Saturday, June 11, 2016

Unfortunate Hash.

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? From the moment your eyes pop open, you and your loved ones are doomed for a day of unfortunate mishaps and frustration? That was today. There were some good bits here and there, but by and large, one little thing after another seemed to go wrong. A back door window breaks. Forgotten paperwork at an appointment. Shoes lost, old milk found in the car (heaven help me), miscommunication all around. This inevitably leads to grumpiness, and nothing spreads faster in a family than a bad mood. So, when dinner time rolled around, we had had it ABOUT UP TO HERE and I had no clue what to make. While throwing in the towel and pouring five bowls of cereal seemed like the safest option, our busy schedule has made our at-home meals few and far between and I was determined to make something. Anything. As I rummaged through our fridge, I found an onion and some turkey sausage. Olive oil from the pantry. Okay, then. I knew I could at least start there.

As I started sautéing, little unfortunate events continued to roll forward and I realized that with every setback, a new ingredient fell into the pan.

The girls left the back door open and an army of flies swarmed in. Defeated the army in a frenzied fly-swatting annihilation and sent the girls retreating to their room.

Diced potatoes, garlic, in the pan.

My son dropped a water bottle all over the kitchen floor. Before he dropped a dish of chicken food all over the kitchen floor.

Rosemary would be a nice touch. In the pan.

Husband is trying to use the vacuum, the vacuum isn't working. We all know what that's like.

Oregano, grumbling/whining, in the pan.

Blood-curdling screams from a back bedroom, rushing back there (oregano still in hand) to find my son rolling around on the floor in agony. No worries, just a foot cramp for him. And a heart attack for me.

Diced dried apricots. Makes no sense. THROW THEM IN THE PAN.

Soon, there was this really amazing aroma rising from the kitchen. And that cluster of (small, could-be-so-much-worse) incidents in that short span of cooking time seemed to dissipate with the steam.

A sigh of relief.

Blueberries as the side dish.

We gather in the kitchen.

The close of the day is sometimes rushed and stressful. We have had our fair share of those evenings. But sometimes, it's a reclamation of unity. A redemptive and collective "amen" at the end of the day, especially a day like today where we were just short of tripping over our own feet. Sometimes a family dinner is a miracle itself, or maybe a family dinner is always a miracle, and only some days we actually realize it. Especially a hash, where our five plates are filled from one single pan. Reclamation.

Or maybe the miracle is that my kids liked my Unfortunate Hash. Whichever.

Either way, I'll take it.

Have a lovely day.

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