The Time, Space, Family Dinner Conundrum

We were sitting around the table this evening having dinner (linguine with a semi-spicy tomato/shrimp sauce and broccoli rabe) when I came upon this big idea. I was noticing that I really wanted to know if everyone was enjoying the dinner. Both Evan and My Girl said they liked it, and that’s when it hit me. For me to truly enjoy a meal I have cooked, the pleasure factor has to be greater than the preparation (e.g., time, effort, number of pots and pans used). The linguine dish was good, but it took a lot to put together (and that’s without making my own sauce or cleaning the shrimp). Evan admits that he would describe the left over mess (that he cleans up) as high, and I don’t think that’s just because I stacked a sauté pan on the stock pot.

The good news is that the people I’m cooking for (besides myself) don’t really have an inkling about the mess they are going to encounter while they sit around the table enjoying their meal.