I’ve swiftly realised my happiness is, at times, almost entirely guided by the condition of my dinners.
Case in point – for about two days, I’d been looking forward to a particular dinner we were having – Turkey, Gravy, and a variety of vegetables in gravy, I was literally thinking about it all day. Recently, Neds bedtime has changed to him deciding he no longer likes the baby carrier (before a vital part of operation ‘get this kid to sleep’) so Claire has bravely taken it upon herself to take him upstairs WHILE HE’S STILL AWAKE (a move previously akin to bed time routine suicide) and settling him to sleep. It’s been working so far, but this leaves me with nothing to do while this is going on. Naturally, the responsibility of doing dinner has fallen on my broad, incredibly well defined yet meaty shoulders.
So, The Turkey dinner was my responsibility, and I took it on with great excitement – The Turkey meat in question was being taken from a leg, which was enough meat for me and the wife. It looked fine.
Roughly an hour later, the turkey was ready, along with the Veg and stuffing (a last minute entrant to the dinner) The gravy was made.
What followed was a disappointment and embarrassment of epic proportions.
The Turkey itself had the consistency of rubber – gristle and fat appeared on almost every inch of the meat itself, making carving it a nigh impossibility, let alone eating it. To chew the Turkey itself was an experience like no other – it bounced off my Teeth with all the defiance of a Lorry driver during strike week, and refused to be consumed, requiring me to perform the taboo act of actually taking food out of your mouth to put it back on the plate in a half chewed, inedible mess.
‘It’s ok’ I said to myself ‘The stuffing and Veg will save this’
What I haven’t mentioned yet is my wife LOVES horseradish – to a point where her parents usually bring her back a jar from wherever they’ve been on holiday. She has it on more dinners than she should, in my opinion. If she was a child with limited knowledge, I’d probably tell her that if she eats anymore she’ll turn into a horseradish. Alas, she’s old enough to know better these days.
Recently, we’d attended a farmers market and brought a jar of horseradish – not just any horseradish, mind you – this was grade A, dissolve your sinuses horse radish. This was the horseradish we were using on the ill fated Turkey dinner.
‘Don’t put too much on’ Claire told me before dinner began ‘It’s really strong and it’ll ruin the dinner’
I slapped on a few spoonfuls of the sauce, not heeding my wife’s pleas for moderation.
By the time I’d ditched the awful turkey, the horseradish had mixed with the gravy, and as I started eating the vegetables, I realised this gravy/horseradish mixture had saturated every carrot, every cabbage shred and every broccoli floret. My eyes watered and my nose ran as I desperately and frantically chewed, trying to salvage something, ANYTHING from this dinner.
But I couldn’t.
The stuffing balls were cold, too.
I pushed the plate away, as far away as I could, utterly destroyed by the fact that dinner was a disaster. The double blow came when I remembered we’re on a health kick, and pudding consisted of a Banana, covered in Yoghurt – which is the second course equivalent of a slap in the face if you’ve just had Turkey like what I just had.
The evening was ruined (I told Claire this multiple times) the next day, I told my boss this, much to his confusion, I told anyone I could about it. It literally wouldn’t go away, much like the gristle in my teeth the evening before.
The next day’s dinner was wonderful – Lamb Chops in a mint and garlic marinade, served with cous cous and wraps – and as the dinner quality improved, so did my mood that evening.
I will be avoiding Turkey legs like the plague in the future.