What happens in the kitchen...
Remember my dad the possible series? Well you know I write a mixed bag of sporadic stuff, so its been awhile. My mom is staying with me this week, while Baby Bear and Papa Bear are off on trip. Mom and Dad had Christopher last week while my Papa Bear and I enjoyed some quiet time. Then we made an exchange on Saturday and I got mom too!
Daddy learned how to be on his own “for real” for an extended period after Christopher was born. My mom came for two weeks. He wasn’t really alone for two weeks because he was here right after the birth and he came back for Christmas. But in that time he had to wash clothes, fold clothes, wash dishes, use the dishwasher, put away dishes and figure out what to eat. Christopher came a little earlier than expected. So even though daddy knew how long he was going to be on his own, they didn’t get to prepare for it. I think he even had to go buy his own groceries.
When my daddy cleans, he cleans immaculately and he cooks some things really well too, but the kitchen isn’t his department. So I imagine when he is alone what happens in kitchen or doesn’t happen is overwhelming. What happens in the kitchen stays that way in the kitchen. Plates, crumbs, spills and condiments don’t magically disappear from the countertops.
My mom came to stay with me a lot when my husband was deployed and my dad would call saying, “I don’t understand where all these dishes came from.” Or he would call and say he was hungry and he didn’t know what to eat, though mom left him with a house full of food.
So when the idea was approached that mom come this week he said, “As long as you buy me some paper plates and tell me what I can eat.” So it gave me the idea for his Father’s Day gift this year. It was nice to give him something “homemade” that I didn’t have to ship. I was able to hand it to him and see his face light up.
He has his own man cave at home and as he carefully put the basket in his trunk, I knew that is where it was going as soon as he arrived back home. The basket included some of his favorites: a bottle of wine, packets of mixed nuts, whole pistachios, whole almonds, Hot Tamales, and my homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.
On prior ‘mom and me’ visits, if she didn’t answer her cellphone, then mine would ring immediately. It was about 9:30 pm when he called Saturday night. I answered my phone saying, “Mom’s sleep.” He said, “I know, but you’re not.” So I listened to him talk through a mouth full of cookies, saying, “These cookies are GOOD!”
Just to illustrate how much he stays out of the kitchen, he just recently found out that the things I made were from scratch and that mom and I hadn’t been making box cakes all these years. When he said that, we both looked at him with eyebrows raised and said, “Really?” I am sure we went on for a few minutes in twin fashion, simultaneously saying something like, “Who sifts a box cake?” Needless to say, I think he has a new appreciation for my oatmeal raisin cookies.
Here’s the sweet thing .... Daddy was here Easter weekend when I made a lemon pound cake. For years I have been trying to find a recipe that tasted like my great grandmothers pound cake. Each time I make it, it gets better. He said, “This tastes like my grandmothers pound cake.” I said, “Thank you!” He looked at me kind of funny asking, “You didn’t buy it?” “No”, I said. Then he said, “You made this?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “From scratch?” I replied, “Yes daddy” and he said, “Wow.”
Here's the thing...what happens in my kitchen stays in my kitchen. I don't try to bake my goodies at anyone else's house. Daddy already knows when I come to visit, mom's kitchen isn't my department either.