Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Meal

Here's a conversation heard time and again in many homes across the world:

What do you want for supper tonight? .... I don't care, whatever.

I think most home cooks find this exchange so frustrating and so hurtful. Preparing and organizing meals is something that requires a non-trivial effort. It involves time, money, energy, patience, creativity, and love. When those who we try to prepare meals for don't make any effort to share the burden, it is clear that they take us for granted and have little to no appreciation for our efforts.

Another utterance that is also heard across the globe as dinner is being served is:

Awww, not that again! .... Sigh.

However, every once in a while we get asked for seconds or thirds. We get back clean plates. We get back a satisfied look and a simple, sweet, hug. This is what re-energizes us to go back into the kitchen and continue. It gives me a reason to smile as I think about preparing my macaroni and cheese bake, my homemade pizza, my hotcakes with syrup, my special grilled cheese sandwiches, my flavor-rific scrambled eggs, my quesadillas with spicy taco sauce, and my spagetti and garlic bread. It allows me to prepare a dish that comes out so much better when I make it for someone else than it ever would if I just made it for myself. It takes the meal preparation drudergies away and warms me.

Recently, as I was dropping off my little one for school, I told her that I hoped she enjoyed the lunch that I had packed for her. I said that I would bet that it could be the best lunch ever. She told me that the best lunch ever is the one that we spend together. Maybe it's not the food, but the company.