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FiveMinuteFridays Prepare

Linking up with Kate for Five Minute Fridays at Heading Home to write for five minutes about one word,


Prepare 

I used to be a cook book woman.  One of those women that loved to cook.  I used to peruse over Ina Garten's museum of entertaining masterpieces and even attempt to make some of the incredible dishes.  And some of mine turned out.  Of course left in the wake was almost every square inch of my kitchen covered in flour and kitchen gadgets.
Not now.
For different reasons I somehow lost that joy.  Maybe it was those years spent stretching dollars without extra money for ingredients. Or perhaps it is the fact that the children under my eaves didn't appreciate it.  And sometimes you finally decide that making two dinners is not worth it.
Lastly, perhaps it was because I started seeing hospitality in a different light.
I grew up with a mother who loves to entertain and bake.  Everything from scratch and beautiful. I can honestly say that almost everything my mom makes is worth the calories.  There's one parmesan and rosemary chicken meatball soup bathed in buttery chicken broth and orzo that is pure velvet.  The pies that are so rich you only need a couple bites and you're satisfied.  It's a joy to eat.
I used to want to be that way and felt that when I was to have guests come over I somehow had to become her.  I tried that for awhile and finally one day my oldest daughter said to me, "You're mean when people are coming over." I was bent over the stove clad with oven mitts sliding something out.
I rested the corning ware bubbling hot on the stove and looked at her.
Brushing back my bangs and gazing steadily in her four year old truth telling green gray eyes,  I realized she was right.
I was so busy preparing things for other people that the people in front of me didn't like me.
In the past couple of years I've slowly changed the way I do things.
I no longer attempt ten step baking projects.  It's not worth it to me.  I don't come up with a heavy list of things I have to prepare anymore for birthday parties.  I try to simplify. So maybe the only thing that impresses people when they come into my home is the love there.
I did something I never thought I'd do this year. I didn't cook a main dish but ordered out for a birthday party.  And I loved it.  There was no glory in it for me and I was pleasant to be around.
All I really had to do was run a vacuum cleaner and have an open heart.  And that was preparation enough.
After my daughter indicted me with her four year old observations I started thinking about Martha and Mary in a new light. How I didn't want to be caught up in things that didn't matter and then miss the love and relationships going on right around me.  How I'd rather be simple and fresh, then complicated and frazzled.
In this evergreen and tinsel season the same truth translates.  I really don't find the need to be on a Christmas merry-go-round of things I have to do or get done.  If they are done I'll smile and if I never get around to it that simply means I found something better to do with my time.  An open and ready heart is the most important preparation of all.  And that is something I can do.

Lastly, If you happen to be a kitchen wizard I tip my invisible hat to you.  My best friend is one and I enjoy the amazingness that comes out of her kitchen and all the pictures she sends me of ginger bread houses and three layer cakes.  I enjoy that gift in others, I'm just starting to realize that maybe thats not my gift.  And I'm okay with that.  I will still be generating out some of my husbands favorites and maybe thats enough :)

Happy Friday.

It's fake gingerbread here...(you know the one that you cannot eat without breaking your teeth and is merely a canvas for kid artwork) 




Comments

  1. The truth that comes from the lips of your children can be both the hardest thing you've ever heard as well as the absolute truth you needed to hear. If only we remember to listen, as you did!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was a delightful read. You are so wise.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have had the same experience of being horrible to my family in the rush of preparations for guests and then hating every minute of the gathering because I felt so fake. It's good to give yourself permission to just be who are. It makes you a better (and nicer) person. Loved this post, your FMF neighbor.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes! I have been thinking a lot about Mary and Martha - and I so want to be Mary when often times I relate moreso with Martha.

    Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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