the quinoa martyr

I’ve come a long way in my cooking, but I still get nervous when people come over for dinner.  Last night, I made the kind of meal that I think, “I wish Rachel or Megan was here right now.”  You know, so good that I would even be proud to share it with people who care deeply about what they eat.

I tried not to cry when my family hated it.

white wine sauce“Mom, did you put wine in this sauce?  I don’t like it.” [whiny voice:] Martha Stewart would have been proud of my roasted salmon and sauce.  (She wrote the recipe.)

The baby screams, shoves food around his tray, screams some more.

The improvised, perfectly seasoned Cheesy Broccoli & Mushroom Quinoa is tasted. Chins pivot this way and that. Eyebrows lift and then scrunch.

“I don’t like broccoli.  I’m. not. eating.”

I leave the table.

While in my room, I pout and sort my thoughts.  I pray for wisdom. I resolve to act maturely. I open the door, and there is my husband, apparently coming to smooth things over. Never mind the maturity. I have one last burst of 7 year-old and push past him without making eye contact.

Finally chilled out, I share at the table why my feelings were hurt.  It’s a big deal to me when I cook what I think’s going to be a delicious, healthy meal. (This does happen more than once a decade, contrary to how it sounds.) My emotions are high because a) I’m proud we’re not eating out and b) I’m really wanting them to enjoy the meal.

After I explain why I’m upset, my husband says, “I’m sorry.  I just don’t like quinoa.”  Oh.  He’s kind of shocked that I thought it was so yummy, too.  “Can’t we just have salmon the way you used to make it?” he asks.

This brings me to back to the wisdom granted in the hallway between the bedroom and the table:  I ask for help.  We brainstorm menus and get enough down for about 3 weeks.  Hallelujah!  That’s the hardest part of cooking!

idontlikeitI’m so, so glad I didn’t pretend their response didn’t bother me.  What would my kids have learned from that?  Not that I was thinking, “How can I model emotional honesty and healthy conflict resolution?” when I was walking away from the table, but hey – I’ll take them learning an alternative to unnecessary martyrdom any way I can get it.

Is there something that you chose to deal with head-on instead of pouting about it? Please share!


4 thoughts on “the quinoa martyr

  1. I do think it is so important to let the ones we know when we are hurt by something. Regardless if the hurt is over something little or large or even if it seems it may not be right to be hurt. It so helps relationships to do this and then to work through the hurt of the other person. If the person I love is hurt I want to know about it and I want to do something about it even if it is to listen and understand. I think perhaps sometimes we do not think our hurts are not legitimate so we do not share them. If we don’t then legitimate or not they can not be dealt with. Love works through these types of things and is stronger for it.

  2. Don’t like quinoa??? Whaaaaa??? Who ever heard of such a thing?
    I would have eaten the heck out of that meal. (Except that I have developed a terrible allergy to quinoa over the last year, which has been a devastating life development.)
    Love you. And love your little family. Teaching what REAL relationship actually looks like (the ups and the downs) is probably among the most important lessons you will teach your kids. Love that you made a meal plan together. 🙂

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