“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I invited Adam and Darcy over for dinner. Adam is in the Humors with me, and Scott thinks he's pretty cool. Only really knowing Darcy through her blog and a quick jaunt to her baby shower, I came to see just how much of a domestic goddess she is. In preparation for our evening with them I started to have prideful housewife daydreams.

"Oh Carrie! This meal is AMAZING!
Your house is SO CUTE!
You MUST give me the recipe for this dessert!"

All the while, I would stand completely put together in my ironed, homemade apron.
"Oh, it's nothing."

Scott and I were in the middle of making Turkey-Thyme Meatloaf and Mashed Sweet Potatoes and my dreams come true. It was at that moment in dinner preparation when everything was going at once. When some parts of the meal were just about done and others had just started. My husband and I were silently stirring and measuring and "mmmm"ing our way to impressing our guests.

The doorbell rang. Darcy and Adam were ten minutes early. When I answered the door, however, it was two young men I didn't recognize at all.

"We're your home teachers. We tried to call, but you didn't answer so we decided to just stop by."

I stood in the doorway with my dinner boiling on the stove. I explained that we had company coming and that we were in the middle of making dinner. Then, they asked if they could share a quick message. Seriously? Did I stutter? Looking back, I should have told them to come another time, but I didn't want to be rude, and my only focus was to get back to the stove as quickly as possible.

They came into my small kitchen, and then asked if we could all pray. Scott stopped mixing the biscuit batter, and I ceased to grate my orange peel. Then we awkwardly prayed whilst my precious meal stood neglected. I think our home teachers started to feel bad and they asked when our friends were coming. When we told them 10 minutes they acted like they had all the time in the world. They asked if they could help with anything, and thinking that the sooner they got a job done, the sooner they'd leave, I assigned one to mashing the potatoes. The other started chopping my onions. Both started preaching about the Ensign talk and I didn't hear a word they said. All I know is that a poem was read. And that the meatloaf burned on one side. My home teachers began to give me advice.

"Just serve it with the burned side down."

Turns out, my gravy burned, also. I swore under my breath.

"I think you had it up too high."

Thank you. I wouldn't have had it up too high if you weren't in my WAY and totally distracting me from what I'm doing! Both well-intentioned men prodded me with questions about what the recipe said and how much of this and how much of that.

I went into the other room because tears were stinging my eyes, and I was tired of being nice. At first, I just felt like I had to be cordial because it was the first time I met both of them, but now that they were destroying my homemaker dream, I had to find a way to compose myself. When I reached the bedroom, I had 6 missed calls from Adam because they didn't know where we lived. I called them back and with my voice shaking explained that the meatloaf burned and that I was having a break down. They came over quickly.

Once I reached the kitchen, my mashed potatoes had been pureed into a gooey mush. I annouced that I was stressed out.

"At least we're helping, right?"

My body language was not subtle.

In the end, my kitchen table did not look how I wanted it to, and we heated up frozen vegetables in the microwave. My zucchini bread burned on the top for some reason, and therefore fell apart when you cut into it. My herb puffs were anything but puffy.

Adam and Darcy laughed with us about what a frustrating situation we had just been in, and like I knew they would, they said they liked the meal anyway. They stayed until 1am talking with us and playing board games. I won Settler's of Catan, and honestly, that made me feel better.

There are several morals to this story:

Never drop by to visit/home teach someone at 5pm on a Sunday.

Politely ask people to get the heck out of your kitchen when you're cooking a big meal

Don't use wheat flour for herb puffs


  1. I love that you called me a "domestic goddess" -- I'm just faking it 'til I make it! :) Heaven knows what would have happened if it had been dinner at OUR house and the home teachers stopped by. We probably would have burned the house down. :)

    Thanks again for a fun evening. Adam is set on telling this story in a talk sometime... your home teachers NEVER should have stayed.

    ...And I miss you guys already. We had so much fun!

  2. Liz told me this story today, and it made me furious on your behalf. Classic example of throwing the law's spirit out the window in a zealous frenzy to fulfill its letter. Or bishop-chastisement-induced frenzy, in this case, I suppose. Grrr.

    Besides, as a firm believer in the beauty and necessity of a tranquil, Zen-like state during the cooking process, I'm particularly annoyed that yours was destroyed. In the name of "religious service." GAH!


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