Just Not All that Competent, Really.

0511-0906-2523-5412_Black_and_White_Cartoon_of_a_Woman_Screaming_in_a_Dirty_Kitchen_clipart_imageHow can it be that I just spent two days as a perfectly competent workshop facilitator who may well have seemed to a whole group of people to really have her shit together, and then came home tonight and completely botched the simple task of making dinner to the point where three out of four members of the Wonderfamily sat and stared morosely at our plates?

Seriously.  Can anyone explain this to me?

Because, really, Matt had done a great job of marinating the salmon and all I had to do was bake it, make mashed cauliflower (a yummy, healthy substitute for mashed potatoes), and steam some snow peas.  He would’ve made the dinner, but at the time it seemed easier for me to make it while he supervised The Bathing of the Boys.  Whoo boy, was that a bad call.

Fifteen minutes later I was standing in the kitchen, soaked in sweat (a hot dinner on a warm night?  not so smart), fighting for my life against my ancient Cuisinart (it was my mom’s, a 1st generation one), the assemblage of which is never intuitive for me. (Please tell me they’ve redesigned those.)  I finally decided I’d have to go the lumpy route and mash the cauliflower with a fork which not only didn’t work AT ALL but resulted in small bits of cauliflower all over the countertop and floor.  Soon thereafter, I burned my right forearm on the pan that held the salmon, fresh from the oven.  Out of desperation, I eventually realized I just wasn’t going to make mashed cauliflower with a fork (even though Matt says that works for him) and, fighting the pain in my arm, spent another 5 minutes overcoming the Cuisinart.

Matt and the freshly-scrubbed children appeared at the table, all smiles, only to find me holding an ice pack against my arm, sweating like a total freak (I’d put the A/C on by this time), and tearfully serving slightly undercooked salmon (ew), way overcooked snow peas (double-eww) and well mashed but by now room temperature mashed cauliflower.

Oh, and we were out of wine.

While the children and I stared sadly at our plates, I told them that, frankly, I thought my dinner was awful, too.  It was a teachable moment – they learned what it means for dinner to be a “complete flop”.  Matt seemed to honestly like his (god love him) and Baxter was careful of my feelings and tried to say it was okay but didn’t eat much of anything.  Lyle and I essentially pouted at our plates. Okay, so my pout was internal, but whatever.

I finally told the boys that if they just took a bite of everything they could be excused. Truth is, that happens often enough even when I think dinner is edible.

Matt got my attention and silently gestured:  “you” + “me” + “pizza”.  If i’d been a nice mom I’d have told the kids to scrap dinner, we were ordering pizza, but that is one precedent you just don’t want to set.  Hey kids! Don’t like dinner?  We’ll toss it and order a pizza! So the poor saps had to make do with what they had.  I trust they’ll make up for it at breakfast.

The pizza is on its way and Matt is making an emergency trip to the nearest liquor store in walking distance.  This night will be salvaged yet, even if I do have to hold this ice pack on my arm.

Now.  What’s on cable?

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12 responses to “Just Not All that Competent, Really.

  1. Oh, ouch! Hope the burn isn’t bad. Pizza and wine can cure all manner of ills! 😉

  2. I’ve never done the mashed cauliflower thing. My cuisinart is new, but likewise a beast. Will have to try! I’ve had nights like this, but not in a long while. Glad you two salvaged the night. Congrats on the workshop—you rock!

  3. Just because the boys didn’t notice it doesn’t mean that your pout was “internal”.

    The elves are watching…

  4. I’m not sure that “morose” is the same as “pout” but I’m sure you’re right, Matt.

    Heather, I’ll share the recipe, if you want!

    Thanks, Niksmom, pizza and wine have worked wonders…

    Yes, Emily. As of 2 weeks ago. It’s a celebration of my new life.

  5. I’d like the mashed cauliflower recipe, and I’d like to know what you marinate your salmon in. I don’t know why I’ve never marinated my salmon before. (What is wrong with me??)

    Today was just the universe letting you know not to get too cocky. 🙂

  6. Goodfountain, we just marinate it in teriyaki. Yum! Baxter will eat it that way more often than plain.

    Not too cocky, indeed. I could feel all the stress of the past few days all of a sudden!

  7. Oh boy have I been there!! Totally stinks when there is nothing else in the house to eat (or drink!!) and you’ve just wasted a good chunk of the evening cooking compost filler. But on the upside — it only happens once in a blue moon, right? So now you’ve got it out of the way for at least half a year.

  8. I’m just saying, I would have let the boys in on the pizza. I know, I know. Pushover that I am, I could not have survived the guilt of eating a good dinner after I sent my kids to bed hungry. I probably would have ended the night with heartburn.

    Okay, now that I’ve made you feel bad, can I have the cauliflower recipe too? 😉

  9. No worries, they weren’t hungry at bedtime. They never mentioned it – or even this morning. I neglected to mention that they had two afternoon snacks, so I wasn’t especially worried. 🙂

    Yes, I’ll email around the cauliflower recipe!

  10. never tried mashed cauliflower. but may have to considering my son’s disaccharidase deficiency.

    That said, my husband can, with just a fork, mash potatoes, boiled with their skins on, into super smooth no lump mash potatoes….. I love it when he makes them. Me, no way, no how, can’t do it. I once had to ask what a potato masher (the manual, rather than the cuisinart version) was. It’d been long enough since my mom used one, and my husband never used one, so I had no clue what it was…

  11. My favorite part: “the poor saps”. Children really are sometimes, aren’t they? At our mercy and just lumping it unhappily until something nicer comes along. I’ve had my share of botched dinners, and it doesn’t feel good. But you get to model Rolling With the Punches, I suppose….

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