Mother’s Day

Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay

It’s been a crazy week. No writing done. At all. Sorry about missing the Friday flash fiction, I have something in progress, but I won’t have time to finish it until tomorrow.

I do have a few thoughts I would like to share.  As many of you know, I’ve been struggling with some knee issues lately. I was feeling much better last week, So I put the walking stick down, took off the brace, and went into the busiest weekend I’ve had since the pandemic began.

Can you say, “big mistake?” I knew you could. It was one step forward, three steps back.  Calling the doctor was on today’s list, but it looks like it will have to be tomorrow.

I want to tell you about what I got for Mother’s Day because it’s super cool.

Now, you have to understand something: Mother’s Day is a complicated holiday for me. My relationship with my mother is, well, complicated. Far more complicated than most.  So, when I found out that my husband and I were hosting her alone (as in the rest of my family was conveniently unavailable), I readied myself for what I knew would be a challenging day.

So imagine my irritation and grumbling when my husband asked me to make a béarnaise sauce for the steaks he was planning to grill.  My whining went something along the lines of “I’ve never even made a hollandaise, you want me to make something more complicated? On a day I’m supposed to have off?” I said it to myself a whole bunch, I said it to him once. Oops.

After I apologized for being an entitled jerk, I agreed to attempting a hollandaise with a lemon butter back-up plan.  If you don’t know, hollandaise sauce is that stuff you put over Eggs Benedict. (If you don’t love a good Eggs Benedict, I’m not sure we can be friends. At the very least, I’m never taking you to brunch.)

As a proud Ravenclaw, the first thing I do is research, research, research. Or at least find a recipe. Clarified butter? Something else I’ve never done before. It can’t be that hard to do, you just melt it and…. strain it through FOUR layers of cheese cloth? What am I, Alton Brown? Ok, don’t find a recipe, find a beginner’s recipe. Boil it for a while and remove the fat with a spoon. I can do this. Grumble, grumble.

There I was, stressing out over having my mother over, unduly irked at having to put forth fifteen minutes of effort on “my day,” and facing my new role as the family saucier chef. I apologized for whining again and loaded the dog into the car for a trip to the grocery store. Bum-knee walking in a grocery store. More grumbling. At least with my face mask on people couldn’t see my judgmentally pursed lips.

Thank heaven I bought a dozen eggs and not the six I was originally planning on. My first batch failed when I put all the lemon juice instead of reserving some of it for the back-up lemon butter.  Speaking of pursed lips! Wow. The second batch was so salty that my tongue shriveled up and screamed out in protest. The third batch?

The third batch was worthy of gracing my gravy bowl. If I’d been served that at a restaurant I wouldn’t have complained (at least not to the waiter). My mother and husband paid me compliments. Given my attitude, I’m not sure I deserved them, but I sure appreciated them.

With mother safely back home, the dishwasher running, and a glass of wine in my hand that was… shall we say…. healthy…. My daughter who lives an entire time zone away called a second time so we could talk some more. We joked about the difference between judging a restaurant based on a properly emulsified hollandaise sauce and making a properly emulsified hollandaise sauce. The next time we go to visit her I have a standing order for homemade eggs benedict.

Oh boy…. Now I need to learn how to properly poach an egg so that the yolk is perfect, and it doesn’t have fly away threads of egg-white making it look like an alien invasion.

I know, I know. I told you I wanted to talk about what I got for Mother’s Day. Did you catch it in there? No?

Thanks to my husband’s insistence, I got a new ability. Thanks to perseverance (ok, fear of judgment), I got affirmation. And thanks to my daughter, I have a new adventure ahead of me.   

That, my friends, is a wonderful Mother’s Day.

I hope you are navigating these most difficult of times with faith, love, and good literature. 

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