May 17, 2012

Chinese Restaurant Surprise!

The other day I called Joe around lunch time to tell him that I spotted an elliptical trainer at the second hand store that was cheap and in mint condition.  He's been wanting one for some time because a shoulder injury makes his former favorite piece of workout equipment feel like torture.  Anyway, when I saw it I called him so he could run over and grab it on his lunch break.  But when he answered, his voice sounded terribly distressed and his sentences were unusually short and to the point.  It worried me a bit, so I asked what was wrong and he said he was having a bad day.

You may recall - or maybe you won't if you don't know me personally, because during the drama I was never sure what I was and wasn't allowed to blog about - that last year every single person in Joe's office who was in a professional position lost their job.  Except for Joe.  I'm not sure how he pulled it off and I don't think he's all that sure either, but he rode out a major turn over and so when I heard his voice sounding so distressed at work, that's the first place my brain went to.  It's happened.  He's finally been fired too.  We're going to have to move.  He's going to feel incredibly guiltyWe need to rally and show support.  

Turns out it was actually just a really bad moment to call and nothing at all that dramatic was happening.  Just the frustration of the daily grind.  Pfew!  But before I realized it was nothing, I asked the kids if there was something they could think of to do nice for daddy since he was having a bad day and they came up with turning the kitchen into a Chinese restaurant.  That's his favorite kind of food and I just happened to have a new cookbook, Vegan on the Cheap, in which he dog eared a Chinese Soup recipe he wanted me to try!  Perfect!

I got to cooking soup and the kids got to work on other aspects of running a restaurants.  They made a menu with prices of hugs and kisses, they listened to authentic Chines music on youtube and selected a playlist for ambiance.  And they asked me if we could print a Chinese Zodiac place mats that they always hear Joe and I talking about from our childhood.  Next the boys put on their fancy vests and draped golden cloth napkins over their forearms to look professional.  Hannah Jane, after a little arm twisting, put on her red, silk dress that our friend brought her back from his visit home to China and got her pencil and paper for jotting down orders.

Once we had everything set up, we waited.  And waited.  And kept on waiting.  The wait staff became a little restless waiting for the guest of honor to arrive.  He was about 20 minutes later than usual, so they had all started munching on fruit and left their look out posts by the time he arrived.  But when someone caught a glimpse of the truck in the driveway, everyone hurried to their posts!

Weren't they so super cute?  So the bad timing of my call ended up leading us down the path to a really special night!  And the soup recipe in Vegan on the Cheap is FANTASTICAL!!!!

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