If only cooking were based on effort

On Wednesdays Ammon has classes until 7:00pm. Yesterday (Wednesday) I forgot to send him with a lunch. I realized this around 1:00pm and decided I would make a yummy dinner for him to make up for it. I planned ahead, found a recipe in which I could use the leftover roast and made sure we had all ingredients. My day was going swimmingly well. I got all the laundry folded and put away...Hyrum and Audrey both got good naps...I cleaned the house...did the dishes...Played Legos with Hyrum. At 4:00pm I was finished with all that I had planned to do in the day so we went to my favorite get-away-place: Big Momma's House. Going to my mom's is always a slippery slope. I get lured in by the gas fireplace, the semi-childcare, adult conversation, and the chocolate. Basically, it's difficult to leave. But I had planned to make dinner for Ammon--so before I left I promised I would leave at 6:00pm.

Big Momma's house was as comforting as ever. After a little American Idol, snacks, and Big Daddy repeatedly throwing Hyrum into the Luv Sac it was 6:00. It took a bit of self control but I did it! I left! (I actually left around 6:30, but I still think that counts.) Ammon would be home in 30 minutes and I had a lot to do. I turned on a movie for Hyrum and got started.

Put meat in pan, used bouillon cubes for first time, used cornstarch for the first time. Noticed Hyrum with a sauce pan, chocolate chips, and the salt can heading for the living room--helped him pour some salt and chocolate into the pan and even gave him a spoon to stir his creation and removed the salt from his reach (thank goodness I intervened, that could have made a real mess.) Call Ammon back, trying to enjoy the conversation, stirring the gravy, baby starts to cry. Noticed Hyrum get the bar of baking chocolate from the pantry--figured he couldn't make too much of a mess. Stir the gravy. Tell Ammon I'll have to wait to talk until he gets home. Made funeral potatoes for the second time, using leftover baked potatoes-Baby starts to cry-not sure how to measure a pint of sour cream when it didn't come in a pint container.,trying to rock baby in car seat while grating potato..stir the gravy...baby still crying...preheat the oven...don't have time to mix cornflakes with butter. Hyrum comes in gagging and coughing-he has a spoonful of white powder in his mouth. Hesitate for a second and then (remembering what we did last time he ate flour) flushed his mouth with water. Stir the gravy. See the cornstarch spilled all over living room rug and realized I must have missed him snatching that. Stir gravy while watching Hyrum attempt to clean up the mess by rubbing it into the carpet with a handtowel...baby still crying.

At this point, Ammon walks in the door, his usual cheerful self, "Well this looks fun." He takes the baby while I finish the potatoes and put them in the oven. I take the baby and feed her while he makes minute rice and begins to clean up kitchen (which at this point is a glorious mess). Meanwhile, Hyrum pushing at our legs trying to get some attention.

Okay, Deep Breath, baby fed, rice cooked, potatoes beeping. Now we should all sit down to a nice family dinner, right?

Potatoes don't look right.
Hyrum won't eat off his plate but wants to eat off mine or daddy's and insists on sitting on the table instead of his chair. Ammon trying to share his thoughts on the book he's reading. Potatoes don't taste like his mom's (he didn't say that of course, I just know what they are supposed to taste like) maybe the potatoes were over cooked or maybe too much sour cream. Meat has weird little cooked cornstarch balls in it- I really don't have a clue how to cook with cornstarch. Ammon eats it and things calm down for a minute...then Ammon gets up from the table and goes to the kitchen sink as if he is going to throw up (Apparently, he got a really "meaty" piece of meat that triggered the gag reflex). At about this time, Hyrum, who is now playing under the table (after I have asked him repeatedly to stop) falls and hits his head. Hyrum screaming, I pick him up--Ammon thinks I am going to lose my patience and offers to take him. I breathe deep and hold Hyrum close, and then tell him again that we don't play under the table. Hyrum calms down and Ammon takes him downstairs to play.

This is the point. My head is in my hands and I am feeling totally spent and I feel the tears welling up in my eyes. And then, the most amazing thing happened...I started to laugh! Things had gone very wrong, and so what! This was a little out of character for me, usually I would have been upset and probably a little angry (sad but nevertheless, true).

I went downstairs and expressed my sentiment that effort didn't always bring quality results. We laughed together, he sincerely thanked me for my effort. We put the kids to bed, and then cleaned up the kitchen together; the start of a great evening together.

Things could have turned out very differently had I not been blessed with a little sense of humour at that crucial moment. I happily accept this new reaction and hope to make it more characteristic of me.


Michelle & Cole said...

You are better than I am. I would have been upset. On one of my first attempts to make Rhodes rolls I put a lid on the pan to help them rise. Then I put them in the oven. When I went to get them out of the oven I realized I didn't take the plastic lid off before I put them in. It was great. Of course Cole took a pictur:) It was similare to you because I wanted to be upset but somehow it was too funny so I ended up laughing. The picture became our computer desktop background for about a year.

Hatch Family said...

That's awesome, Michelle. It's good to swap stories like these. Makes me feel good.

Mel said...

Our cooking stories sound very similar. Perhaps it's the fact that our kids are the same age. Anna runs off with cooking items while Ian cries to be fed. It's the same story almost every evening.

To make a good meal, I have to start it way in advance, like 3 hours. It feels like I'm always in the kitchen, but it's the only way to get a decent meal on the table. At the end of the day, I'm tired and would love to be rich enough to hire a maid to do the dishes.

Jen said...

Your amazing Abby! I would have totally cried, in fact i know i've gotten upset over getting dinner ready too many times. I even cried over nursery the other day! I guess it was the 10 kiddies with short attention spans, no clue what to and my hormons raging that spilled the bucket. Thank heavens kids don't come out 2yrs old and 10 at a time.

I hope next time i can be more like you and laugh when i want to cry.

Melissa said...

i'm picturing dinner tomorrow...i don't have any high chairs...it's going to be REALLY FUNNY.

i loved this account from start to finish. good writing, good message, good follow through.

Carrie said...

Hahaha that made me laugh because I, too, have had similar situations. I'm not so good at the laughing yet but your story was a good reminder to end things that way more often.

MattinsonFamily said...

Hey I was just checking Amie's blog and saw yours. The story is of course Bezzant funny. You have really cute kids!!!

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