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Wasted Food

UnknownApparently Mexican food is not a big hit in Algeria. My lovely girls eat everything and anything I put on the table as long as it’s halal: God bless them. But for some reason, for tech week, I made a huge pot of delicious chill: halal beef, home soaked beautiful organic beans, lots of veggies, a hint of molasses and cumin and cinnamon, hot sauce…I make a good chili. They didn’t touch it. Tonight I served it up for Nora and Michael and when the girls got home, I scooped them up a bowl and they left it on the table, untouched, ate salad, and went to bed hungry.

Holy shit was I mad. I wanted to shout, “You’re from AFRICA! I do I really need to lecture you about all the starving children?! I served you duck l’orange this week, I roasted a turkey this week, I served you organic halal bison while I worked twelve hour days and you’re turning your nose up at beans?! Just try to find room and board for this cheap anywhere else!”

It’s not just the hour I put into the meal or the twenty dollars I likely just threw in the garbage, I took it all very personally. Why? Maybe because everything else I “cook up” gets so heavily publicly criticized I just want my home making to be greeted with a simple and gracious, “Thank you.” Maybe I’m tired. Maybe I just opened a new show. Maybe I still have to finish Act Two of my opera for tomorrow’s reading.

And…end of the day, I go to bed full and they go to bed hungry.

Sigh.

Fine.

It could be worse. I could have a child who only ate white food. What I have are tenants who don’t like the taste of pintos, avocado, chipotle or tabasco. Of all the countries in the world, I think I can steer away from one.

Off to the market I go. To bring them a bedtime snack. When I return, they’re already asleep.

The next day Nora brings the incident up, noting my dark look at the dinner table the night before. (nothing gets past that kid). I tell her “I didn’t know what to say, honey, because I seemed unreasonably mad over a silly bowl of chili. So I’ve sort of waited until I can chill out.” She says, “Well, it was rude Mommy. To push food away and not even say “sorry”. I think you have the strength in you to say how you feel, even when it’s uncomfortable.”

Bahahaha! I love it that they’re teaching social skills in grade school to deal with conflict on the playground. And sometimes one of those little puppies comes home and bites a pouty parent squarely in the ass.

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