Shabbes Dinner, plan B

Shabbes dinner did not go as planned. And planned it certainly was: for two weeks I’ve known what I was to cook. Planning, however, should also include knowing what NOT to plan on a Friday. Doctor’s appointments, freelance assignments, and lunches or walks with friends really ought not to be planned for Fridays at all. Unfortunately, I did all three last week and threw my carefully orchestrated dinner completely out of tune. I felt rushed and crabby and so not in the mood.

Plus, the challah dough stayed a sullen lump in the bottom of its bowl (yes, I proofed the yeast), the grocery store was out of Empire chicken (the only locally-available brand I semi-trust), and the potato kugel I cleverly made hours in advance tasted like raw egg (possibly because it was actually still raw, despite the convincingly brown surface).
Suddenly, the kitchen walls started to pull inward. The stacks of mail, diaper coupons and dirty plates on the table seemed beyond hope. Usually, if I start early enough, I am at least able to sweep these constant companions into one random pile to be sorted later. But Friday, I could not bear to even scrape clear a usable section of the table. The clean laundry dumped on the sofa leered at me with a depressing permanency. The sink was full of dirties and the dishwasher was full of cleans. Black drifts of dog hair eddied around my ankles. The dog hair may have been the last straw. Well, either that or the kugel the Teenager said tasted like latke batter.
I started to whine. My husband immediately cut me off with a reasonable “okay, let’s get take out.” So we did. We had Mexican on paper plates. I do not know the halachic credibility of saying Motzi over a tortilla, but it was good enough that night. The Toddler scarfed down green salad with mangoes and avocado. The Teenager had all the chips and salsa she could manage, and we finished off with leftover Obama cake from my neighbor’s inauguration party. Shabbes dinner, plan B.
Hardly balabusta-level domestic engineering, but it worked.

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