Menuitis can hit anytime, anywhere

Sometimes I really, really miss cooking with someone else. Yesterday was Ferdinand’s party. He requested hot dogs and corn on the cob and and a smiley face cake and nearly lost his mind waiting for six thirty to come. I was having my own private panic attacks. I wanted to invite everybody in the class, but I have massive limitations socially and I thought I might crack in half if I had more than six kids. Then I started to worry about the menu. It’s a beautiful thing to have the same menu every time people come over–they can look forward to it, who knows, even long for it and relax in their minds, whether they love it or hate it, because at least they’ll know what they’ll be eating, and they can plan accordingly. The thing is, I’m a cook–I’m supposed to be creative and on the edge of what is going to make people love their food and happy to eat. I worry that people come to my house and think, that’s it? Having a birthday party for five year olds, is not really the time for pushing the envelope. However, it is the only time, panic attacker that I am, that I have a crowd over.
On the side of hot dogs and corn, we had string beans with garlic, a side of black beans, and black-eyed peas with slow cooked finely chopped onions, toasted cumin and coriander seed, a bay leaf, a tiny bit of garlic and fried parsely and a side of warm potato salad with loads of fried garlic, chive, mint a squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil–it was good, it was all right–but I am calling my old friend Marjorie, a chef who could turn a restricted hospital dinner into a feast, to see if she won’t cook with me for a day or so, because it is no good to feel like a some kind of broken record left to spin.
Bobbing for apples was a big hit and Ferdinand is happy to be five. He could have cared less about the menu. For him it was all about the cake and the candy.

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