Iced in today, I never left the house. I did some work while Dear Son napped (and I napped a little myself). In the spare moments, I thought about the dinner I will be cooking on Thursday. We're having friends over, a couple we've know for a long time and their 9-month old daughter.
I'll be cooking the turkey and a few of the side dishes. Of all the things to consider when we had a baby, I didn't realize I wouldn't be able to the hostess with the mostess any more, at least for a while. You just can't pull out all the stops when you are sitting down every few minutes to help put shapes in a shape sorter or to read a Sandra Boynton book. Again.
Nevertheless, I pondered a few alternate cranberry recipes today. Considered variations on mashed potatoes. Reflected on the nuances of green bean casserole, which I love. I moved the turkey from the freezer to the fridge to begin thawing. I've pondered brining, but my husband doesn't like juicy turkey (I know!), so no brine this year. (Though I still strive for moist turkey.)
Even with all this thinking ahead, I'm no kitchen perfectionist. There won't be garnishes on the side dishes. No fancy folded napkins. No hand-carved radishes, ice sculptures or centerpieces. Just family, food and fun.
The truth is, I'm not much of a perfectionist in anything. I don't worry about the details (and, occasionally, I should) because I think they'll either get taken care of or they won't matter.
I've read historical accounts of buildings, tapestries, gardens, etc. that would have a small flaw worked in because no one creates anything perfect except for God. Yeah, allowing one flaw is not my problem.
In the end, though, if I can't be gracious and forgiving to myself, what am I gaining? It's not that I'm a slob with a microwaved turkey and Potato Buds. No, I'll be roasting, mashing, sampling and attempting to plate attractively. But I do think what will matter most is the company, the memories, the thanksgiving. And that will be perfect through the work of the Spirit, regardless of my cooking.