I’m smack-dab in the middle of a Busy Time with work, which is a good thing, and also it’s PTA newsletter time again, so my life is completely fascinating right now, full of highly bloggable material like “today I sat at my computer and wrote stuff for eight hours, stopping only to tell the poor telemarketer from that company that rhymes with Horizon that if they called me one more time I was going to cancel my cellular service.”
But that’s why you read me. Because my life is so much more thrilling than yours.
Anyway, after a long day, the kids came home and I stopped working long enough to tend to them and make a lovely dinner. And they totally appreciated it and thanked me. In my imagination.
In reality, the children came home from school and demanded food and then set about some complicated game that didn’t require my involvement, so I became invisible once I’d inquired about their days and handed over the snacks. I took this opportunity to put together a meal I knew they’d like, but using some ingenuity because I’m still learning how to adapt everything to be gluten-free.
Mind you—we still don’t actually KNOW if Monkey has celiac. And every time I think I’m seeing a difference in him, it’s followed by some block of behavior which convinces me that I may as well stuff him full of wheat again, because CLEARLY the modified diet has left him just as miserable and rotten as before. (Depending on the behavior, sometimes I dream of stuffing him with things other than wheat. Like, say, styrofoam packing peanuts. Or rubber cement.)
Anyway, I make this pot-pie-esque sort of thing (wow, doesn’t it sound delicious, when I put it that way?) (second only to goulash-ish-y facsimile!) that’s basically the innards of a pot-pie, but topped with cornbread instead of inside a pie crust. My kids love them some cornbread.
And I had non-wheat flour. And cornmeal. So I was ready to rock.
When I made chicken for dinner the other night, I set aside a few pieces for this. So I chopped up the chicken, I steamed the vegetables, I mixed everything up, I got the whole shebang into a casserole dish and put it in the oven with a great feeling of satisfaction.
That satisfaction began to dissipate, slightly, when Chickadee decided to make a fuss over saying grace once we all sat down for dinner. We don’t always say grace, but we often do, at dinner, and Chickadee was in one of her moods an decided that it would be EVER SO MUCH MORE MEANINGFUL to join in our prayer with much eyerolling and mouthing of the words instead of just saying it.
So there was that. She ended up leaving the table until she was ready to be thankful, dammit, and stomped upstairs wailing about how her food would be cold. When she returned her thankfulness was borderline. I figure tonight’s episode was good for a giant zit the night of her first prom, for sure.
Then Monkey nibbled delicately at the cornbread topping but avoided the chicken, veggies and sauce below, despite my exhortations to please just EAT.
“Monkey, I made this SPECIAL FOR YOU, with no gluten, because I know you love cornbread and I—” something niggled in the back of my head. I set my fork down.
Roasted chicken. Corn. Peas. Carrots. Gluten-free cornbread made from organic cornmeal and rice flour. And it’s all mixed up and held together with…
… ooooooops …
… canned soup.
I pushed back from the table and went and fished the can out of the recycling. Campbell’s cream of celery soup. And it’s right there on the label: wheat flour.
Monkey wasn’t too disappointed when I whisked his bowl away and offered to make him something else. (He asked for a bowl of cereal, which he probably would’ve been happier with from the beginning.) As I sat there trying not to cry into my “special” dinner, Chickadee comforted me:
“It’s okay, Mama. You weren’t TRYING to poison Monkey. You just forgot how to read.”