Thursday, May 6, 2010

" Sweater (noun): garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly." ~ Ambrose Bierce

Mother's Day is Sunday. I'm sure I didn't have to remind you. No one has to remind me either, since we've been planning it for almost two weeks. We are having a big Crawfish Boil and Tom's parents are coming over, as well as another couple and their three girls.

While we've been busy ordering the live crawfish, developing a cohesive menu (yes, I will send it by email to my mother-in-law AND print one for her to take home), shopping for the shrimp, kielbasa, potatoes and corn on the cob, my in-laws are planning their day here as well.

Last Saturday evening the phone rings.

TOM: Hello, mother (caller ID)
MIL: How did you know it was me? (same question every time he answers the phone)
TOM: I'm psychic (same answer every time she asks that question)
MIL: Tom (she says his name with a long drawn out 'O', then pauses) What time are we having dinner Sunday?
TOM: Sometime late in the afternoon, why? You have somewhere you need to be? Bingo? Skipbo?
MIL: No, we just need to know so we know whether or not to go to the brunch Sunday (the brunch at their retirement home is served around 11:30 or so) and if we were going to eat early at your house then we wouldn't go to brunch. We don't want to be full from brunch.
TOM: Mom. Go to the brunch.
MIL: Okay, well, we just wanted to know. When are you picking us up?
TOM: I don't know yet. I hadn't really thought about it. I'll call you later in the week and let you know.
MIL: Okay, well, bye.
TOM: Bye, Mom.

Tuesday evening the phone rings.

TOM: Hello, mother
MIL: How did you know it was me? (told you; every single time)
TOM: I'm psychic (yep, same answer)
MIL: Tom (again with the long drawn out 'O', and the pause). Are going to have shrimp with that boil?
TOM: Yes, why? (we always put shrimp in the crawfish boil...always)
MIL: Well, we don't like crawfish and we wouldn't be able to eat if you weren't going to have the shrimp, too.
TOM: We're having shrimp, Mom. You will be able to eat.

Once the menu is settled to her liking, they say their good-byes and hang up.

If I'm not in a particularly good mood, I find the inquisition rather annoying and grumble something to the effect of, 'What? She thinks we'll let her starve to death.' But most of the time I just let it roll off my back.

The funny thing is, they both (MIL and FIL) have a myriad of food dislikes, which initially presented a little problem for us. We have adventurous palates. We love all kinds of food, spices, herbs and various preparations. My father-in-law, in particular, does not. No oil. No mayonnaise. No cream cheese. No sour cream. The list is endless. But, what I learned over these past 40+ years is that he just thinks he doesn't like stuff.

About 30 years ago, I stopped telling them what was in the food I made. Well, that's not completely true. I only tell them what I want them to know.

FIL: What's in that?
ME: That is a Caprese Salad. It's homemade mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes and basil leaves with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

What I didn't tell him was that there was also extra virgin olive oil drizzled on the salad. He had two portions of it and even nibbled at it when he was finished with his meal. He's eaten most of his no-no's at my house...mayonnaise, oil, sour cream...without knowing it, and enjoyed every single bite.

As for the crawfish, they really don't actually dislike crawfish. They've eaten it many times at our house. They will eat the tail meat if someone cracks the tail and pulls out the meat for them. But eating crawfish is a slow, social process. You crack the tail (while conversing with others at the table) pull out the tail meat and pop it in your mouth. Just a bite at a time, interspersed with a bite of potato, a bite of sausage, a bite from your corn on the cob and maybe a shrimp every now and then. I think they feel somewhat like my mom did about crawfish or peel and eat'm shrimp. She liked the crawfish meat okay, but she used to say "it's too damn much work for a few bites!" You gotta laugh.

That will be our Mother's Day.

I sort of got my Mother's Day token gift a little early, since we really don't 'do' these artificial holidays. A card is about all we can muster. But, Tom went to Fresh Market in Little Rock last Saturday and brought this home...

Orchid - May2010
Orchid - May2010

Isn't it gorgeous? He really surprises me sometimes.

I know I'm going to be completely immersed on Saturday and Sunday in the preparations for Mother's Day, so I will take the time now to wish all of my family and friends and readers I don't know yet a very Happy Mother's Day. I hope you are surrounded by loving family on your own special day.

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