I know, Easter is two days away. You have all these people coming over to celebrate. And you still have no idea what make. I hear you. I took today off, partly to prep, partly as a much-needed mental health day. I have a menu but have yet to shop or prep a single thing. And just to take some pressure off your shoulders, I’m in much worse shape than you. I’m cooking tomorrow.
Cooking for family is stressful. I don’t know if it’s because they put too much pressure on me, or I put too much pressure on myself, or if it’s just all in my head. But when it comes to cooking for family, there is undeniable failure. I forget everything, it’s as if I’ve never cooked before. Simple mistakes are made. I once made mashed potatoes that were more like a soup because I continued to add milk. I once made a cake with gummy lumpy icing (tasted good, looked awful) because I couldn’t take the time to make it right. There are meals and dishes I make when it’s just my husband and I that are amazing. I cook without concern, adding a sprinkle of this and that, never being able to replicate it again. I was testing a chicken tikka masala dish the other day that I choked up to a complete failure. I diligently took notes and photographed the steps until it was supposed to be finished, tasted and nearly cried. I kept adding things, cream, spice, tomato paste, completely forgetting to measure to record. The result was the most authentic tasting tikka masala any Polish girl could have pulled off. Without pressure I can do magic, but I have yet to do justice to a dish if family is around.
I always knew getting married would mean compromises, especially when it came to family.Ever since I was a little kid, missing Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter was a big no-no. Birthdays could be shifted around a bit, and long periods of non visiting were acceptable (particularly when I lived in Philly) but nothing was more important than celebrating with family on these three days. When I got married to, not my high school sweetheart, but still a friend from my hometown, I thought how great life was. Both sets of parents lived within 10 minutes of each other. There was no need to travel halfway across the country, decide whose parents were “more important” to visit for each holiday, then switch it up the next year. It was all well and good in theory, but not so much in practice. Instead of splitting and alternating like many couples, we double celebrate each holiday. That means two Christmases, two Easters and yes, two very filling Thanksgivings. Two food centric events on the same day.