Easter was feasted here at the Mansion on Friday evening, due to neither of our boy young 'uns showing up for the holiday, and the #1 Son's request for leftovers.
Let the record show that Farmer H makes a big deal about special occasions such as this. "I'd rather just go out to eat than listen to you complain about making something."
Well. Seems to me that the person who spends upwards of 10 hours preparing the feast has earned a right to complain out loud to empty air in the kitchen while preparing. I don't see how it hurts Farmer H to sit in his La-Z-Boy watching NASCAR to hear epithets from Mrs. HM with her head in the oven or her arm plunged deep into FRIG II. Everything's not all about HIM, you know, even though he wishes it was, and tries to make it so.
Anyhoo...upon hearing that we were going to visit #1 and take him out to eat and deliver his leftovers on Saturday...Mrs. HM realized that she was in charge of preparing that Easter feast early, since it's hard to deliver leftovers the day before the feast. I figured Farmer H and I would have our Easter dinner on Friday. He doesn't work Fridays any more, you know. So I simply ASSUMED we would eat around 12:00 or 1:00. Like we usually do on a holiday feast.
Oh, no. That wasn't in Farmer H's plans. HE wanted to eat in the evening. You realize, right, the monkey-wrench storm this causes Mrs. HM? It interferes with the procurement and consumption of her magical elixir! Nobody wants to have their 44 oz Diet Coke sitting undrunk for hours while she is working up a sweat in the kitchen. A 44 oz Diet Coke is for relaxing. For slow sipping. Not to rehydrate during a home-catering job.
I worked up quite a sweat preparing the pre-meal preps. It didn't help that the kitchen was 75 degrees. Ever since we got that new thermostat, I can't make it work. At least I know how to change it from heat to air conditioning. But when I set it on HOLD at 74, it goes back to where it wants in a couple of hours. Like an airport rent-a-car agency, it seems to have certain issues. Like it can TAKE a HOLD, but it can't KEEP a HOLD. For some reason, the crazy technician who installed it put it on a program to run at 78 degrees! What in the Not-Heaven? It may be that hot where HE'S going to end up, but I don't want to live the rest of my days in a sweltering Mansion. It's almost unbearable at night. You'd think a man such as Farmer H, entrusted with millions of dollars of company machinery, and sent overseas to take care of such equipment, could figure out a simple thermostat. But NO. He says he doesn't understand it, and won't read the book. It even has a button that says MENU. I guess he thinks that is for ordering food. Like he orders me around the kitchen.
Sometimes, Farmer H reminds me of a big ol' dumb dog who comes running at feeding time. Except he's not that lovable. He'd been out running around all the livelong day. Yet the MOMENT I went to put the ham(s) in the oven, and sat down with 14 eggs to peel...there he was. He was like the Sidler, appearing out of nowhere! I need to get him some TicTacs to carry in his pocket. I'm pretty sure his faulty Spidey sense told him it was time to put the filling in the deviled eggs, and he showed up for a sample. He was even there too early to toss the shells off the back porch, because the shells were still on the eggs.
Anyhoo...Farmer H made a big production of how he'd just go back outside, since he always seems to bother me when I'm trying to cook. Uh huh. This time, he came in to toss two receipts (Lowe's and The Devil's Playground) on the kitchen counter where I was preparing. Because, you know, he can't write them in the checkbook himself. When he asked if there was anything he could do, I DID mention he could clean his junk off the table. He just looked at it, then left.
There's my mistake, you see. I had some silly notion that since I was taking hours and hours to plan and shop and prepare the feast, we would be eating it as we usually eat our feasts. I even asked Farmer H this morning, before I went to town for my ill-fated 44 oz Diet Coke, if he wanted me to pick up a 2-Liter bottle of some soda. That's what we usually do. Use the pretty dishes and the glass glasses and pour soda over ice. But Farmer H said, "No. If I want soda in a glass, I can pour it out of my can."
Imagine my surprise when, upon putting the rolls in the oven and notifying Farmer H at 4:55 that the feast was imminent, thinking he would come over and clear off the table...he showed up to stand behind me at the stove.
"We still need to clear off the table. And I'll get out the dishes."
"Oh. You want to eat at the table? I can eat at the table with you."
"Uh. You didn't plan to eat at the table? You're going to eat in your chair?"
"I thought I would. But I can eat at the table."
"No. That's fine. I'll take mine downstairs. But I already brought up my soda to add more Diet Coke to. So I'll have to carry it back down."
"I'll carry your soda down."
"Well, I'm getting this food out now. And then I'll have to put away the leftovers, or else come back up and do it after I eat. So it's going to be a minute before my soda is ready to go down. But you can go ahead and eat."
And with that, Farmer H grabbed a paper plate and started filling it. Ham and deviled eggs and potatoes/carrots/onions and 7-Layer Salad in its own bowl and rolls and butter and green bean bundles. While I put leftovers for #1 in small containers, and leftovers for us in bigger ones, and in the meantime set food aside on my own plate. While I was still stashing the stuff, Farmer H appeared again behind me, ready to take my soda downstairs.
"Okay...I was going to take a cup of ice, too. And a bowl of ice to pour right into my soda. And that little bottle of Diet Coke that I brought up to add to my cup..."
"All right. I'll take it."
"Well, I don't have the ice in the cup yet. Or the bowl..."
I gave up and took out my 44 oz cup and filled my yellow bubba cup with ice and handed them, with the little bottle of Diet Coke, to Farmer H to get rid of him. I'd put the bowl of ice on my tray when I had the leftovers under control, and take it down myself.
Let the record show that when I went to get some potatoes/carrots/onions from the pan I had warmed them in, a full 1/4 of the large roaster pan I cooked Thursday night...I could only find two halves of a potato (the little Yukon Golds) and a scrap.
Somehow, that was not how I pictured my Easter feast panning out.