I cook. I cook a lot. It's what I do. I don't always enjoy it, but I do it.
I cook because I can. Seriously - I am not a terribly skilled person so the fact that I can put together a decent meal and end it with a yummy dessert gives a little thrill to my soul. Birthday dinners for our family are nearly always eaten at home. I make whatever the celebrant requests and then bake the home-made-from-scratch cake they like best.
Unless it is Rich's birthday, then he requests his favorite dessert: instant chocolate pudding poured into a store-bought graham cracker crust.
It's wrong on so many levels. Can you believe we've lasted 19 years?
For Faith's birthday this year though, she begged to go out to dinner. I went back and forth and finally gave in - mostly because she had requested that I make store bought chicken nuggets and Kraft mac and cheese for her birthday dinner. I don't know about you, but that menu doesn't really scream "Golden Birthday Celebration" to me.
So out to dinner we went. To the restaurant of Faith's choice.
I'll be honest with y'all: I was less than thrilled.
I. Do. Not. Like. Buffet. Restaurants.
The food is pre-made and mediocre at best.
The serving utensils have been touched by everyone and their grandma. Literally.
And do you know what everyone and their grandma touched just before they touched those serving utensils? Neither do I. Nor do I want to find out the hard way.
Also? Buffet restaurants are teeming with small children running willy nilly poking their fingers into different foods. Oh yes they do. I've seen them
Folks, I work in an elementary school. I do know what those children touched before they came in. For instance, we have a kindergartner at school right now who is obsessed with licking himself. His arms, his hands - anything his mouth can reach. The areas his mouth can't reach he gets to by licking his hands, touching that area and then licking his hands again.
No I am not kidding. I wish I were, but I am not.
So, do you want to follow that kid through a buffet line?
I didn't think so. But here's the thing - you'd never know that boy licks himself if you just happened upon him at your local restaurant. He's awfully cute and has a terrific grin. So you'd smile back at him and help him reach up to the buffet and hand him the spoon for the jell-o salad and then go about your business. You'd never know that you now had The Licker's cooties all over your food and plate.
But you would.
It is a tremendous testament to my motherly love that we went to the Golden Corral for Faith's birthday. It probably goes without saying that Rich is a fan of this restaurant. Pre-made mediocre food is right up his alley.
19 years people. 19 years.
Rich and the kids were thrilled with the buffet. Thrilled with their nasty, from-a-can chicken noodle soup. Delighted with the re-heated mac and cheese. They oohed and aahed over the popcorn shrimp and chicken nuggets that are the exact same thing you can get at the grocery store. They went out of their minds over the little store bought mini pie crust filled with congealed lemon pudding.
I ate the worst Chinese food I've had in a long time and a baked potato with limp broccoli and fake cheese sauce over the top.
Confession: I adore fake cheese sauce.
Then we came home to a home made cake and not a soul got food poisoning or a cold so I guess all is well that ends well.
It's not all about me.