How to Ruin Dinner in Six Easy Steps
To be fair, I was already a bit distracted.
I worked from home today. And after a lengthy webinar, spent pacing the perimeter of my office, I ventured forth into the kitchen for coffee. I desperately needed a recharge after talking to myself for an hour wondering if anyone was listening.
It was a whole Silicon Valley technological version of “If a tree falls in the forest…” moment updated to “If I give an online presentation and no one pays attention…”
I knew something was amiss the moment I crossed the living room threshold. Now, with two growing boys, I’ve smelled my share of special deposits. But this was unique.
The pile of poop dead center of the living room rug was the size of my head. I am not making this up.
The boys were at school and the yellow dog was looking at me as if to say, “Oh hell no I’m not going out there. That’s stinky.” The black dog was at fault. The good news was that, since I was presently staring down the giant pile of poop, he hadn’t eaten it. So, I had that going for me.
But my appetite was pretty much gone for the day.
So after the muppets were retrieved from school and flinging and flopping themselves to the floor playing happily with Uncle Jeffrey, I thought, “You know what seems like a good idea? I’ll make dinner.”
Step 1: Decide spinach and feta chicken sausages sound good. And also healthy. How hard could they be? Decide to cook sausages in a skillet on the stove. Think it makes sense to add a dollop of olive oil to the pan.
Step 2: Take your eyes off the pan to examine contents of the fridge for an appropriate side dish. Turn back to see bright flames licking the sides of the skillet. Turn down heat and frantically poke at cooking meat with spatula. Leap away from spitting boiling oil while shushing angry flaming food.
Step 3: Good news! Discover Every. Single. Blasted. smoke detector in the house works. Run the perimeter of walls wildly waving a magazine in hopes of tricking beeping alarms into silencing themselves. Manically poke at one beeping machine in an attempt to stimulate it back to breathing the fresh air you’re fanning at it with the magazine. Curse the fact that neonatal pulseox monitors have a “silence” button but the smoke detector does not. Realize you’re actually trying to turn off the carbon monoxide detector. Grumpily mutter words not appropriate for polite company and skulk back toward the stove.
Step 4: Open all the windows. Glare at your brother-in-law who is laughing hysterically at the situation while asking which detector is going off THIS time. Threaten him with dirty diapers. Agree with the 2-year-old who states, “Uh oh… Dinner? Aw man.” Poke at blackened Cajun sausage links that you’d totally meant to make on purpose.
Step 5: Cut up sausages for toddler consumption. Realize they’re still cold in the middle. Dinner is clearly mocking your culinary abilities. Microwave the smirk right off their cold curved stature.
Step 6: Serve watermelon and carrots for dinner. Scrape ash from pan. Allow dogs to forage for pieces the muppets decidedly dropped off the side of the table. Pick up sausage remnants even dogs wouldn’t eat. (At least that won’t be in a forthcoming deposit?)
Drink wine. Make sure there is enough peanut butter and jelly for tomorrow’s dinner.