Monday, June 22, 2009

The Restaurant Nazi

Lucy has taken to playing restaurant lately.

Oh, she likes to cook with me and she likes to occasionally kick me out of the kitchen - like when she makes lemonade - and she attempts to make an entire container-full completely on her own, only to scream my name every five seconds to bring her lemons, sugar, water, spoons, ice and to actually squeeze the lemons. And then, somewhere she has figured out that all good lemonade must be made with a couple of mint leaves peeking out of the cup - thank you freakin' Max and Ruby - and so she demands that I procure mint leaves, like magic, straight from my butt and hand them to her.

Damn. Am I glad she can make that lemonade completely by herself.

The other thing she and Edie have been doing is taking a bowl of water and just raiding my spice drawer for whatever they find and just making "soup", like nutmeg, lemon, sugar, fennel, hot pepper, Tabasco, basil, sesame oil, "soup". Or cilantro, celery seed, egg yolk, olive oil, bubble gum, stick of butter "soup".

And tonight it was a large pyrex bowl of "sauce" and by "sauce" I mean a thick sludgey concoction of cloves, garlic, fennel/thyme meat rub, cherries, banana, curry and cumin "sauce", which I was forced to try "for real" and had to swallow and smile because they were monitoring my esophagus like little binocular-wearing scientists.

Anyway, tonight's "sauce' - which she quickly decided to re-name a "soup" because perhaps, she thought it was more marketable, more in line with her brand identity - was named "Spicy Pumpkin Soup" and due to a healthy pouring of curry powder, it was in fact, orange. And it looked pretty spicy.

She had also decided to serve it to me as if we were in a restaurant. But not just any restaurant, a restaurant where people order you around with furrowed, intimidating brow and make you do everything they say whether you are enjoying it or not. That kind of restaurant. Where, like, the chefs make their patrons cross their legs exactly they way they want them to under the table or they will bark at you to move and then fall over into an ear-splitting tantrum if you don't actually do it the way they have imagined it in their heads. That kind.

Lucy, when not in preschool or dancing around the room in costume, singing the libretto from "Shrek: The Musical" or doing something ridiculously cute like saying "hanga-burger" instead of "hamburger", is a Restaurant Nazi - Adolf in Sleeping Beauty underpants.

This is our exchange after the several times she had to forcefully re-position my ass on the dining room bench, until it met her specifications. She was wearing a little apron and writing in a small notepad:

Lucy: What do you want? (if she were chewing gum and wearing a red beehive, she'd be Flow from the TV show "Alice")

Me: Well, I guess I'll have the hamburger with a side of...

Lucy: You don't want that. (frowning, scribbling hard lines in her pad)

Me: Um, I don't?

Lucy: No. You want Spicy Pumpkin Soup.

Me: Um. yes...Okay, I want Spicy Pumpkin Soup, please. (I'm a little scared at this point, but trying not to show it)

Lucy: (visibly happier, still scribbling whatever in her notebook) What do you want to drink?

Me: Milkshake. Black and white. Super thick.

Lucy: (shaking her head and looking up from her pad) No, you don't want that.

Me: No?

Lucy: You want white wine.

And then before I can say anything, she pops the notebook closed, secures it in her apron pocket and kind of spins around and heads back to her kitchen, which she set-up in our library, and I am scared at this point to think about how much of the Spicy Pumpkin Soup is now soaked into my carpet.

A few moments later, after some quick bickering and jockeying for positions, I see Lucy and Edie coming around the corner each carefully carrying one side of the bowl of orange gruel, er, I mean soup. They are very excited. They have hopeful expressions. Me too, I was thinking, "Dude, I hope they don't forget that wine."

But, you know, I was just too scared to ask her for it.

xo YM



Anonymous said...

Your kids are so lucky, my mum would never let me go mad with stuff in the kitchen. The closest I got was making "mud pies" in my garden, which then progressed into making donuts out of earth and sandwiches out of leaves and flowers. Plenty of mess, but at least my mum managed to avoid eating it!

The Yummy Mummy said...

There is a pretty good chance your mom's house was much cleaner than mine.

She sounds like a smart cookie!

Lara said...

I'm sorry, dude, but did you just say dude?!!!

--Later, dude.

Lauren said...

Ahhh, I remember making potions at that age - though nothing edible. I'd always come home from my friend's house with a little dixie cup filled with my share of the lotion/baby powder concoction we had conjured up. Their bathroom was always a disaster when we were done.

So? How was the soup?

Anne Stesney said...

Call me Frank Bruni, but I refuse to eat at a toddler/preschool restaurant that doesn't serve spaghetti made in the bathroom sink with hot water. If Lucy and Edie will consider adding this to their menu, then perhaps I'll swing by.

Krysta said...

if only they were the soup nazi and when they didn't like something you did they'd yell "no soup for you!" maybe you should let them watch seinfeld.

ntsc said...

If Aldolf had worn Sleeping Beauty underpants, Mel Brooks would have featured it.

I don't remember many cooking experiments at that age, I do remember being confused because my father could cook, boys didn't cook - every body knows that.

However by age 8 I could fry bacon and scramble eggs. I also learned how to iron a shirt, which I don't think I've done since 1970.

Brande said...

You are a brave, brave woman. I doubt I'd have a whole lot of control over my gag reflex if I had to try one of those "soups". At least they're being adventurous, no velveeta and wonder bread grilled cheeses here!

SarahKate said...

That made me laugh so hard! When I was in school we would mix all the ingredients on our lunch trays together to make "delicious dinners" and then dare each other to eat them. Thank God my cooking skills have progressed a little since then!

Claire said...

Haha your post made me laugh all the way through - so funny and so cute! I was also a kid banished to the garden for 'potion making' and even I wasn't brave enough to taste them - horse dung was a key ingredient!

The Mulligan Family said...

Here's your Mother of the Year award. They are going to have such happy memories of their childhood and their super cool Mom!

Cheryl Arkison said...

You are a very cool mom, and hysterical writer. The girls are lucky, even if you palate is not.

SaintTigerlily said...

Giggling at work over here (not that I am reading blogs at work, nooooooo). That Just curious - do they try their own concoctions.