I was a recent divorcee, and we were traveling to meet the family of the man with whom I was “the other woman.” Everyone had been gracious from afar, but I knew that his mom had been on the other side of infidelity and I worried that grace might be a little frosty in person. Perhaps there was forgiveness for the son, but not for the home wrecker girlfriend.
In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I kept pestering Rich, asking what we could take to dinner. I was nervous about making a good impression. I knew that his mom was accomplished in the kitchen while I was coming from a season of limited cooking. In my first marriage, I had all but given up preparing home-cooked meals, relying instead on prepackaged food to feed my family. With Rich’s encouragement, I was beginning to stretch my culinary wings a bit, but preparing anything for his mom, my eventual mother-in-law, felt like a test that I was destined to fail.
We finally decided that we would take bread and salad. We made two loaves of bread, made some compound butters, and bought the ingredients for a Caprese salad with a balsamic reduction. I knew it wasn’t enough. In light of a turkey and mashed potatoes and homemade cheesecake, what were a couple loaves of bread and some mozzarella, tomato, and basil leaves? It wouldn’t be enough.
I wouldn’t be enough.
I’m writing today at You Are Here, a new collaborative blog about the importance of place. Each month they choose a new topic and write about it, asking others to share stories as well. This month was Food & Place, and I’m happy to share the story of last year’s Thanksgiving. I’d love for you to read the rest at You Are Here.