It had been a long tiresome day – no plans for dinner.....no plans at all, other than hitting the sack early.
The phone rang at 4 PM....
“Hello, Auntie ?”
a familiar voice sounded.
“Well, I'll be darned, how are you? I've missed you.” I respond, thinking he is calling from Iraq or Afghanistan or who knows where the Army had taken him.
“I'm on leave and would like to come by to see you.”
he says expectantly.
“GREAT – when can you come?”
“We can be there in a couple of hours – can we spend the night?”
“Sure – great! Plan on dinner.” I volunteer excitedly and hung up with joy in my heart.
Now – let me say – I might be dead tired but my favorite solider is on his way home – I am pumped up beyond belief! I was only 13 when he was born – he has always been special to me and now my Hero
was coming for a visit!
The guest rooms were already made up and the bathroom is clean. (thank God)
But dinner – hmmmm – I just invited him to dinner.
What is for dinner? I draw a blank. Did he say “WE” ? - Yes, I believe he did....hmmm – I wonder how many are coming?
The half a chicken, left over from last night will not do. I hunt the refrigerator to discover salad makings & assorted vegetables. A search of the pantry turns up numerous possibilities – all which
seem overwhelming and far to time consuming.
This is a man who has traveled the world, speaks 5 languages and who has eaten every cuisine, he is coming home. I should have a special meal for him.
He is HOME – and coming to my home for dinner – oh dear, what to make? Then, it hits me – make a home cooked meal that screams HOME.
Spaghetti – perfect! I find several quarts of home canned sauce in the pantry – dig frozen Italian sausage from the freezer and set them to defrost.
I have just enough time to make a French bread loaf. The Kitchen Aid is pressed into action.
Now, to set the table. But for how many? I don't know. Better make it a buffet.
I hurriedly make the salad and a couple of salad dressings. The bread is ready to shape. Wonderful, I am on schedule! The dough is shaped into two long french bread loaves and the oven is set to
I am on a roll!
DRINKS! Shoot – drinks, 'Do I have drinks?' – check for beer, only a couple of cans- darn! Time to call in the troops. A phone call brings the Calvary to the rescue. Eldest daughter is dispatched
to the market to return with beer and an assortment of other drinks. Of course that means additional dinner guests.
Shoot – more salad. I have not cooked the pasta yet – good thing, I will just add more & surely I have another jar of sauce.
DESSERT! Yikes – we don't normally eat dessert but they will probably want some! Another call to the Calvary – “BERRIES! Lots of berries please and whipped cream too” I yell into the phone.
Red – White and Blue for our returning American solider.
6 PM – the bread is ready to go into the oven.
6:10 – the Calvary (AKA eldest daughter) arrives with drinks and berries and an assortment hungry & excited children. The berries and are cleaned and hulled – excitement buzzes throughout the house.
The kids head to garage to find the American flag to wave in honor of our returning Hero. They wait, with great anticipation for their Hero to arrive.
6:30 – Our Hero pulls up the street – greeted by screaming children – waving a rather battered flag. There weren't many dry eyes. But there were lots of hugs and kisses.
Our Hero was home and brought with him his beautiful & charming fiance.
We all piled into the house, everyone talking at the same time.
Dinner was simple & wonderful – because our Hero & his fiance were home to share it with us.
Spaghetti, salad and bread....a home cooked meal for our Hero.
Berry Desert – in a hurry!
All American Berries – for our Hero