Yesterday was Easter. Easter, at least in most families, is a holiday. Holiday means holiday food.
Every year since I can remember, my mom-in-law has had Easter dinner. Until last year. Last year we never heard from her and the kids all had plans (except one) so we just had last-minute dinner at our house. I can't remember the exact menu, but I think it was steaks grilled outside and all the fixin's. Well, after that my MIL decided she should have had Easter dinner. She never really said why she hadn't had it, but guess she started feeling guilty about it so we were expecting to be invited this year.
As of Wednesday we'd not heard a word out of her. Most of the kids were busy at other relatives again, so it was down to just younger daughter, Hubs and myself. I figured I'd cook dinner this year and invite my MIL, brother-in-law (who is in divorce process) and one of his son's. Daughter and I had been talking, coming up with the holiday menu… something pretty traditional for our family. Tradition in our family does not mean difficult or complicated. Remember that part. It is just some family favorites. I figured ham, and raisen sauce, complimented by cheesy potato casserole, a family strawberry -sour cream – banana jello salad, rolls, some veggie like scalloped corn or green bean casserole, and a yummie dessert (preferable chocolate).
I must step back a minute and explain something. A few weeks ago my youngest son's wife began an extreme exercise program at the local kick-boxing facility. It is a 10-week program of exercise, nutrition, and motivation. She finished (and in VERY good shape, I might add) and decided to continue with the maintence program. Well, having seen how well it served her, she talked my younger daughter into doing it. She started two weeks ago. At the time, I decided that although I'm not in good enough shape to do the exercise part (trust me, it would KILL me)… I would follow the diet / nutrition program, then use the treadmill now residing at my house. One of the things about the program that we all like is Sunday Funday. In other words, Sunday is a "free" day… you can eat whatever you want. This means after having been good all week, you look forward to Sunday and having something yummy and preferably non-diet and, oh, chocolate doesn't hurt.
Back to Easter.
As my daughter and I were planning the menu, my MIL called. She'd decided to have Easter dinner after all. I was delighted as it is usually delicious (MIL can cook – when she wants to) and although I offered to bring something, she said with so few of us coming, she could handle it. She mentioned having ham (so far so good)… and making cake for dessert (even better). That's where things went downhill. Silly us… expecting the traditional dinner. Why? Why would we expect the cheesy potatoes and the family strawberry salad and some yummy veg? Why? Because that is what people LIKE. I know my MIL has commented before that she doesn't understand why we always have that strawberry salad. Why? Because people LOVE IT. Besides… "always" having it doesn't mean weekly, or even monthly. More like four times a year (Christmas, Thanksgiving, July 4th, and EASTER).
The menu? Lame, I'm sorry to say. It was a meal that I would serve my husband if I'd gotten home at 5:45 and wanted to eat at 6:15. We had ham (so far so good), raisen sauce (mmm), baked potatoes, canned corn, and bagged lettuce salad (not even our family home-made dressing recipe). Cake? Lemon, not chocolate. At least one person doesn't even like lemon.
How simple could she get? I mean… I'm sorry, but that is NOT holiday food. That was the easy road. If we'd known she was going to go for basic and easy, we'd have brought the salad and the potatoes and the dessert! Argh. It wasn't even food that qualified for Sunday Funday. *sigh*
I know, it was the thought that counted. It just seems she didn't put a whole lot of thought into it. Let's just say the supper we had at Applebee's saved Sunday Funday. Next year, Easter is at my house.