Back to the Grind

Published 3:17 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009

At some point over the long holiday vacation we domestic engineers find ourselves deeply engrossed in our own spirituality. Across the wide spectrum of faith, every one of us whose job it is to hold together the fabric of reality for our spouses and off-spring reaches a place where we become consumed in prayer and reflection due to the nature of the holidays.

Our faiths may be different, but there is a universal nature to our collective prayers. They all sound something like this: “Dear Lord, please I beg of you, send them back to school. Send him back to work. For they all might suffer great bodily harm at my hands if they don’t get out of my house. Amen.”

All I’m saying is that this week of return to normal life couldn’t have come a minute sooner. I’ve never been so grateful to load up backpacks for school or to hand a briefcase to my dear sweet husband.

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I have an inkling that I am not alone in my gratitude in seeing the holidays come to a close. Monday morning, as school buses and carpools began rolling out of cul-de-sacs and life in general got back on schedule, there seemed to be an inordinate amount of women waving from the ends of driveways all down the street.

As soon as that last work bound car turned the corner we all began the “jig-of-joy”. Our prayers had been answered.

I, for one, had my fill of family and holiday frivolity early on. Like all good tactical officers, I made my battle plan, long before the horde invaded. I studied years past and adapted.

Since I spent last year in a perpetual state of sweeping up broken ornaments, I restocked with “shatter-proof” equipment. Which is just a fancy marketing way of saying “plastic.”

This would have been a brilliant strategy had not the children spent the year adapting as well and expanding their vocabulary.

Turns out, they now know what “shatter-proof” means and once they became bored with their Christmas loot they decided to “test” the nature of the manufacturer’s guarantee.

This is when I discovered that while the ornaments are indeed shatter-proof, things that they are hurled into are not. Next year, new plan.

With all the monkey wrenches that my clan of gremlins launches into what is supposed to be the well oiled machine of holiday vacation, it’s a wonder that I bother making plans at all.

However, occasionally their monkey wrenches yield some fairly tasty repercussions.

See, I had planned Christmas dinner. I drew up a list of all possible things that would be needed to pull of a flawless, on time, tasty holiday feast. Then I made the fatal mistake of letting the husband do the grocery shopping. I must have been bumped in the head.

On Christmas Eve he returned with all the fixings I had asked for, with one major exception. While he was out he made the command decision to switch from a brown sugar and honey glazed ham to the massive pork loin that caught his eye.

He was very pleased with himself and just knew that I would be able to carve the 10 pound behemoth into several meals, beginning with an extra special pork loin roast for Christmas dinner.

My well oiled machine came to a grinding halt, it was time to adapt.

A quick inventory of the kitchen gave way to the concept of our new main course.

Born completely out of what was on hand we managed to create the best pork roast we ever had, even if it was plan “B.”

The other half of the loin is safely ensconced in the freezer and now that I have my house back to myself, I’ll probably be making it again. Except this time it’ll be on purpose.

NOTE: Recipe can be found on page 13.