Things have been up and down - frustrating and exhilarating. A teeter totter of emotions, truly. I have so much to write but only a few moments available to get them out.
Right now is one of those moments, so I thought I'd share a dinner story with you. Remember the green shake story I wrote about when Jeff blended a green smoothie across our living room? Well, this is apparently what I get for sharing that one.
A couple weeks ago I was looking at Pinterest to find some new, EASY, recipes for dinner, and I came across a mexican pizza recipe that looked like something I could handle. Beef, tortillas, cheese, cheese, and more cheese, all prepared in a springform pan. How hard could that be?
I dug in our cabinets and found the springform pan. It still had the cardboard label on it, which should indicate exactly how many times I've used it. (If I'm not mistaken, I believe we may have gotten that pan as a WEDDING GIFT almost a decade ago. Good grief!)
I followed the instructions online exactly as written. With my mexican pizza all toasty and warm in the oven, I was feeling pretty good about myself. I also had rice cooking, and even had some freshly cut green onions on deck to top the pizza during plating. Hey, this whole making a new meal for my family is kinda fun!
Just at the right time, I removed the layered pizza from the oven. Smell the aroma!
I removed the spring-held ring, and now the dinner was sitting aloft the bottom of the springform pan. But I needed something to put it on so that I could take it over to the table.
Here's where things started to go south.
I remembered my mom had a green platter from her Fiestaware collection. Together, my mom and I got down the heavy platter, and I placed the mexican pizza (that was still on the bottom of the springform pan) onto the platter. So the sandwich of items went like this: pizza, pan-bottom, platter. (Spoiler alert: This is a BAD combination).
I walked my masterpiece of a mexican pizza over to the dinner table, and proudly announced that "Dinner was served!"
As I placed the green platter down onto the table, the pan bottom began to slip, almost like I had a chunk of ice on a plate - it was that unsteady. First the pan began to slip away from me, so my immediate reaction was to pull the platter back toward me. That motion then sent the pan back toward me, and my effort to compensate for the slippage simply wasn't enough. It had built up too much momentum at this point.
And in slow motion, the mexican pizza toboganned off the platter, slid off the edge of the table, and turned completely upside down. At this point, the pan bottom catapulted off to the right, and the mexican pizza was in a free fall. The top third of the pizza skidded off the back of a chair, slid through the slat, then like a seasoned Olympic platform diver, it spun gracefully once more, and landed - face up - smack on the dining room floor.
I just kind of stood there with my arms out, legs bent as if still trying to catch the darn thing. My heart sank, and my voice was heavy with emotion as I bellowed, "Oh my god. I just dropped dinner on the floor!!" Jeff spun around in his chair, and my eyes met his. I was a tippy toe away from tears.
"What?" he asked, clearly perplexed at what just transpired. "How did that happen?"
I was in no frame of mind to re-live the events of the past few seconds.
My mom immediately went into recon mode. "It's okay. It's okay." Her voice was high-pitched and her words came fast together. The mom instinct to stop your child from crying - even if that child is 39 years old - is a strong force. In a millisecond, she was on the floor, spatula in hand, and before I could blink, had the still-intact mexican pizza back up onto the green platter on the table. The ring of the pan bottom hitting the floor was still in my ears.
Jeff furthered the recon mission by saying, matter-of-factly, "Oh it's fine. It wasn't even on the floor that long. Besides, my mom just mopped the floors yesterday. Let's eat."
Evie, who hadn't said anything up to this point, chimed in with, "I'm not eatin' that."
"Yes you are," growled Jeff in a let's-not-make-your-mother-cry tone.
She slapped her forehead and headed to the table.
My mom was fussing all about saying how the pizza looks like it was just taken out of the oven. The cheese on the top might be a little sideways, but who cares! While she finished setting the table, and brought over the side dish, I walked over to my seat, still in a complete daze - not only had I dropped dinner on the floor, but we were preparing to now EAT that dinner!
I kept inspecting each piece with a close eye. Jeff kept saying, "It's fine. Feed it to me!"
Eventually I came out of my daze, and the table conversation turned to laughter and a complete play-by-play of the "mexican floor pie" near-disaster ensued. Just like that, my family rallied around me and turned what could have been a ruined dinner into a funny memory.
And being the good-natured bunch they are, here are re-enacted photos for your enjoyment.
Oh my god! I dropped dinner on the floor!
It's okay. It's okay.
Whaaaat? How did that happen?
I am NOT eating that.
Some families re-enact important historical moments, like the Civil War.
My family re-enacts the Mexican Floor Pie Fiasco.
What it comes down to is at the end of the day, as I reflect on what my family has endured the last two years - the heartbreak of a life forever changed, the stress of transition, the ability to face tougher days than we ever imagined - there are things far worse than dropping dinner on the floor, and eating it afterward.
Oh, and a couple more things:
1. The mexican floor pie was DELICIOUS. Here's the recipe!
And 2. I'd like to send a special shout out to my mother-in-law, Linda, whose fanatical cleaning made dinner possible that night. Otherwise this blog post would have been very different.