Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Kitchen Is Closed...To You!

My baby turns 2 tomorrow. That means on Sunday I will have the big family party for her. That means I will have about 25 -30 guests for dinner, coffee and cake. This is life in my family. My husband comes from a fairly large family, as do I, and almost all of our family members reside in the Greater Melonville Metropolitan Area.

To be honest, I really enjoy the planning and preparation that goes into these gatherings. I like to feed people. (Slightly off topic, but just bear with me for sec, have you ever watched something like Biggest Loser, or a Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz show about weight loss, and they always talk to some fatty who blames her girth on the fact that she comes from a culture or ethnic group where food is the centre of all important gatherings or celebrations? Really? Like don't we all? If someone knows of the culture or ethnic group that celebrates weddings or births with fasting and abstinence could you let me know?)

Anyhoo, the point is, I believe in Kara's motto for entertaining " For God Sakes If You Are Going To Invite People Over For A Meal Then Break A Sweat." Do the work. Make an effort.

Of course once all the revelry is over there will be clean up. Its part of the bargain, and I am more than willing to deal with it. I have a fabulous dishwasher, and a husband who is more than willing to help with the heavy lifting.

Here is my problem. Some people can't take no for an answer. I always have a couple of guests who will prance into my kitchen and begin to help with clean up. There are a number of problems with this. First off ,my kitchen is freakishly small given the size of my house. Not only is it small it is a victim of bad design. This means that only one person can comfortably work in the kitchen at any given time. Two, they decide to clean up at the end of the meal portion of the evening. This is usually the time that the gifts are opened. Invariably I end up missing most of this because my "kitchen help" is constantly ducking into the living room to ask where I keep my flatwear, or where they should put the serving platters. Thirdly, on the off chance I take your offer to help either with prep or clean up you have to be a bit of a self starter. If you come chasing after me to get my approval on every cucumber slice, or you need me to pat you on the back and thank you with every item you dry, well, lets just say I'll give you the approval and the thanks, but I can't guarantee there is going to be a whole lot of sincerity in my voice. Also, I really don't think its cute or funny that you have a habit of breaking something everytime you "help" me in the kitchen. Lastly, just stay out of my freaking kitchen. My kitchen is a small sacred space. When you come into it uninvited, or worse force your way in even after you have been told your help is neither needed nor wanted you are violating my personal space. You might as well fashion a speculum out of my salad tongs and ambush me for a surprise pap swab because I find your presence just that intrusive and unwanted.

The thing is my family is a busy one. These days it seems like we have most of our meals in shifts, or we are keeping one eye on the clock to make sure we are on time for pick-up or drop off as the case may be. So when I have a chance to get my whole family together to celebrate a happy occasion with a meal I have prepared specially for them, I want to enjoy the company. I'll tend to the mess after everyone goes home, and if I don't do it then, I deal with it in the morning.

I put in a lot of hard work to ensure that everyone would have an enjoyable evening, so put the dish cloth down, exit the kitchen and for godsakes, relax and enjoy yourself.



Schmutzie said...

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dimplecheek said...

YES! I am sending this link to my Jewish mother -in-law right now! Oh shit, she does not have a computer. Maybe I'll get the nerve to say this in person by Thanksgiving.

Cool post!

Erin said...

I, too, am a break-a-sweat cook. If it's not insanely hard I don't try. Or I find a way to make it insanely hard.

I have never not needed a shower after cooking.