2/19/07

Commandment #7: Apologizing for Errors!

Apologizing for a perceived error in your meal just draws attention to you and pulls away from the enjoyment of the meal.

I read this morning, in Beth Moore’s new book, this two-worded powerful sentence, “Anticipate it.”

This sentence can mean many different things to each of us. I took it to heart spiritually this morning as I was riding my wind-trainer in the garage. I did soul-work with this statement. But then I took it a step further into my passion and mission for this whole blog. But let me start with this …

To me, growing up has been a long, drawn out process of learning to let go. Letting go of the ploys, games, and manipulation – whatever it takes to look good in the eyes of others. What a wonderful thing to finally be able to laugh at my own mistakes or disasters!

Years ago, after I was married with 3 very small children, we had 2 other couples over for dinner. I was so excited to cook a dish that was one of my favorites called Curried Chicken. It was easy to prepare and an overall crowd pleaser.

In my rushing around to pull it all together, I neglected to pre-cook the chicken, as the recipe called for. I put all the ingredients together in the pan, stuck it in the oven, and arranged for it to come out just in time to serve it to our guests. When I went to serve the food, I thought to myself, “Wow! Look how pretty these plates look!” Well, the chicken was undercooked on every plate. I was horrified to see each person cut into his or her meat to see it PINK inside. Oops! I was embarrassed and I felt sick inside. I had to take each plate and individually microwave them.

Looking back, these people didn’t even seem to care! Here I was, all worried about what they thought of me, when in reality they were so enjoying the conversation & laughter around the table, the undercooked chicken wasn't even an issue.

Soon after, my husband taught me, “Sandy, never apologize for your meal!” (By the way, he heard someone say this and it just made sense. It pulls away from the potential enjoyment for the average person.) It took me a while to agree with him and to really catch on to what he was saying. But I soon did and I’ve learned to laugh and cover-up my cooking errors and not draw “attention” to myself. I take a new route if something is undercooked or overcooked, by checking it before I serve it! Obviously, I’d microwave it if it’s undercooked. And remember my prime rib story? I’d serve and enjoy the meat anyway, even when it’s overcooked. There’s always horseradish or sauces you can serve along the meat to spice it up!

(More tips to come on sharing "holiday" plates and decor with a friend, to keep costs down)

For me, on the receiving end, I take to heart the hard work that a hostess puts into her meal. I don’t expect perfection and I try to make light of a situation that may not be perfect. I find myself so engrossed with the conversation, that the details and even the taste of the food doesn't matter.

So … ANTICIPATE … expect great things, look forward to a great time with your friends. Relationships are far more important than emphasizing our disasters and drawing attention to ourselves.

This is my mission for this blog: to help others get beyond themselves and into the lives of others.

14 comments:

Melissa R. Garrett said...

LOL! What a picture!! What a fabulous post and definitely something I *try* to practice. Funny that I apologize for the clutter but never my cooking. I'm not sure what that says about me?

linda t said...

Love this post Sandy!! (as always!)
Sooo important that we get this!
And can I tell ya, I enlarged the table setting pic... and I wanted to cry... soooo elegant and pretty and cozy...
Wherever did you get those red plates! They make me smile!

Apron Thrift Girl said...

What I think of when I read this is that when things don't go as planned or something kind of goes wrong, that's what makes the dinner or day engrained in our memory. Remember our Halloween meal planned for 3 couples (including us). One person arrived but we made the best of it. And I'm sure we will always remember the party that only one person came to.

Leigh Ann said...

I got this in my in-box and thouight of you, Sandy. "I need to stop trying to become perfect and just try to become better." Sasha Cohen, US figure skater

Cheers! LA

Christine said...

That is such a great point, and not just for entertaining! I love to cook, and am pretty good at it, but I've had my moments of bad cooking. I don't entertain very much at this point in my life, so dear ol' hubby has been the receipient of my mistakes thus far! Thanks for visiting today and it's definitely important to pray for those who will be sucked in by the "Secret". I know a few personally who need my prayers!

Barb said...

Hey, no secrets in front of the rest of us!
I luv that picture--I'm gonna print it off and put it up in my office! I apologize too much. I hafta remind myself that just the invitation to dinner is a gift, especially considering how few people have others over to eat a meal and share their home and family.

linda t said...

Hey Christine, I am so relieved you brought up "The Secret". I have been so weirded out since the two Oprah shows... actually sick about it.
Are we in the end times or what! So sad... thanks for the reminder to pray...

Karen said...

Sandy, thanks for your sweet comment on my blog! I think God led you to my blog so that I in turn would be led to your blog! Entertaining and blessing others in our home is something we really want to work on improving--so your blog will be a wonderful encouragement for us!! Blessings to you!

Sandy said...

Thanks for everyone's comments! And Linda, the red plates came from Harry & David. Aren't they darling?
Barb, I agree with you that an invitation to dinner is such a gift. Burnt meal or not - LOL. I love it when we are invited over and even if I bring a dish, I feel the "pampering" and it's so relaxing.
We had a wonderful meal Sat. night and our whole family relaxed and reaped the hard work of the hostess!

Jennifer said...

This is so true. I apolgize for every little thing and I know I shouldn't - it's a hard habit to break.

Linda in Minnie said...

Sandy-
We want your curry chicken recipe!! Pleeeze, pretty please?
And what Oprah show are you referring to? I missed that one (and all her others, I can only watch her when I'm home from work)...

sugarcreekfarm said...

Hi Sandy, thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm so glad it led me to yours because I am definitely a reluctant entertainer, and "reaching out" is one of my Intentions for 2007.

Becky said...

Wow! I can't believe I haven't found you sooner! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm going to have to go through your archives now...I love your Ten Commandments. I've not had the chance to read through them thoroughly, but you can bet I will. I love to entertain but don't do it often enough. And, I am so guilty of apologizing...especially the 'Oh don't mind the mess'. I catch myself saying it even when there is no mess to worry over 'cause we live here! :) Thanks again and I look forward to reading more from you!

godgirl said...

I positively adore the table from V-day! Great colors and cute plates. I like the mix and match.