Some moms have their act together, and then there are the rest of us…
Trials of a Chef’s Wife & Panster Mom
Sometimes I think I am a terrible mom. The other night, I frantically searched the cupboards for something to put in the kids’ lunches for school. My husband is a chef and our food cupboard is brimming, spilling onto the floor at times, but always with bizarre items, like guava paste and black lentils. Samples of anchovies, coconut milk and canned bread and butter pickles. It’s the stuff companies give chefs to try out- and it ends up in the cupboard, waiting to inspire.
However, real food has seemed to escape me. What exactly can I do with guava paste? And why do I end up with the oddities that no one wants? Like that tin of escargot that sits on the shelf, staring at me in indignation. It might as well be labeled horse meat, as I give it the evil eye back and close the door.
Odd School Lunches
In the end, I settle on some tortilla chips in a plastic baggie and add a little cup of salsa for good measure. It will go well with their wild boar sandwiches. Yes, wild boar. We’ve been dining on the hunted critter all winter and sadly have come to the end. Next, I’ll crack into the venison!
I’ve sent them both to school with soup, cooked cabbage from the garden, deer chili and soda crackers, beans and rice (beans are protein, right?) And hummus with pita bread- what must their friends think?
I hunt for a couple of juice boxes with a heavy heart. All I see is mint chutney, BBQ sauce, and Sorghum. Sorghum? Really? And dried beans. Why am I not a well-prepared mom, you know, the one who seems to have an endless supply of juice boxes and ready-to-grab snacks, even when a hoard of kids descend unexpectedly onto her house for an impromptu kickball game.
I start off with good intentions, but somehow run astray– you need the milk and cereal, and the chicken food, and the bleach, laundry detergent, etc. Juice boxes are regulated to the luxury list, which somehow is seldom looked at-( like next to the caviar and champagne).
Glancing back at the mountains of laundry waiting to be ironed, teetering on the rocking chair like Whistler’s Mother, I wonder again about the juice box miracle mamas. Are their houses ever a wreck? Do they have little woodland sprites that do the dusting, change the light bulbs and wash dishes while they hightail it to the local warehouse store to load trucks with pallets of juice boxes? I would need a TARDIS-like food cupboard (bigger on the inside) to store more than two packages of juice myself, as a few paper towel rolls, napkins, pickles & that escargot seem to pack out the inside pretty quickly. (Perhaps IKEA will market one in the future for us space-starved folks).
My poor son needed a tin of food to take for a food bank the other week. “I haven’t bought can food in years,” I said, letting the cupboard fill up with my husband’s oddity samples instead. “Can you take guava paste?” Poor kid! Yes, the tin of escargot looked on in accusation. Dear me, If we have a hurricane, it will be bread and butter pickles and snails!~
I end up giving the kids water. It’s healthy, right? Besides, when they grow up, will I really be remembered for putting juice boxes in their lunches? I get in a panic at times, a cleaning, laundry frenzy- the messes and piles will never end, but then I breathe and realise that my kids time here at home will- so sometimes life is way too precious to shop for juice boxes, and it’s time to go make memories together instead.
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