Christmas Family Dinner

Published April 21, 2010 by Mary Jane

Seasons of struggles

Evening bloggy friends, well my sore throat is still sore but don’t really feel the razor cutting feeling anymore. The concoction of metal & iodine must be working perhaps. Anyways, still feeling not too well but I think the sleep of 15hour+ has given me enough energy to watch through another episode of Masterchef. Now the Philip guy who persisted on with making Risotto & strawberry tarts really brings joy to my heart when his partner pulled out last minute due to pressure and stress. I’m so glad the judges have given him the chance to remain at the competition. This sort of brings back some memories…

Last year during Christmas we decided to host a family dinner together inviting our close friends and family at my older sister’s place. Now it was decided that I cook that night for around 15+ people. So mum and I went and did all the grocery shopping. I set my menu out which consists of roasting a large ham, as previous year we had turkey, mint & pea colour creamy pasta, prosciutto wrapped chicken breast with scallops, spaghetti meat ball dish, chilli mussels, salads, stir fried crabs, and fish pie with 2 desserts. 8 main course with 2 dessert, the recipes which I hav adopted from Jamie Oliver – and I have never cooked it before. So I was under the pump and previous night I had an argument with my older sister of her accusing me of doing something that I didn’t which really hurt me.

Nevertheless, the dinner must go on. So mum and I arrived at my older sister’s place and laid out all the ingredients starting to wash and prep all the ingredients. Somehow my older sister could sense that I was unhappy so we started having a conversation which escalated to me screaming and yelling at her with a knife in my hand. (a lesson to learn – never hold a kitchen knife when you are in a heated conversation with someone!). My reaction resulted in my older sister in shock, mum in shock and me being very shock in how much anger I had inside me. Mum pulled her away to another room to calm her down and me walked away to the laundry to calm myself down. Still in shock and I burst out in tears of what just happened?? Now mum walked in and comforted me and asked me whether we should continue carrying on cooking. I replied yes. We had 2 hours to make 8 main courses with 2 desserts, I looked at the clock and realised I’m never going to make it. I was ready to throw in the towel and just go home.

Mum looked at me and said, it’s ok even if we just make some of the dishes it should be enough to feed the people. At that time I realised I must continue on with cooking otherwise there will be no food plating up on the table for our guests. I grabbed the knife and started running around cooking like a headless chook. Somehow miraculously we started plating up some of the dishes and had 1 hour left to finish around 4 more dishes. I thought to myself I will prep up the dessert ingredients so afterwards I can always bake and make them later. Now I have to focus upon these 4 dishes. Mum is a speedy kitchen hand she would chop all the herbs and spices I’ve asked her to do and help me with getting all the ingredients prep up. Half way through cooking, I was in tears suddenly remembered what just happened an hour or so ago with my older sister. Anyways, the dishes all got done and was plated up and the guest has arrived on the dot 6.30pm they were amazed with the amount of food we have prepared. I gave Mum a high five and hug we made it together. We are a great team!

Sometimes during pressure or stress your mind registers and tells you that you can’t cope and you have 2 options to either throw in the tower which is what Andrea did in Masterchef and let the pressure & stress takes over you and give up. Or you can be like Philip in the Masterchef continue to carry on and give it your best shot. I was stoked that the guests all loved the food and when I see smiles on the kids faces as they enjoy the spaghetti meat balls, it was all worth it in the end. I even had time to make the 2 desserts – Tiramisu & banana tarte tatin and was so glad I didn’t burnt myself or hurt myself at all. After a few weeks, I’ve decided it’s best to avoid seeing my older sister as I thought to myself why do I always have to give in and say sorry first? She’s the older one she should come and say sorry to me for making such accusations. It was a difficult time of unrest and anger in my heart, even when I pray to God it was hard as I was harboring this anger inside me. As much as I know in God’s word before you come to God’s altar first you must make up and come before your brother/sister if there’s been contention. But pride got the better out of me, I couldn’t make myself to do it cos it will mean it’s my fault.

This silent war seemed to have lasted for a long time, mum was caught in the middle of it all. Mum would tell me family should love one another you both go to church every Sunday why can’t you just forgive one another. Well, I will forgive her if she comes forward and acknowledge she’s sorry for making such accusations and I will say sorry for screaming and yelling at her while holding a kitchen knife!! I’ve decided the only way to get through to her is to write her a letter – I wrote 3 pages of letter but haven’t sent it to her when I read it through again and again it was all harsh & hurtful words and I know deep down if I sent it to her it will probably be the end of our sistership. I really thank God during this time a close church sister of mine was able to give me sound advise when I shared with her my struggles and she said to me ‘don’t send the letter, because you will regret it – pray and ask God to move your heart and your sister’s heart that you both may come to love each other. Ask yourself whether you would want to make up with your sister? Of course I do, this silent war was slowly chewing me away bit by bit every day when I come home I would be cranky and unhappy. When is this ever going to end?

Thankfully, God started to work in both of our hearts – one day I was thinking to sms her and say I’m sorry. Then I received a sms saying I’m sorry for what I did want to catch up for Chinese New Year Dinner together? I wrote back, thanks for saying sorry, I’m sorry as well yes a dinner would be great. So at the Chinese New Year Dinner we both hugged each other it was silly to just throw away our sistership. I realised and have learnt that wow I never knew I had such anger inside me, which scares me and that I must be able to control my tongue (what I say as it could lead to sin and worst consequences which I will later regret). I do feel very emotionally drained after this fight but I thank God it’s over and me and my older sister are in talking terms again 🙂 there’s a Chinese term blood is thicker than water.

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