Monday, July 23, 2007

Daddy's making dinner tonight!

Yesterday afternoon my wife was invited to a 'Tea' from mid afternoon till sometime 'later' in the day. This meant, among other things, that I would probably be producing dinner (supper) for my children...

My wife came back 'later' and as we were catching up on the day she was relating to me some of the topics the had come up at the Tea. A main point of discussion was the art of homemaking. Among the homemaking topics was (as best as I can relate it) how the making of meals has ceased to be an art designed to foster a special family time, and instead meals have become just a quick pit stop to get food in the gullet so we can get on with the next thing.

And although this topic was meant as a challenge for older women skilled in the Art of mealtime to help train and inspire younger women in this Art, it -for this evening- brought into stark contrast the difference between daddy (me) preparing a meal for our family and mommy (my wife).

Forethought (planning) I am sure is a big part of creating special, memorable family meals:

While playing a game with my older girls yesterday, I looked up at the clock and thought, "Wow, its 5:30. I wonder what's for dinner?" "Oh, yeah I'm the answer to that question. Right, so... self, what's for dinner?"

I quickly put together a meal plan:

"Girls, when we finish this game I need you to come with me to the kitchen and help figure out what we have that I can make for dinner."

That was a loaded statement. First I recruited help from the only people present who might actually know what food we have and where that food might be located in the kitchen. Second, I severely qualified (OK, limited) the food choices by saying that it needed to be something that I could make for dinner.

My oldest daughter recognized their plight, opened the pantry door, saw the 'just add water' pancake mix, figured I could probably handle a recipe with just two ingredients, and said, " Daddy, could we have pancakes for dinner?"

I know that nutrition should also be an important part of a meal planning:

I found chocolate chips to add to the pancakes, and stated that we were also going to have eggs with them. (protein with the carbohydrates right?) My daughter slowly said, "OK, we can have eggs but only if you let me cook them daddy." I am not even to be trusted to scramble eggs. I was asked to actually mix the eggs and milk together for the scrambled eggs. It's that actual art of scrambling the eggs in the pan that I am not to be trusted with. I didn't realize you could mess up scrambled eggs.

Conversation is also a part of a special meal:

I said, "Go find a movie that you can all understand." Translation, something our 5 year and 2 year old can mostly enjoy. What ensued was five heads craning their necks to see the movie and paying no attention to their food, and me saying "eat your food, eat your food, eat your food, eat your food..." One child literally fell off their seat twice - couldn't chew food, sit on a chair and watch a movie at the same time. The second fall included knocking two drinks off the table and onto the floor.

Just as my wife wife returned from her Tea, one child greeted her, turned to watch the movie again and caught the dinner plate with an elbow.

My wife looked at me and said "So who's idea was the movie?"

My wife had a lovely Tea talking with ladies about homemaking and the art of mealtimes, and ended her day picking up a shards of broken plate and mopping up syrupy pancakes and well scrambled eggs off the floor, while repeatedly telling everyone not to walk in the kitchen in their bare feet, this included me.

I am truly blessed to have married someone who knows and practices the Art of mealtimes and homemaking.

I am skilled in the art of infamous mealtimes.

Anyone want to learn how?


Elijah Lofgren said...

LOL. :)

Thanks for sharing this with us!

Anna Naomi said...

That was hilarious!

Thanks for the laugh! =)

Miriam said...

Too funny!

Rob said...

Thanks, hopefully I won't embarrass myself or my family too much with my infant blogging.

Tori Ingram said...

Rob, This is something that you and I actually have in common. It's not that I don't have the desire to produce dinner "art," it's just that the genes for that were given, instead, to my wonderful husband. He lovingly takes knives out of my hand or shakes his head laughing as I try to flip a fried egg, something he can do in his sleep with one hand tied behind his back. Something else that we have in common, though, is our ability to leave a lasting memory. So, kudos to you. :)

Rob said...

I can follow directions in the kitchen. But "creating" anything in the kitchen requires serious effort that is still not rewarded in the results. My wife fortunately appreciates the effort anyway.
Thanks also for the encouragement.