Monday, August 31, 2009

Making Dinner for the In-Laws

I started dating my husband when we were both 17. We basically grew up together. I went over his house a lot, and his mom cooked for me all the time. She is a superb cook and makes awesome authentic Chinese food. So it is a big deal when I cook for my in-laws. It is a chance to show them that we are adults now and can take care of ourselves. Also, I want to show them that I can cook. Believe mother-in-law has voiced her doubts (with no basis whatsoever). They still think of us as children, which drives me mad. So I feel like I have something to prove.

We've only invited them to dinner at our house a handful of times since getting married and moving into our house two years ago. When we invite them over, it is a whole production. And I mean, a PRODUCTION. One that needs at least two whole days of preparation. I tell my husband to give me at least a week's notice.

We invited them to our house for dinner last night. You may have noticed that I haven't blogged since Thursday. I was too busy preparing for Sunday. That was where I was. So this is what went into last night's dinner. First, the menu. I know better than to make my in-laws Chinese food. I am definitely not as good as my mother-in-law. So I have to cook something she doesn't know how to make...something non-Chinese. I also like to make something complex so as to impress them but nothing too complicated that I can screw up. So I never ever make them something I haven't made before. Never. I would just be asking for trouble. So this time, we decided to barbecue steak and chicken thighs. They don't barbecue at all, so it is a nice change of pace for them. I also made my sweet potato casserole and a Greek pasta salad as sides. Oh, and I made the chex mix as a snack, which was a hit. My mother-in-law loves to snack and also likes spicy food. Perfect, right? And I made homemade strawberry ice cream, which is my father-in-law's favorite. However, it's fancier and more impressive because it's homemade. Clever, aren't I?

, hard labor. At 9:30a on Saturday, I woke up and started cleaning the house immediately. No joke. I started in our bedroom and worked my way out. I dusted every surface and pledged every surface. Then I put everything away. After I was done with our house, it looked like no one lived there. Seriously. My husband vacuumed upstairs while I swiftered and mopped downstairs. We were finally done around 3:30pm. We just had enough time to get ready to go out for a party that same night.

Then on Sunday, I woke up early and made the chex mix with walnuts, almonds and chex. Not sure if they'd like cheezits and popcorn. Their palates are not as sophisticated. ;) Then we went grocery shopping for the rest of the stuff. When we came home, I got cracking on the sides and the ice cream, which took several hours. After that, I finally got a chance to take a shower. Right before they came over, we did last minute tidying up. I asked my husband to do the bed. He whined "What? But we never do the bed!" My response "Yeah, but your parents are coming." His response, "They are not coming upstairs." I acknowledged that he was right, but knowing his mother, she'll make an excuse to go upstairs at least once. (If you are wondering, she did go upstairs. Ha!) Then they arrived at 5:30p.

The house was pristine. They came to a clean and neat house with a snack, dinner and dessert already prepared. Little did they know that we were slaving away just moments before their arrival. And I made it look effortless.


Kim said...

I must say...your cooking skills sound like they've improved drastically since our first days at Webster Hall so long ago!

Tara said...

Why, thank you! And they have! Thanks for noticing. Pass along any good recipes, Kim. I can try it and then post it!

Laura said...

Oh jeez, i hope my future in-laws aren't crazy like that. I wouldn't be able to handle it like you! I'd just make them easy mac and force them to like it! >:]

Tina said...

I've lived with my in-laws so they kinda know I'm a slob. My mother-in-law comes to our house (only sometimes) and finds things to clean for us. Hehe. I'm so spoiled. I think they understand that I have the kids to watch.

Tara said...

No, my in-laws are not crazy, I am! I cleaned upstairs, and his mom went up there once! I even forced Wil to make the bed. I am coo-coo.

Tina, your kids are 4 and almost 7! You needn't "watch" them anymore. Honestly.

Laura said...

Lol. You said needn't. You're cool.