If You Can Eat, Eat With the Ones You Love

So, I think part of the reason Mother’s Day bugs is that I’m supposed to feel something on a certain day whether I do or not. You know, Christmas, Valentines, etc. Mother’s Day night, I was sipping wine in the backyard with my sister-in-law while my daughter ran around. (“Yeah, I’m watching you honey!”)

But last night, I took my kids to dinner with my mom and looking across the table at my mom holding Rex warmed my heart the way an eggs benedict and a corsage are suppose to do. I love sharing my children with her.

BTW, he was so good. He didn’t fuss at all, quietly fell asleep while she held him. Viv was on good restaurant behavior as well, save the crunch, crunch under her chair by a few too many tortilla chips dropped during dining.

That was very nice Mother’s Day gift. Going out to dinner with two small kids, and they were well behaved. Oh, and my mom paid!

I’m Going To Have An Affair

As any pregnant woman or formerly pregnant woman can attest, your palate can be altered when you are pregnant. This pregnancy, I have not enjoyed much food – everything is sort of whatever. The few things I have really enjoyed eating are:

1. Breakfast wraps: scrambled eggs, cheese, crispy bacon, avocado and a smidge of tomatoes. I make versions of this at home.

2. Thin, low-grade cheeseburgers. Not the fat, juicy, hotel types, but the thin-patty, crispy-bun types. My favorite is Apple Pan, but Johnny Rockets can work in a pinch.

And now, the meal that had me thinking of cheating on my husband…

3. A ham sandwich. Not just any ham sandwich, but a sandwich of apricot-glazed smoked ham, tucked inside a soft baguette with bits of Brie cheese. I found myself thinking about it the way you think about a crush. It can also be compared to how you think after a rowdy night of sex with a new lover – your mind keeps drifting back, remembering the sweet moments.

So I drove back to Joan’s on Third to get another one of these delicious sandwiches. I also bought a half-pound of the ham for home (see the ham above, with some goat cheese tart left over from Viv’s party, some garbanzo bean salad – which had too much cumin – and grapes. My dinner last night.) The sandwich was still great. Honestly, the ham on its own was good, but I needed all the trappings – I needed the brie and bread as well. It’s like sex: sure, sex can be good, but you also need the massage, the wine, and the room service.

Empty Room Syndrome

So, the house we recently moved into is the only house I have ever owned (I’ve had condos, and I still have one of those money pits, but that’s another story). It’s only the second place I’ve ever lived where I had a dining room. So I was really excited to create a grand, almost theatrical space. We eat in the kitchen or on the back porch most of the time, but I envisioned the dining room to be a place for special occasions, for adults to gather while the kids are out back.

Note the wallpaper: it’s from England, it was pricey, it took months to arrive. The china hutch is Heywood Wakefield, which I have collected for years (I found this piece for a good price on craigslist); inside it is my wedding china. My wedding china! Don’t I get a room that is befitting my wedding china? Doesn’t a woman who waited to get married get to have the dining room of her dreams?

Apparently not.

Dining with Kids in Tow

Remember when you used to meet your girlfriends out to try a new restaurant? Or you would have a couple of cocktails after a movie? Yes, good times. Well, the easy going times out where you don’t worry about how much the sitter is costing may be gone, but I refuse to totally surrender my love of going out to restaurants. Granted, I have to if I want to see my husband since he owns a restaurant and works a lot. Even though he is the chef I still need my daughter to behave so as not to scare the paying customers off. So, I have summed up my helpful hints for dining with the little ones. It’s not the same as dining with your gal pals, but it’s great to be out and be served!