grumpy about dinner

I made a delicious dinner for my family tonight, if I may make such a bold statement. Lemon pepper chicken with fresh sage.

Home-made buns.

Sautéed zucchini sprinkled with Parmesan.

And the awesomeness of farm-fresh bitter escarole braised in balsamic and cider vinegars with garlic, onions and grated carrots.

I am the BOMB. This isn’t even that abnormal. It took me about an hour (not including the bread, which was created earlier in the day), and by the time I was done Anthony was home and hanging out with the kids.

This picture was taken last week but is an exact replica of what was going down in the living room while I worked. Alone. In the kitchen. Creating a minor masterpiece. Like I frequently do.

When I was done, I set the table and then I had to walk the dog because Anthony is suffering from plantar fasciitis. Aaaw. I had this loose idea that the kids would eat dinner with Anthony and I would miss all that drama. But no.

Jesse wanted to ride her bike around the block with me. Okay, except for the infantile whining noises she was making about water on her shorts. Before I made it to our front lawn, Nick was in the doorway begging me to wait for him, because now he wanted to come on his bike too. I can’t do dog and beginner-bike Nick at the same time so I ignored him, but he ran out of the house barefoot, shoes in hand, wailing. “MOMMY WAIT FOR MEEEE!!!” Wisely sensing an emerging crisis, Anthony jumped into the fray as Jesse disappeared down the street. He instructed me to carry on and let him help Nick, so I marched off with the dog as Nick started keening. I made it 2 houses down before Nick hit the road. I looked back and saw him barreling down the street at me, crouched athletically over the bars of his tiny 12-inch-wheel Trek, spinning the pedals at an impossible rate, all the while bellowing and screeching through his raging tears, “MOOOMMMYYYY WAAAAAIIIIIT!!!! WAIT FOR MEEEEE!!”

It was cute but also an outrageous spectacle, and all I felt in that moment was a powerful instinct to flee. Run and hide, Carla, run and hide! I mustered my courage and stood my ground, and the five of us (Anthony came along too after all) had a reasonably pleasant and quick walk/ride.

On to dinner, which we settled down to as soon as we got back to the house. Anthony and I enjoyed the meal a great deal. Nick ate the inside of a bun and choked down 6 or 7 bites of chicken drenched in ketchup. I was thankful his gag reflex didn’t kick in, and also that he didn’t call any of my food “disgusting” or “nasty.” We didn’t bother to force vegetables on him. There had already been enough tears.

Jesse ate a couple bits of onion and she made a chicken sandwich on a bun, also covered in ketchup. She had wanted a hamburger but she was being flexible; she pounded the sandwich down. I was surprised by the speed of consumption. I asked her how it was with the chicken. “It’s great, mom!” Unable to help myself, I took the didactic next step. Always a mistake, but I never learn. I pointed out how glad I was that she was enjoying the chicken as much as a beef burger, because chicken is a healthier alternative to beef… Jesse interrupted. “Yeah, it’s good, Mom. Actually, I can’t even taste the chicken because of the ketchup, so it’s great.”

Always glad to serve my kids delicious, home-made meals, which they will appreciate when they reach their late 20’s.

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