Monday, June 12, 2006
Brave your storm with firm endeavor. - George Cooper
The calm before the storm.
In less than a week, I have hosted three dinner parties.
Wednesday evening was H’s wine-tasting extravaganza. 16 people.
Thursday H invited his brother, sister-in-law, their four children, and his parents over for a cookout – which I prepared for, cooked for, and then went to work from 3pm till 10pm.
Tonight H invited his cousin D for dinner, along with her parents. D is in town from Florida, because her sister just got married on Friday evening. We don’t get to see her that often, and I was delighted to spend some time with her. But geez oh man am I exhausted.
H left the whole thing very open-ended, resulting in everyone arriving at 6 pm, when he thought they were coming at 1pm. I have never ever before been sitting around with a glass of wine in my hand, freshly showered and with everything ready, when the guests arrived. But when people arrive 5 hours after you thought you invited them (semantic screw-up on H’s part, btw), well, that preparation thing will happen.
We started out with a chunk of Camembert and some sesame crackers. Uncle J especially liked the crackers- he said they reminded him of Communion wafer. Oh-kay.
Our CSA offerings this week consisted of lots and lots of greens. So for the meal I made two huge salads – one Mediterranean-themed with romaine and spinach greens, olives, roasted red pepper, parmigiana-reggiano cheese chunks, tomato, and cold pasta salad, sprinkled with toasted pine nuts; the other more American-themed, with field greens, Dry Jack cheese shavings, sliced green pepper, hard-boiled egg, avocado, and cucumber, sprinkled with chopped green onions. I baked a couple fillets of salmon bathed in white wine, sprinkled with dill weed and salt, and drizzled with olive oil. I fried up a mess of spinach in olive oil and chicken broth, with garlic slices and red pepper flakes. We served crusty bread, and a fruit salad of fresh pineapple and blueberries topped with flaked coconut.
And for dessert, I offered a lemon cream cake from Eat Cake. I didn’t have two 8-inch round pans – my round pans are 9-inch – so I baked it in a 9x13 pan and cut it in half cross-wise and layered it that way. The cake was a nice light plain cake, and the frosting was whipped cream folded in with lemon curd, and was wonderfully light, creamy, and lemony-tart.
Aunt M brought us a huge tray of leftover cookies from Friday’s wedding. My favorites – these almond cookies with apricot filling, covered in coconut - were there, also some of the raspberry cookies I like too. Because, you know, I need cookies to eat like I need a hole in my head.
So the dinner party was quite successful, everyone enjoyed looking at the first wedding pics to come back from the developer, and they all admired my adorable and smart children. A very nice evening. I wish I could say the dinner party season is coming to a close, but we offered to host the Perfect family’s Father’s Day dinner. So I must take a deep breath, gird up my loins, and prepare for 8 adults and 6 children to feed next Sunday. After which I shall collapse and order pizza for dinner for a week straight.
Friday night may well have been one of the worst days I have ever had.
First – please don’t call CYS – I lost my temper completely with Primo and slapped him. I have never felt as much like a worm as I did then. I was totally unjustified – I was angry at him and I lost control. It was my nadir as a mother.
Then H and I had a fight at the wedding. I won’t go into details, mostly because I am tired of thinking about the whole thing, but suffice it to say that he was incredibly mean and rude to me, and rather than cry in front of his entire family at the reception, I left. I just got up and walked out of the reception. My first inclination was to take my car and drive home but his bag was still in the car and I didn’t want to go back into the hotel, and I didn’t want to show up at home at midnight and scare the bejesus out of the babysitter. So I sat in the car, wrapped in a blanket, called Gina, calmed down, and read until several hours later H came looking for me. I got the room key from him and went inside and went to bed. Dammit, there was no way I was passing up an opportunity to sleep all night long, and sleep in.
The long and short of it is that H finally, the next morning, apologized profusely, and we talked about what was REALLY bothering him rather than what he’d been so mean about. And I told him that we get into all kinds of trouble when we try to play by other people’s rules and meet other people’s expectations instead of doing what has proven to work for us. And while it may not be conventional and/or easy, it’s crazy to ignore that it works for us. And then he told me I was very wise. And we talked, and talked some more. And I wound up being more exhausted than if I had just stayed up all night with the baby. I have been through the emotional wringer. I got nothing left right now. Except some wedding cookies and an extra slice of lemon cream cake. And that, my sweet Internet ones, is why I can’t lose this stupid weight.