Monday, March 19, 2012

5 pm

5 pm is my least favorite time of day:

Little tummies grumbling,
soup on the stovetop burning,
husband running late,
my own patience running thin.

The clatter of plates carelessly plopped on the table,
the endless search for the good spoons
(the ones I haven't mangled in the garbage disposal),
the sticky steam from the dishwasher when I yank it open,
continuing the search for said spoons.

And the little tummies, still grumbling,
attached to little mouths which repeat,
"I'm hungry!" at ever-growing decibels.

And sometimes:

the realization that the masterpiece I've poured
the last 2 hours of my life into
is NOT resembling the one I saw on the internet.

I suppose it would have looked fabulous and tasted 5 stars
if I had used all those (sketchy) ingredients,
prepared them exactly as labeled,
actually used an instrument marked "1/8 tsp."
But that is just the price I pay for being an artist,
rather than a scientist, in the kitchen.

And so, when I set those steaming bowls of palak paneer or
eggplant curry or chicken with raisins and quinoa
on the table, there is fear and trembling.

From the children, yes, and certainly from the
picky-palate husband, but even more so
from me.

Will they try it? Will they like it? Will they appreciate my time
and work and artistic innovation? Will they know I substituted
milk for cream cheese? Will they taste white vinegar
when they should have tasted cider vinegar? Will they
think I'm a fraud? Will they love me anyway?

And finally:

Will they choose to just eat their food and shutup and be
thankful that someone cooked it for them, for Pete's sake?


There are those magical moments -- oh how they make my soul
sing -- when daughters eat and eat and eat their fill, and
I can see those formerly grumbling tummies
growing under the table. When husband smiles
and says, "mmm... this is good. You made this?"
When there are leftovers I'll be happy to eat
for days.

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