A couple of weeks ago I posted about not being able to take a compliment. Sure enough it happened again and I froze.
My husband and I had planned to host New Year's Day supper at our home this year. My family really likes to get together and any excuse is a good one. We have the same feast on New Year's Day as we do on Christmas day. Those of us who are married and have big enough houses usually take turns hosting. This year I offered. I was very excited and have been baking for weeks and planning how I was going to cook the feast. I love entertaining and pull out all the best for our guests and I really enjoy doing it. My husband unfortunately got really sick the day before New Year's. I called my mom and asked if she could host. The catch was that since I had already bought all the food so I would bring it. She agreed and I called all of our relatives.
I spend all of New Year's eve day and most of New Year's day preparing. New Year's eve day I cooked an enormous sized ham. It was beautiful!!! I don't even eat ham. I had it covered with pineapple and cherries, it was basted every 15 minutes for almost 2 hours with an amazing smelling glaze. Even though I don't eat ham, I fell in love with it. It was almost too pretty to eat. I also had some lovely butternut squash left from my garden which I par boiled and then baked with nutmeg and brown sugar. I used one of my best baking dishes, it is blue and set off the colour of the squash beautifully. Lastly I made an apple crumble that was divine. I switched up some things that I normally do and added some crushed walnuts for extra crunch. I looked as pretty as it was tasty.
New Year's eve I visited a friend and her family for a drink and then came home to kiss my husband at midnight. He was so sick by then that a peck on the cheek was all we each got. At least we were together. The next morning I got up early to start cooking again. I started peeling potatoes, an entire 10lb bag of potatoes to be exact. For those I waited to boil them until I was at my mom's. There were a few cloves of garlic in the pot for some nice flavour, I then mashed them up with fresh cream and butter. They were smooth and yummy! I cut up two bags of carrots and got them going in my slow cookers. In one the carrots cooked in orange juice, honey, cinnamon and brown sugar, they smelled lovely and tasted even better. In the second crock pot the carrots cooked in orange juice, maple syrup and brown sugar, they were just as good. My dad doesn't like cinnamon so I wanted to make sure he had carrots too. Lastly the brussel sprouts. Now these puppies were hard to find, I had no idea that so many stores would sell out of brussel sprouts but eventually I found some. I peel each and scored them with a knife. They too were boiled ever so slightly at my mom's and were delicious.
I packed up my car with all of the goodies, as well as the bread, sauces, napkins, and anything else I could fit into my trunk and off the kids and I went to my mom's. My mom and dad had cooked the turkey and my aunt brought her traditional stuffing.
We loaded up our plates. A few people thanked my parents for such a great meal and they of course said "Jenni made everything but the turkey". This is when the compliments started coming... I think my family really liked the food but they were also a bit amazed that I was able to pull it all together. Whilst caring for my three children and having a sick partner. To be honest I was a bit shocked too! Anyways back to the compliments... I froze. I tried to say thank you instead all that came out was a nod and a chuckle. I felt my face get hot and I'm sure I was blushing. I begged for one of my children to jump into my lap and need me so I wouldn't have to face my family thanking me. What is wrong with me. How hard can it be to take a simple compliment. So say to myself yes I did a damn good job and I am happy that someone recognized it. I am too humble? Is it that I do all of this work because I enjoy it and don't really expect anything in return? Or I am not entirely sure that I have truly done a good job?
Whatever my reasons I am going to still try to do better. I am going to think about what it is that makes me clam up, change the subject or run away when someone offers me a compliment. I am going to try harder to say "thank you so much"
Jennifer is an RMT, long time yoga practitioner and teacher. Follow her musings as an RMT, yoga teacher, prenatal educator and mother of three.