I've mentioned my prodigious cooking chores lately, I know. The idea of cooking for ten people is daunting to some of you, and others of you are laughing at me, as you gleefully set the table for you and your husband and your eight or ten or twelve children.
Just keep in mind it's all relative.
And even there you can snicker at me. Those of you cooking for three, you recognize the proportionate difference. If YOU were suddenly to find yourself cooking for ten, you'd panic and call Martha Stewart.
However, I am USED to cooking for six-- including two teenage boys, which everyone knows is a mammoth task not to be taken lightly.
As one of my favorite cooking quotes says:
"One more troubling thing for cookbook writers is explaining how many people a recipe will serve. Actually, of course, who knows? It depends on the people and the menu. So I've pussy-footed by saying 'servings,' which means that four servings could serve four people once or two people twice or one high-school boy for an afternoon snack."
So since I am used to it already, a few more shouldn't matter. Right?
Especially when you consider that often on weekends we have guests for meals and I often cook for eight or ten people.
Just not every day.
For two weeks.
It feels like cooking and meal planning and kitchen cleanup are my whole LIFE.
And yet... you know, I actually enjoy it.
Especially when I think I must have the best boys to cook for anywhere. They are so appreciative and say things like,
"Thanks, mom, you just ruined a perfectly good appetite."
Not like my niece's sister, who is eleven, and has been given to picky-ness over the years. Every year during their annual two week visit, we spend most meal times squabbling about the food.
I have never seen such horrible faces as that girl makes. You would think I had offered her last week's garbage a la dead raccoon.
But I've been reading some of your blogs, and learning about other children besides mine, and I think I've discovered something. This girl, K, is a DRAMA QUEEN.
Ah ha. The horrible faces, the rude questions ("What IS this?") the stubborn refusals-- it's all DRAMA.
So now I know, and I don't take it personally. I shouldn't have, I know, but I have never dealt with K's brand of rudeness anywhere else.
Tonight at supper we had leftover soup.
K asked me for a "no-thank-you helping" (one bite)--at least she's finally learned that rule-- because "I've never eaten that before."
Hello? We just ate this same soup YESTERDAY. And you ate a small helping then, and said you LIKED it.
For dessert we had fresh homemade cookies. She took one and tore it up into tiny pieces on her plate. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she was looking for the raisins so she could eat them. I asked her if she was going to eat the rest of the cookie with her spoon. She said, no, it didn't taste like her mom's cookies. They had a "strange taste."
Do you know how many things I've made this week that taste "strange?" I never knew. So glad K is here to straighten out my cooking.
Thankfully, wonderfully, my own boys--and LovelyDaughter-- tell me every day, "Thanks, mom, that was WONDERFUL."
I think they learned it from their dad.
Thank you, family. You're WONDERFUL.