So, yesterday wasn't so good. The beef and carrots were tough, because slow-cooking a casserole means long cooking at a low heat. I lowered the heat but didn't elongate the time. (Chew, chew.) And the bread didn't rise high enough, for reasons which I cannot fathom. I did end up with an edible loaf, just not by many people. Much mirth was had in Testosterone Towers at PseudoSupermum's expense.
The Simnel cake was good, but the boys don't like fruitcake. (All the more for us!)
Today had to be a better day. We had "company" coming - one man and his dog - and I wanted everything to be just right. Off I went to the leisure centre to burn off a few calories, so that I could enjoy my dinner AND feel virtuous. All that effort to burn the equivalent of one and a half Mars bars? It's not fair.
Nonetheless, I returned home full of endorphins and light on calories, to contemplate the task ahead. Getting It Right meant I had somehow to ensure that not only was the meal good, but the diners had to be civil to one another.
I delivered a little homily along the lines of, it is my maternal duty to ensure that you guys know how to behave when we have guests. If I were run over by a bus or bitten by a rabid dog tomorrow, at least you'd have been reminded of this essential social skill. You don't argue, you don't embarrass your guest, and you don't embarrass the hostess.
And with that, I retreated to the kitchen. They hadn't exactly laughed in my face, but they plainly resented being got at BEFORE they'd had a chance to transgress. Ho-hum.
Mercifully the meal went fine. My apple-pie was to die for. The best way of ensuring peace in Testosterone Towers is to fill them with chicken and carbs.
Only one part of the plan backfired. I had delivered the homily in front of Superspouse, but not to him, assuming that he knew the rules already. As we sat making polite conversation before the meal, he disarmingly and with impeccable timing, delivered his bombshell.
"Karen's beef and carrots were VERY HARD yesterday. Ha-ha!"
Well, at least he lowered the bar so that I could hardly fail to show improvement today. I smiled. Through gritted teeth, admittedly, but I did smile.