I can throw an amazing dinner party.
A house that is remotely picked up
A beautifully created pastry masterpiece being showcased under glass on the buffet table
A decently set table- china choice depending on the formality of said party
A well planned and executed meal
Plenty of sweet tea to offer
Sometimes I even throw in some pleasant conversation
I rock at throwing dinner parties.
Just had to remind myself of that tiny fact because my dinner party throwing ego is suffering from last night's less than satisfactory effort.
It's not`that anything truly dramatic happened. Nobody died from food poisoning...nobody lost a tooth on rock-hard-overcooked food, nobody choked on an eggshell accidentally added in, I didn't set off any smoke detectors or evacuate the house due to a burning stench.
This story really needs to start yesterday morning when I looked around my house covered in three inches of stuff and remembered that the entire family was coming over to my house for dinner in twelve hours and in that time I also had to take Addison to a doctor's appointment and feed/take care of two needy children AND prepare/cook all of the food...
I wanted to use my new Shark steam mop but realized that I couldn't even SEE my floors...sigh.
Truly, I haven't been able to catch up with my housekeeping since the Michigan trip...shameful, I know. The practicality of taking care of two babies on top of all of the events of late have just been all that I can handle, let alone cleaning my house and folding laundry.
Yesterday was spent of a flurry of cleaning, Signing Time DVD watching for Addison, playmat alone play for Carter.
In between cleaning phases (and feeding/changing children), I made dough for the rolls, topping for the salad; marinated the meat for the main dish; desperately tried to pull myself together and out of this neglectful house/entertaining slump.
And I thought I had succeeded...even when I was trying to finish the meal and all of Aaron's family was in the kitchen breathing over my shoulder
"What are you doing now????"
"cooking the noodles"
"Beating the next person who asks a question over the the head with a ladle"
OK, I didn't say that last one. But it was hard to focus with all those extra bodies in my kitchen observing cooking techniques. (I don't cook well under that kind of pressure)
And it wasn't until everyone was suspiciously silent while eating the meal and then the forced "THIS IS WONDERFUL"s started rolling forth that I knew something was wrong.
(I know that I threatened them before the meal that they had to pretend to like it even if they didn't...but I didn't realize what a disaster it was when I said that...the sympathy compliments were almost too much to take...note to self: stop threatening guests.)
I didn't think through the fact that doubling the recipe that many times would make the soy sauce to dish balance be off causing the entire dish to be VERY SALTY. (confession...I've made the recipe so many times that I no longer use a recipe and there's a slight chance that doubling it so many times caused there to be WAY TOO MUCH soy sauce. ahem.)
It was one of our favorite dishes, so to see it desecrated in such a way was almost blasphemous. I couldn't look at it...couldn't eat it...my stomach was in knots for what I had done to our beautiful, wonderful favorite dish.
Looking around at the forced smiles combined with nose plugging while shoveling in and constant tea drinking...I knew that I would never hear the end of this. (when someone requested a camel back, I knew I was in trouble...fine they didn't but I know they wanted to.)
I tried to pin down my mother-in-law
"Did you like it?"
"Oh yes, I LOVED it. I think I'll try that recipe."
"Really? You didn't think it was too salty?"
"Oh, it was very salty"
"So you didn't like it?"
"No I loved it. I just imagined it with less salt."
I think I might have to take down my Queen of the Kitchen sign.
I asked my husband if it was too terrible (looking for a comforting "it was fine...you're imagining that extra salt" comment)
He stared at me intently and then walked away.
I HATE MAKING MISTAKES. (especially in front of family. What is it about normal things that we do every day for friends and our spouse all of a sudden we seem incapable of doing as soon as there are large family gatherings....this is NOT the first family gathering cooking mistake that I have made...yet that seems to be the only place I make these mistakes. Why is that???)
I admit, I might be a bit of a perfectionist and this is driving me crazy.
The positive thing is, a couple of days from now when anyone mentions this, I can say "Oh yes, but that was last year. I would never do that now" distancing myself from the entire incident by a whole year.
well, at least the house was clean...
I know none of you will read this because you are all busy throwing your own, highly successful end-of-the-year family dinner parties. I envy your success and wish that there was a salt free DO OVER button in life.
(on that note...anyone want to come over for lunch? I have a ton of leftovers...)
I know I said I would announce this yesterday, but I didn't truly sit down at my computer all day! So here you go:
*Winner of the $50 Target gift card is Julie V! Congratulations Julie. Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org