When we were little, my Mom used to wake us up with chore lists on days that company was coming. We’d put our initials next to chores and begin to dust bookshelves, vacuum the stairs and scrub bathrooms. On a good day, we got it all done without complaining and would have time to marvel at clean floors and uncluttered rooms. On bad days, we’d be shoving bags of junk into closets as friends and family rang the doorbell, hoping they would not want to open the closet to hang their jackets. I distinctly remember asking my Mom, “If (insert any family/friends) really love us so much, why does it matter if the house is clean? They’ll love us anyway so let’s not pretend to be cleaner than we are”. (Oh, the sass. My poor Mother). She would remind us that when you love someone, you give them your best. And she’d add with a knowing laugh, “When you’re grown up and have your own house, you can decide if you want to clean when people come”.
Oh, how the words of Mama Prophecy can come back to haunt you.
My parents decided a few months to come visit this past weekend. I knew it’d be after my semester died down, and I had grand visions of hung pictures, organized closets and a multiple course supper…Friday morning, however, I was sucked into the literary vortex that is Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2). So I got nothing done. Fail. Saturday morning I launched out of bed at 7:30, called my parents and found out they were already on the road, 7 hours away. After a comical morning that included realizing I left my wallet home when I was at the cash register, a serious caffeine deficit and Varun and I lounging around talking about our childhoods, my parents texted to say they were crossing the border: 55 minutes away. Varun and I exploded into action, taking out the trash, making the bed, cleaning the bathroom and
shoving things in closets organizing. I could practically hear my Mom vindictively laughing at 7 year old me. (Not that she would. Maybe that was me laughing at me). Somehow, we managed to get the house in order just minutes before they arrived. (Although the pictures most certainly did not get hung.)
I have to say, despite my childhood theory, cleaning up for loved ones makes visits pleasant. My parents wandered around our home looking at decorations and our view, giving us goodies from the USA and catching us up on family news. My Mom made the fatal mistake of pulling out a logic book, thereafter my Dad and Varun destroyed us with their math/logic/algebra skills.
We took my parents on a mini-tour of the city and for amazing sage tea at a neighbor’s house. At home, we served them the fabled carmelized onion cheddar (it’s better than you’re imagining) and homemade Indian meatballs, kofta. Remember how I said my morning was comical? Yeah…Someone (cough*my sister*cough) has been trying to get me to watch Downton Abbey for weeks. So I watched the first episode while making a new recipe. I know, I know, recipe for disaster. I ended up reading “1 teaspoon fresh cilantro and 1 teaspoon fresh mint” as 1 bunch fresh cilantro and 1 bunch fresh mint. Yup. I used about 40 times the cilantro and mint. You know what the crazy part is? They were amazing. I’m going to try making the kofta one more time this week, then I’ll post the recipe.