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What’s for dinner? Don’t ask

When I’m on the ball, I’m in the kitchen at 3:30 PM
and I have a great dinner — and dessert — ready by the
time my husband gets home. But I’ll admit that I’m a
seasoned procrastinator and most days I’m winging it.
I have a good idea what I have in the freezer and
fridge and it usually all comes together within thirty
minutes before my husband walks in the door.
But tonight, I was winging it the minute I walked in
the door after Church. Six pairs of hungry eyes were
trained on me from the minute I set foot in the foyer.
I’ve learned to ignore these stares and they’ve all
learned not to ask me what’s for dinner — or else. You
don’t want to push Momma when she’s got a dinner
deadline to meet, pronto!

Well, I amaze myself sometimes. Some call what I made
for dinner “American Chop Suey.” Others call it
“Hamburger Helper.” I called it: “Shutupandeatit.”

Served with a side of salad (and rolls that I totally
forgot about until 3 1/2 hours after dinner) it was
completely edible, substantial and tasty, even though
the kids doubted it before they had their first taste.

I try to ignore them when they push stuff around on
their plate, but inevitably I was asked, “What’s in

“If you must know, it’s leftover macaroni and cheese
with hamburger, tomato sauce and Sloppy Joe

My eight-year old son was impressed. Mind you, this is
the same child that’s impressed with whatever odd
thing he finds on the street and gives to me, things I
sometimes have to deposit directly into the trash. The
girls were more cautious.

“What do you call this again?”

“She said, ‘shutupandeatit.'”

“Oh, I get it!”

“What’s for dessert, Momma?”


Sure, it’s not Wall Street, but cram seven of us in a
kitchen that is less than 200 square feet and the
adrenaline starts pumping. “I’ll take seconds!”

“Are there thirds?”

“You want seconds? Here you go. And, no, you can’t
have thirds because you’ll vomit. Move your elbow out
of your sister’s plate.”

“I don’t want to sit by him, he’ll get sick on me.”

“Stop looking at me!”


“Right foot on yellow, left hand on blue, right hand
on green… Okay. Is everybody ready?”

“Bless us, O, Lord and these Thy gifts that we are
about to receive…”



(Raucous laughter from the offending boy.)


“And God bless you.”

“Can I wash my pork chop? I think I’m going to be sick

The Family Table: Make time for more than just dinner
with your family. Get in there and swap some of those
germs, catch those screwed up faces when you present
the entrée and sit back and take it all in with your
beloved spouse while your cherubs cast lots for the
side dishes.

And don’t forget to duck those flying mashed potatoes.

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