than I honestly should.
Saturday we went on a tear and prepped veggies and browned meat and roasted some chicken. Made oven bacon. That last one was an experiment that worked. I even tossed it in the freezer afterwards to have handy for salads. But then I ate much of it. Anyway, on with the story.
The littles wander in and out during these sessions. They always get an apron and kid-safe tools and find some way they can contribute. They stay as long as they like, Montessori style. They chop things into teeny pieces, hold bags open, grate cheese, beat eggs. This was one of those blissful moments.
Tonight was less blissful - for me.
Riding on the high of that proactive cooking day I volunteered to take a new mom a dinner tomorrow.
Tomorrow being a feast day.
Tomorrow being the day the giant poodle puppy gets neutered.
Tomorrow being the day after he slopped around in the post-snow mud.
I thought I was making it easy on myself and the new family by getting pasta and jarred sauce. A cake mix. It ended up being a long, long day though. Tess and I went out together to shop for craft supplies between carpool runs. Dinner ran late. Puppy bathing seems to last forever.
Long story shorter, by nights' end the kitchen looked like a pasta bomb went off. I misjudged the amount of sauce I needed. Too much bumping around in the kitchen caused the cupcakes to sink. Wet puppy escaped from the bathroom and sailed by, shaking everywhere and sending a spray of water droplets in all directions.
It was then I was holding the Christmas themed Saran wrap. The festive red plastic from hell that clings to nothing but itself. It did just that as I tugged at it 'til my fingers grazed the jagged edge of the box. My surrender was complete. Defeat.
At moments like these every wistful comment I have ever heard from women about the way to a man's stomach or love being food or any number of stirring (no pun intended) odes to food come back to taunt me. I can't love my family well if this is the yardstick we are using. It's never been my skillset. Frankly I don't like food well enough to rally to the challenge. So many other things I am passionate about distract me that I often forget to eat. It is torture to be tied to the kitchen mixing and measuring when we could be reading or walking or crafting.
And that's ok. Somewhere along the line I accepted that being a good wife and a good mom meant I was good at this too. But there are lots of ways to love. Love here means we buy tons of veggies, fruit, nuts, and quality dairy. We stew natural meats in the crock pot where I can't screw them up. We set a pretty table. Always. We eat simply but we do it together every night. Then we move it all over and pray around the same table. That counts.
Tomorrow afternoon I am going back to the grocery store to get a slow roasted chicken, a tub of coleslaw, some bread, a pie from the bakery and a bottle of sparkling cider to celebrate. There will be flowers for their table. Then we will head over, smell that baby's head and hand it all over. And I will not call it defeat.