Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I have a little secret.

I like pot roast. I just discovered it a few days ago and frankly, I'm still weaving a bit from the shock. I'm not supposed to like it. I've spent 36 years not liking it and 19 of those years refusing to eat it. Then on Sunday, in an effort to be a good example to my children, I tasted it. Shortly after that, I found myself using the leftover shreds of beef to scrape the sour cream gravy out of the dutch oven. Who knew that falling from grace could be so delicious.

I grew up in a meat-and-potatoes family. We ate beef at least three nights per week. Since we were solidly working class, most of those beef dishes were cheap cuts that required some sort of tomato product and a pressure cooker. We knew dinner was ready when we heard the hiss of steam being released.

When I left home, I started down the path toward vegetarianism. I took my time and then stalled out at fowlpescalactotarianism (in other words, I'd managed to stop eating mammals). When I married Nick, I decided to stop there. I felt good about my choices but I didn't have to be inconvenienced by cooking multiple meals. Nick actually encouraged me to really give up meat, but I was happy to be stalled.

Then, as any home cook will profess, adding more mouths complicated the meal selection process considerably. As I struggled to find common food likes, I decided to just give up on the whole pseudo-vegetarianism. I capitulated last Easter when a particularly lovely ham sang her sweet, salty siren song. Then came salami, Italian sausage, pork chops, mortadella, and the list goes on. That's how I found myself with two slices of pot roast on my dinner plate.

When I took a second helping, Nick exclaimed, "Wow! You LIKE pot roast?" That's when I made a big mistake. I let my pride get in the way. I answered, "Well, it's not my new favorite or anything, but it's not as horrible as I remember. Just don't be expecting it every week." As soon as the words were out, I wanted to snatch them back. Now I have a dilemma - admit that I was foolish or devise a zany scheme that will force me to make pot roast again. I suspect that I might just be inviting all the pot roast afficianados I know over for dinner someday soon. After all, a good hostess prepares her guest's favorites.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gravity, the Trickster

Sunday afternoon, Jacob and I attended a Blue and Gold Banquet. It was my very first and it was a complete surprise. We had made a few decorations, so I was prepared for the pirate theme ahead of time (Seriously? Pirates? Do we want our boys to become rapists, looters, and pillagers? I do not understand why outlaws are held up as role models for our children.) but I was not prepared for the nearly life-size wooden boat constructed in the gym. Nor was I prepared for the three and a half hour agenda. I nearly fainted dead away but was saved by a swashbuckler who loosened my corset. Or perhaps it was just another parent who made a sarcastic comment. Either way, I caught myself before I hit the floor, er, the deck.

I gave Jacob a stern warning that he was to stay in his seat with his mouth closed. For Jake, that is quite possibly the most challenging request ever made. He can climb mountains, add two digit numbers, read chapter books, build an electrical circuit, but he cannot sit in a chair. With a valiant effort, he actually sat still in the chair for over an hour. Then, his body started rebelling against him. A leg jiggled. A butt wiggled. An elbow flapped. Then the chair folded with a metallic clang that echoed around the gymnasium and Jacob vanished.

Silence fell as everyone turned to find the source of the clang. Then, across the table, I saw two grubby hands and a cowlick appear. Jake pulled himself up, righted his chair, and sat back down. He looked at me, shocked, and said, "Huh. I didn't expect THAT to happen!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wait, now is the time?

I seem to have become the cliche - the mom blogger who disappears for weeks at a time. I could say that I've been busy (I have) or that I've been uninspired (also true) or even that I've been on my knees cleaning up sticky glass from a fantastic medicine bottle accident that defies description (and I was, er, indisposed in the bathroom at that moment). But the real truth is that I've been playing video games. I have been sucked into some weird winter video game vortex. Beware! You might also be in danger! In order to prevent my brain from completely petrifying as my fingers become ever twitchier, I'm going to attempt to actually string together a few thoughts about Lent.

For some reason, this Lent is a tough one for me. It snuck up on me. Ash Wednesday came early this year. I barely finished packing away the wise men before turning my attention to the desert. I'm not ready for the desert! I haven't made plans! I haven't gathered waterskins and all the other paraphernalia one expects to need on such a journey! Or maybe, just maybe, that's the point. Maybe this is the season that I'm supposed to just drop everything and face God unprepared. Maybe I need to stop wearing the desert paraphernalia as armor and just go into the desert, trusting that I will come out the other side better for my experience. I am both hopeful and terrified.