Dueling Dinners is a game both can win

There are many temptations a wife faces. Boarding up the kitchen to protect it from the husband’s culinary experiments is one of them.

It’s a temptation few of our grandmothers had to face, the arrangement in those days being that if the men killed the fatted pig, the women would slave all day in the hot kitchen preparing sausage.

cooking dinnerSince today I help bring home the bacon, I expect my husband to help fry it. So we play a game called Dueling Dinners. It’s very popular among two-income couples. It goes like this:

“Ralph, dear, why are you using the 24-gallon pot to cook spaghetti for two adults and two small picky eaters?”

“Honey, it was handy.”

“Darling, how about using the spaghetti pot?”

“Snookums, I’m using that to cook the hamburger meat.”

“Cupcake, the spaghetti sauce already has meat in it.”

“Gingerbread, I know that, but I like my spaghetti sauce with lots and lots of hamburger meat.”

“But fruitcake, you’re on a low cholesterol diet, remember?”

At this point in the contest, I flee to the living room out of fear that if I watch any more of Ralph’s cooking methods, I’ll chase him out of the kitchen, which is exactly what he wants.

The winner of Dueling Dinners is the one who gets the most rest.

Sooner or later, however, I creep back into the kitchen, drawn by an unusual smell.

“Ralph, dear, why does the spaghetti sauce smell different?”

Ralph’s only reply is a grin. I know what that means. It means I should peer into the sauce pot.

“Ralph, honey-bunch, why is the spaghetti sauce so runny?”

“I’ve invented a new flavor,” he states proudly.

“Oh, no! We’ve run out of Ragu and you’ve substituted tomato soup!”

His eyes glimmer with a secret he won’t tell as he shakes his head no and stirs the slop. I sniff the steam and mentally take inventory of the groceries in our cabinets.

“Not V-8 Juice,” I plead.

The broadening smile on his face tells me all I need to know.

“Shh,” I whisper, “don’t let the kids know, or they’ll never again eat the food you cook.”

I begin to pray. I need supernatural strength to resist the temptation to throw him and his V-8 High Cholesterol Sauce out of the kitchen. I must remember that God wants me to be charitable toward people who think juice is the same as sauce. Just because my partner in Dueling Dinners cooks things differently than I do or differently than the family’s taste buds want him to, that doesn’t mean I have due cause to banish him to the living room sofa where he can rest.

Sometimes love means showing great mercy: “Thank you for cooking this dinner, honeybunchkins. Please do it again sometime. It really is quite, um, chewable.”

Ralph has been giving me this kind of love for all our married life. He even ate my corn fritters, even after I spiced the fritters with an extra ingredient that had inadvertently gotten mixed in — tiny bugs.

Reflection question for family discussion:
How do we show God’s mercy to each other?

Pray together:
Come, Holy Spirit, and fill us with Your patience and Your spirit of mercy. Help us to remember that we do things every day that, from the perspective of Your great wisdom, is really quite silly or unnecessary or full of honest mistakes, and You do not condemn us nor do you get angry. Help us to treat others the way You treat us.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries

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