I’m no Martha Stewart by any means. In fact, I’ve just orderered her magazine so that I can pour over it every month and learn a few pointers. You know, like how to turn empty kleenex boxes into craft projects. Or how to make a tutu for my cat and convince him not to pull it off. The important crafty stuff that every good housewife should be able to handle.
But when it comes to having guests over the house, I just might give Martha a run for her money. Not because everything is perfectly in its perfect place. And the tablecloths don’t accent the dishes which also match my eyes. But still, I really want everything to be just right. I want the house to feel warm and inviting. The food — if not gourmet — must still be hearty and full of flavor. The food — if not restaurant worthy — must still be homemade.
It’s kind of like a rule of mine, and I blame it entirely on my mother. She never brought store-bought pies or breads to family functions. Everything was made from scratch; and mixed, stirred, and baked with a whole lot of love. And if you were to go to my parent’s house for dinner? You’d be served a steaming bowl of homemade stew or maybe a slice of her should-be-world-famous lasagna. All homemade. All hearty. All delicious. Trust me, you would not go home hungry!
So as you may have now guessed, I have a lot to live up to.
That’s where the issue begins. This weekend, I have three separate guests coming over. Romeo — an elderly gentleman from church — is coming over tonight for dinner. Tomorrow night, Nate’s brother and brother’s girlfriend are coming over for dinner. On Sunday, my friend is coming over for lunch.
Did I over-book the weekend? Maybe a little. I had convinced myself that I could do it, and it all started well. Last night, I put together a hearty chicken stew for Friday night’s dinner, chatting all the while.
“Do you know what makes a good chicken stew?” I said to Nate very matter-of-factly. “Lots of chicken, carrots, potatoes, and LOVE!”
But if you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know how I turn most meals into a relay event. I’m always out of something and so I have to make a mad dash to the grocery store before I can continue. Last night I found out that I only had one potato. And since that wouldn’t do, I had to dash out into the cold darkness, drive to the grocery store, and make my purchase. (Honestly, I’m surprised the cashiers don’t cheer me on as I run past them. They’re so used to me running in to grab one lone item that I’m missing).
So that set me back and suddenly I wasn’t talking about how much love stews require. I was more or less grumbling about how there was no way I could have time to make homemade bread and about how much I hated cooking sometimes. And what about Saturday night’s dinner? When would I have time to start the prep work for that?
So Nate held up his hands to silence me and told me that he’s going to order pizza Saturday night. And he’s going to make brownies. And I should pick up an Italian bread to go with the stew, and I should make something just as easy for Sunday’s lunch.
I stood there, my mouth wide open, staring at him as though he had two heads. BUY a bread??? Serve pizza and brownies??? I protested for all of five minutes before coming to the conclusion that I have time to become Martha… and my mom. For now, I’m just happy to have my sanity. So I think we will order pizza. But at least I’ll serve it on my nice dishes… because paper plates just won’t do!