This afternoon, I was trying to figure out something to fix for supper -looking through various cookbooks for some kind -any kind -of inspiration. Nothing was coming to me though. Nothing in the line of specific flavors that might trip a trigger in me. Nothing that sounded appealing enough, or that I had the ingredients on hand either, to make. Nothing that would have the basic requirements to begin with for me to be interested in cooking said item.
Those basic requirements being "Fast and Easy!"
Okay, once in a while I may feel inspired and ambitious enough to undertake cooking something that takes a bit more time and energy to get the meal ready and all, but I really do much prefer that meals, as much as possible, follow that basic requirement as shown above. The days of loving to cook a meal, doing it all ever so lovingly too, don't seem to pop up on my calendar very often any more.
Mandy asked then how I felt about going someplace. "Like where?" I asked, hoping she wasn't going to tell me she wanted to go shopping or something dire like that.
She said maybe we could go out and eat and suggested going to a little place close to here that many folks just refer to as "The Pumpkin" because the exterior is painted sort of an orangish shade. Nothing wrong with the place as the food is decent -not spectacular but it's good enough and the prices -for restaurant fare -are very reasonable too.
But that didn't turn me on. Nor did her next suggestion of maybe going down the line to Snow Shoe and dining at "Max's" AKA the big truckstop where I waitressed for about 7 years a little over 20 years ago. That didn't strike my fancy either.
Frankly, the thought of going out to eat, trying to find something on the menu then that Kurtis would eat and that he could eat that he most likely wouldn't crumble up and make deposits of those crumbles all over the table, droppings of his food all over the floor too, just wasn't something I really wanted to experience -in public -tonight.
I then suggested to her if she wanted to "eat out" perhaps we could go out to the Lenten Fish dinner that St. Severin's Church out in Drifting has every Friday, every year, during Lent. My thought there was she could run out and pick up a couple of dinners there and bring them home. That idea must have struck a chord with her as she then looked in last night's paper to see what time they were serving and the price. The ad said they served till 6:30 p.m. and it was by that time, almost 5:45 -the cost was $8.00 for an adult dinner and $5.00 for a child's portion. So, we decided then to order two adult dinners and one child's -figuring that we could combine the two adult dinners and then, divvy them up between her, Bill and myself and get one child's meal and take off that for Kurt and Maya and the rest then, add to our plates.
Away she went!
When she came home and we opened the containers it was like we had surely hit the mother lode of good homestyle fish dinners! Anyone who orders one of these meals and who comes away from all that they serve with an adult meal and says they are still hungry has to be one huge eater is all I can say!
Each adult meal contained two very good sized portions of fish (we got the deep-fried fish instead of the baked) plus, a nice big portion of buttered-parslied red potatoes, a big helping of string beans and baby carrots almondine, a serving of macaroni and cheese, a small container of stewed tomatoes, another small container of pepper slaw, rolls and butter PLUS dessert which consisted of a big slice of blueberry pie! Even combining the two adult dinners and then dividing them into three meals for us, we were both stuffed and well sated in the flavor department too as the potatoes were yummy, the beans done to perfection and that pepper slaw? It was the bomb! I LOVE pepper slaw! I've never made the stuff myself although I used to have a copy of the recipe for the pepper slaw that we served at Max's floating around in my cookbook/recipes collection some place. (Frankly, much as I love the stuff, it always struck me as being a lot of extra work to fix it so I never tried making it.)
Anyway, we sat down at the table -the two little ones, Mandy and myself and began to munch away at our portions. Maya cleaned up what we gave her - a little fish, mac and cheese, a dabble of potato and a smattering of the green beans and Kurtis -well, he did polish off the mac and cheese we gave him and even took a bite or two of the little bit of potato and fish Mandy put on his plate plus he gobbled up one of the rolls too! Didn't even make too terribly much of a mess either -just a little bit around his plate on the table and only a couple droppings on the floor. That's what I would call a successful meal for him -and for Maya too!
But, as we began to eat, out of the blue, Maya decided it was time to have a conversation. She picked the topic, starting off with a question for me.
"What's your Mommy's name, Gram?"
Although we'd gone over this question just a couple of days ago with her, it didn't really surprise me that she was doing a re-run. But I also knew immediately I was going to have to put my thinking cap on and press it down tightly too so that it would sustain me in providing lots and lots of answers to lots and lots of questions that would get harder and harder to put her mind to rest and make her game of "Twenty Questions" come to a quick end.
Actually, when Maya starts with the questions like this, she doesn't go for "20 Questions" but it seems like a never-ending stream of oh, shall we say maybe 120 or even 520 questions!
Back to her question now -"What's your Mommy's name?" I replied to her that my Mommy's name was Hazel. I half expected her to ask "What's a Hazel?" as sometimes her questions do take a turn like that but tonight she had other ideas in mind.
"Where does she live, Gram?" I told her my Mommy now lives in heaven. Next question was "Why does she live there?" Well, because she died and now she lives in Heaven with God. Not totally satisfied with that answer, she wanted more information about my Mommy and how she came to go to heaven and live with God instead of staying here. So, I tried to simplify this as much as I could telling her it was because she got really, really sick, couldn't get better and God had asked her to come live with him where she would no longer be sick, you see.
From there, this progressed to asking where does God live? In heaven, I told her. Then it was "Where is Heaven?" I pointed upwards and said "In the sky?" This went then to "What does Heaven look like?" "Where is the sky?" "How far is Heaven?" "How high up is it?" "How, how, how and why, why, why?" Rapid-fire questions she comes up with and ones that frequently -as in her little game with me tonight, really have no easy-peasy responses to give her either.
Well, at least not one that quickly ends the "Twenty Questions" game with her at any rate. Once she opens that door, it becomes a floodgate and you really can't just blow her off either with the answers you give cause she either then repeats the question until she comes up with yet another one along that line or, as often happens, it gets to the point, especially when this is happening at the supper table, that she forgets the purpose of being where we are -which is to sit down and eat the food on the table before us before it gets all cold and not so good then too!
Yes, there are times I do cringe when she starts this routine. Which is something she does more and more frequently now too, I have to say.
But ya know, as overwhelming as it can be, as annoying too as it can be at times when she starts questioning everything and anything -and I do mean ANYTHING -I keep telling myself over and over, how much of a good thing -no not just good, but a GREAT thing this is that her mind is thinking -always thinking -of another question, inspired by what sometimes are not the most inspiring of answers for her to begin with.
What is heaven anyway? Where is it -really? What does it look like -this place we often refer to as "Heaven?"
And you know, this is all such a good thing -not just her questions but the fact that she is here, with us, with me, that she is inquisitive, that she is beginning to comprehend a tiny bit of the answers we give her too.
Maybe someday she will be a writer or reporter cause she sure can ask all those important things -"Who, what, when, where, why and how!"
Without those persistent questions, how boring life would be!
But for right now, you, my little Princess Maya, make heaven come down to earth for me!
I wonder if she comprehends that yet?