I’m melting here in Ireland. We are now on our second burst of glorious weather and my poor blog is suffering from neglect, although I am still writing.
So, a little late, here’s one of my columns from the Feelgood in the Irish Examiner from a couple of weeks ago.
Last week, in the honeymoon days of the return of my college children, I became quite emotional as I prepared dinner for the six of us. It had been months since we’d all sat at the kitchen table together. My heart sang as I imagined the feast we’d enjoy, yer man and myself at each end of the table, relishing the noise of sibling banter. The Walton’s or Brady Bunch would be nothing on us.
It wasn’t long, however, before I returned to type, groaning as I catered for the various different likes and dislikes. Pasta for one, roast potatoes for three, carrots for four, broccoli for two. I could hear my mother’s voice telling me I’d made a rod for my own back by not insisting they ate whatever they were given as children.
Finally, after using every saucepan and utensil we own, dinner was almost ready. I’m not one to boast, but my children are exceptional, as they have special powers. These ensure they arrive bang on time for a meal, yet always too late to help with any preparation.
Glancing at the clock I was a little alarmed that there was no sign of yer man arriving home from work. Hoping he’d appear soon, I took a moment to stand back and relish the sight of the table set for six, before returning to the task at hand.
I’m usually a relaxed individual but I find plating dinner quite stressful. This occasion was no different, as I turned down the gravy which had bubbled over, while soaking under running water, the sizable burn on my wrist in the hope I’d not require surgery.
However, I was too happy for misery. After all it was a special evening, although my diners didn’t appear to be in high spirits as they waited impatiently at the table.
With all veg, pasta and potatoes plated I opened the oven and took out the steaks. One, two, three, four. Where were five and six?
I got down on my hands and knees and gazed into the open, scorching hot oven. No. No sign of them!
“Everything okay?” asked my daughter.
“Yep,” I said cheerily, banging the oven door. I was missing two steaks! I’d definitely cooked six. Or had I?
Cutting the four steaks into six pieces I hoped for a miracle. Unfortunately, Jesus must have been busy, so all I could do was hide those morsels of meat under the veg.
“Here you go,” I said, making eye contact daring anyone to complain.
My feast was a shambles, and there was still no sign of yer man. I glanced around the table at my crew. One was digging in, but at least two appeared to be searching under their veg, pasta and chips.
Finally my daughter spoke, “Hey, one of you better go back to college quick because we get a lot more steak when you’re not here.”
Sadly, our lovely meal didn’t last as long as I’d hoped. Minutes before we finished yer man arrived home, totally unaware he’d missed a special moment. Handing him his less than impressive dinner I said,
“I’d wanted to make this a special dinner, with us all together.”
“Oh, really?” he said, looking from his ‘special’ feast to me. “I’m sorry it didn’t work out.”
I’m still unsure if it were the occasion or the dinner he was referring to.
photo credit: cellar_door_films via photopin cc