Back to school tomorrow! My freezer is stocked, lunchboxes are packed and I’m feeling ready for the week ahead. I even managed to squeeze in some cooking this afternoon that means most of the week’s dinners are ready to go. Don’t you just love it when you feel like you’ve got a head start? It’s rare in this household so I shall revel in it while it exists. Hubby told me this evening that I was a “Susie Homemaker Nerd”. I took that as a huge compliment! Over the next couple of days I will share some of my lunchbox ideas baking recipes but for now, I wanted to share something I wrote a few weeks ago …
I learnt a valuable lesson today that I felt compelled to share with you. Contrary to my most frequent conversation topic, I have decided that sometimes … it’s not about the food. It’s actually more about the conversation. We’ve all heard that it’s not about the bike … it’s the challenge. It’s also not about the outfit … it’s your presence. It’s not about the hair or make up … it’s just about you being there.
I am preparing for a dinner party tomorrow night for ten people … it’s something I really love to do. I love spending time in the lead up planning what I’ll serve and balancing the menu so it flows well. I think about the atmosphere, the music, how well my guests will connect with one another. I consider my timing of the night to make sure no one is ever hungry or thirsty … but also not so full that they can’t manage dessert. It’s all the thinking and creative design that goes into a night that I really love. But I stopped myself this week and realised I got so caught up in how complicated a dish was getting that it meant I would miss conversation at the table and time lingering over a glass of wine with friends.
Something I love to do is bring homemade goodies to share with girlfriends when we get together. I was on my way to one such meeting this morning and I was cursing that I hadn’t had time to prepare something to take. And almost as soon as I walked in the door, it hit me that I just needed to turn up – that is was more important to someone else this morning that I just be there – with or without food to share. I’m so glad I shook the disappointment off quick enough to notice the look in a friend’s eyes that told me she didn’t give two hoots about a piece of cake … she just needed someone to be there for her and to listen. Food would have been a distraction and I would have missed a huge opportunity to make a difference.
Earlier in the week I took a surprise birthday cake for a friend to a get together. Again – I spent way too much mental anguish over the fact that I had bought a cake and not made one. We’d all eaten dessert by the time the cake came out so once again, the type of cake was irrelevant – the most important thing was that the cake was more like a handwritten note that said “I know it’s your birthday, I care about you, and you deserve to be spoilt”. That’s what really mattered.
So although us foodies do talk about, think about and create food A LOT, I’m here to say that I don’t take for granted the people I get to share it with. They’re more important than the food … what’s a dinner party without guests?
With grace and gusto,