A Thank You Means So Much

I have always admired my grandmother because she can whip together any meal without a recipe.  

I am fully aware that cooking is a science.  I earned mostly As throughout my education except for chemistry; I nearly failed that class in high school AND college.  This tells you something about my cooking skills!  

Anyhow, back to Grandma…She has often shared the story of being a migrant farm worker during the Depression.  She and Grandpa left Kansas shortly after they were married (in their mid-teens) to find work out west. I think they were in Idaho, where Grandma was doing the cooking for all the hands on a farm, when a farmer threw her biscuits across the room at breakfast.  They were hard as rocks!  She didn’t know how to make them before that.  But boy, did she learn fast!

Fortunately, I have not been under the gun, so to speak, to learn to cook well.  My family is certainly not starving.  However, I thought of Grandma yesterday when I made meatloaf (Bret’s grandma’s recipe, no less) without my recipe card.  

I plowed through my cabinets and panicked when I couldn’t find my most prized recipe card!  However, I got my act together and made meatloaf for dinner anyway.  And I must say that this meatloaf was the best I had ever made.  I thought it tasted better than usual, but I really knew that I had done well when these two words came out of my husband’s mouth: “Thank you.”  That was the first time he’d ever thanked me for making dinner. Those words meant the world to me.  

(Thanks for the inspiration, Grandma!)

P.S.  I made the oven-baked sweet potato fries (found under “Favorite Recipes” in the side bar) to go with the meatloaf.  They were very tasty. The only downside was that they were a little soggy by the time Bret got home (must be eaten fresh), and they were too spicy to give a two-year-old. Next time I’ll make a few without the red pepper.

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4 Responses to A Thank You Means So Much

  1. Susan says:

    In my household, the roles have reversed and it is now my husband who pours over the cookbooks and ingredients to try to find the perfect meal. He started out in his own masculine style out on the back porch cooking in a cast iron pot holding his “Cowboy Cooking” cookbook. But as the weather has gotten worse and I asked for more than a one pot meal, he is trying his hand at more sophisticated tastes.

    He is sometimes even more sensitive than I was when his meal isn’t as perfect as he planned. With his extra effort to make homemade sourdough bread bowls and hamburger buns, it becomes crucial for me to remember my own desire for appreciation when it was I who doned the apron. (Who are we kidding? I would never wear an apron.) No matter how long the day has been, I try to keep in the front of my mind how important it is to arrive home at the planned time and appreciate all the hard work with a “thank you.”

  2. happiestmommies says:

    Sounds like your hubby needs to log on and share his ideas! I have never attempted bread bowls or hamburger buns; our “homemade” bread comes out of the a machine, and I’ve even screwed that up a time or two.

    It’s interesting to hear your thoughts about showing appreciation now that the roles are reversed. Do you think that Aaron ever contemplated being home on time and showing appreciation when he worked outside the home? I always wonder how our reactions mirror typical men vs. woman responses. For example, I am not sure whether my husband’s thank you (although I’m sure sincere) was given much thought prior to the words coming out of his mouth.

    Along this vein, I think it’s ironic that although my husband is not my boss (he’s never asked for more than a one-pot meal, by the way!), he and the kids are really the only ones who evaluate my job performance. One could argue that I should self-evaluate, but we all know that we are our own worst–and unrealistic, at times–critics. I really thrived on my administration’s reaction to my performance when I was teaching. Therefore, without similar feedback, my job at home sometimes feels a little less rewarding. I guess that’s why my husband’s words made blog “headlines.” Could all of this be tied to why I have been feeling a little like I need something else in my life? Back to “It Won’t Be Like This For Long:” perhaps I need to look at my children’s growth as my positive reinforcement.

    What a rambler, huh? This is what two cups of coffee do to me!

  3. Susan says:

    I think the only time my husband thought about arriving home on time was to avoid my irritation and lecture about how inconsiderate being late was. (Funny, I run late a lot when I don’t think the time set is that important. That’s why I usually add “ish” to the end of the time.) His desire to avoid my lecture and hissy fit led to an arrival when the food was still warm.

    As for the spouse and children evaluating performance, I agree that it happens every minute of the day. When I call to check in on the family throughout the day, I ask how their “morning meeting” went. My husband usually responds that my son contributed some interesting information while my daughter struggles with team participation and waiting her take her turn. Instead of an annual review like I receive from my company, he receives the “minute-review.” Someone telling that him that the meal he made for lunch is “disgusting” or another one whining “you are not listening to me.” But the comfort of his job, although more thankless than mine, is that he can not be terminated. This allows not to worry about the little things that sometimes can come back and bit you in the behind with a large corporation. Maybe it would less stress if you went soley on the peer evaluation rather than the very watchful eye you put on yourself.

  4. Aaron says:

    You’re absolutely right. A “thank you” means so much, coming from anyone, but especially someone you love.

    Sometimes it’s just enough to have them show up to dinner on time (at least for me), and not call and tell you they are running late (for the third time this week); although, when they actually say thank you, it’s pretty special.

    How’s a bread machine work anyway 🙂

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