Why Sunday Dinners?

We never saw The Great Meatloaf Debacle of 2008 coming.

The man who married Steve and I at the Salt Lake Temple in 2008 offered some counsel to us. He told this story about how there might be one day when Steve would come home after a tough day at the office and I had made this fabulous meal and maybe he didn’t gush over it as much as I would have preferred. Or maybe the dish didn’t turn out the way I would have hoped. I might be highly offended by a non reaction from Steve or maybe I would be too hard on myself, and Steve will be sitting there nonplussed, thinking, “What have I done?”The advice from the officiator was to think of the other person and what they have gone through. And I think also to not let the little things bother us so much.

I know it was a bit of a fable, but I thought that was kind of weird advice on our wedding day. Mostly because I consider myself a pretty good cook. I couldn’t imagine Steve not gushing over my cooking (he did while we were dating, of course) and I definitely couldn’t imagine me producing anything in the kitchen that I wouldn’t be proud of.

Fast forward to about a month later after the fab wedding, the honeymoon, the pouring over and sharing of wedding photos and the fable came true. It was Sunday and I thought I’d be all 1950’s and make Steve a meatloaf.

To this day, I don’t know what I did wrong. I had made meatloaf for my family when I was a kid. (My mom made us complete cooking assignments for dinner because she hated handling any meat with her hands–she hated de-boning a chicken or turkey or making meatloaf or pressing out ground beef for hamburgers. We were her meat slaves and that’s why I know how to make meatloaf.)

But the meatloaf I made on that Sunday when I was still in wedded bliss did not turn out at all. Steve kept saying “It’s fine,” but it looked awful. It didn’t hold together very well and looked severely undercooked after being in the oven for about an hour.

And then I did it. I went all Joan Crawford on him and I threw the meat loaf--the whole thing–in the trash, right there in front of Steve. And he looked at me with that “Who are you??!!” look on his face.

It was then that I realized how clairvoyant the officiator at our wedding had been. I was totally living that moment he predicted. And then I wondered, Does every marriage go through this?

That was about 3 and 1/2 years ago. I’m learning to not take myself so seriously in the kitchen and try not to get so worked up. Because we have a very unconventional schedule in our home Steve cooks dinner on the weekdays and I decided recently that I would be responsible for Sunday Dinners. I’m also using it as an opportunity to experiment and try new recipes–something I got away from after I lost my confidence in the kitchen following The Great Meatloaf Debacle, which is what we call it now.

So this section of my blog will include my favorite recipes I’m cooking up for Sunday Dinners (or any other meal, really), tried and tested in our kitchen. It’s really rather selfish: It’s my own redemption.

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