This week, I’ve been having my favourite lunch of the year: turkey soup and a turkey sandwich made with gravy.
It’s why, despite not enjoying cooking, I insisted on having Christmas dinner at home. The reason I spent four hours in the kitchen toiling over a hot stove, preparing sweet potatoes with marshmallows, creamed onions, stuffing, roast potatoes, Christmas pudding, custard and brandy butter. (The bird was a take-out turkey, from a local Lebanese restaurant, which DH picked up rather like you’d collect a pizza.)
DH had wanted us to eat out at a Christmas brunch to save all the effort. “BB will just ask for bread and hummus,” he argued. “And LB will say he doesn’t like it.” All true, but I stood my ground, salivating at the thought of a whole week of my favourite, easy-peasy lunch.
And, you know what, apart from a minor incident with some burning oil that caused the kitchen to fill with smoke and LB to run round the house shrieking excitedly, “The kitchen’s on fire, the kitchen’s on fire,” the Christmas dinner was a big success – if I may say so myself and even though I had to lie down afterwards it took me so long.
But back to the cold-turkey sandwich. It’s such a simple, no-hassle, tasty lunch. I was sure the rest of my family would agree.
“Yuck,” harrumphed BB. “Not turkey a.g.a.i.n. Can I just have bread with nothing on?” Then when I practically shoved a bite in his mouth: “EUUUGHHHH! What’s that brown stuff?” he cried, eyeing the gravy suspiciously and dropping the sandwich like it was about to explode.
LB was less vocal in his complaints, and having eaten all the sweets off the gingerbread house wasn’t particularly hungry.
Until five minutes later…when he asked in a small, plaintiff voice, “Mummy, what’s for lunch?” (after serving a perfectly good meal, I literally bristle at that question).
If you’re sensing some frustration it’s because my children are going through a particularly fussy phase at the moment (I say phase, it’s lasted since BB was first weaned) and they’ve thrown a few too many meals back at me recently.
The turkey soup, needless to say, was a no-go, as the children took one look at all the veggies swimming around in it and gagged.
But I was confident DH wouldn’t think I was trying to poison him. He’d just got back from a long flight and what better way to show-off my wifely skills than by serving him some homemade soup with French bread.
“You’ve got to try my soup,” I enthused. ‘It’s delicious. I’ll bring you some.”
He took a few sips. I waited for a reaction. He ate a little more. I went back into the kitchen, still hoping he’d like it.
He sort-of-did – but only after he followed me into the kitchen, reached into the cupboard for the Hot Sauce, and poured a whole load in.
“Just needs spicing up a bit,” he said, before running for cover.
I may not be one of life’s cooks but, boy, was the brandy butter I sought solace in good.