There are times when you just want to say “enough.” Today is going to be one of those days. It is a winter wonderland outside with bright, fluffy snow falling without end. And it is also a Friday, as in Friday night dinner, as in the day all I do is pretty much cook non-stop. When I can cook the way I want to cook and not the way everyone else wants me to cook. Friday night dinners are exhausting but also freeing and satisfying, at least usually.
This week is going to be roast turkey, Thanksgiving in February, as per my mother’s request. The 18 pound bird has been seasoned, stuffed with lemons, oranges and onions, seared at 500 degrees for 15 minutes and is now happily roasting away in a 250 degree oven. This, by the way, is not how my mother would do it – as she has not so subtly hinted at throughout the process.
Did I happen to mention that the snow has kept my mother home from work? She is currently in the kitchen making a chocolate turtle cheesecake which is post pumpkin bar baking and pre-dinner roll producing. I love her, but she is seriously driving me crazy.
You see, we bicker non-stop when forced to share the close confines of a kitchen. The constant remarks on technique, ingredient selection, etc. makes me wonder how we ever did this all day, every day together without killing each other! If you didn’t know, my mother and I used to own a catering company called The Loving Cup. We were very successful and very busy and never seemed to have this much tension. We also taught cooking classes during which we did bicker the entire time and gained quite a following because of it. Anyway, I know how I dealt with the stress, I ate and ate and ate until I was nearly 270 pounds.
Distance from my mother and our joint time in the kitchen has allowed me to shed all the pounds and all the stress. Distance has made a slice of something sweet a rare occurrence instead of the staple it used to be. But seriously, on days like this I can see why sugar was a comfortable anti-anxiety drug.
I am older, I am wiser. I will take a few deep breaths, think some calming thoughts (a mixed drink right now would be nice…wait, that probably isn’t appropriate) and bide my time until she has moved onto another project in another part of the house. I will then sweep down into the kitchen and clean up the crazy mess she has left and start the dinner preparation from scratch.
Because here is the other thing, I am the kitchen fairy. Make a mess, walk away and it is suddenly cleared. Poof! Magic! It must have been some kind of fairy. Nope, just me. Hopefully I can get it all done before she heads back in for a second round of “are you sure you want to do that?s.”
The realization that Thanksgiving in February shouldn’t be any less stressful than the real Thanksgiving has just occurred to me.
Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts…I love my mother, I love my mother, I love my mother…How long till 5 pm so that I don’t feel like a lush?