A Good Cook Knows

I was recently asked by my former spouse if I would host a dinner for his caregivers.  Mike is doing his best to combat  Parkinson’s Disease and its myriad of symptoms such as involuntary body movements and slurred speech.  He remains upbeat and positive unleashing his humor as a way of “apologizing” for forgetting what he was saying or for moving slowly.  I am proud of the way he has taken on this challenge.  It has always “taken a village” to manage Michael in the best of times, and now with the onset of the illness,” the village” has expanded.  Mike took up permanent residence in Florida just a year ago  and many people immediately reached out to him as they have to others before him.  Michael often expresses his gratitude for the many people in his life who have helped him with multiple medical appointments, meals, and other needed support.  As a way of thanking them,  he wanted to bring them all together and celebrate them.

As I began to plan the dinner party, the guest list seem to grow by the day and at one point I found myself stressing over where all these people would park their vehicles, how I would seat them comfortably at the dinner table, what I would prepare, etc, etc, etc.  I know myself well and am aware that initially I tend to stress about silly things so I quickly resolved the parking and seating issues.  My next stress was about what I would serve to the “cast of thousands”, mostly male guests.   Most men enjoy a good steak, but I for one do not like beef and as a result usually over cook it to the point of serving something resembling shoe leather.  No, that wasn’t going to work, but what would I serve? I wanted to serve something that didn’t need a lot of last-minute attention,  something that smelled good when you came in, and tasted even better.

“Oh what to prepare? “–the stress continued and then I remembered a Curly Girl Design card ….

“A good cook knows it is not whats on the table that matters, it’s what’s in the chairs.”

And there you have it!–This event was not about whether I served pasta, fish or beef, or how well I cooked for that matter.   This evening was about the very people who would be sitting in the chairs at my table.  This evening was about the caregivers and how  supportive they have been to Mike.  The meal was secondary at best to the opportunity to thank these people so generous with their time and energy.

Once I focused on “what was  in the chairs”  rather than what I would put on the table, everything fell into place.  I created a quick, fun way of having each person introduce himself which the guests really got in to.  I selected a simple fish dinner, Mike thanked each caregiver, and the evening was a huge success as the guests engaged in laughter and conversation.

Women with high SUCCESSTROGEN levels know the bottom line purpose of things they do. Women at home know that it is not how beautiful their home is, but rather how welcoming and comfortable it is for those who enter.  And high SUCCESSTROGEN business women know that the end users of their products and services are the real judges of the worth of their company.  Those high SUCCESSTROGEN women who run, walk and work out do so not to attract the attention of a male, but rather for their own mental and physical health.

As we all prepare for Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, let us all remember that “ it is not whats on the table that matters, it’s what’s in the chairs.”  Give thanks for them!

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4 responses to “A Good Cook Knows

  1. I am floored with this blog, real I am a fan.

  2. Great! Then I hope to hear fron you again! Be well, Mary Ann

  3. A good reminder of what is important this stressful holiday season. I too love this Curly Girl card and your post has prompted me to send it to my 80-year old mother to remind that her son and grandchildren sitting in the chairs are more important than the roast beef and yorkshire puddings that she is no longer able to cook with ease for Christmas. Pizza can be delivered and restaurant reservations can be made!

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