A few years ago, missionary friends were coming to visit, and I really wanted to make something special for dinner. My husband suggested grilling steaks or ordering pizza, but no, I wanted to make something fancy.
At the time, my twins were toddlers, and I didn’t have time for fancy.
Never mind that, I went to the market and picked up some beautiful halibut steaks, salad, and a loaf of fresh bread. Pulling out a recipe for peppered halibut, I rushed through the recipe, opened a bottle of wine, and warmed the bread.
We gathered around the table to enjoy our meal, and our friends dug in enthusiastically. And then Maria’s face turned bright red and she reached for her water.
I took a bite of fish and the pepper was beyond overpowering. I may as well have served a plate of black pepper to eat with a spoon. It was really that bad.
I immediately apologized and suggested we eat something else, but our missionary friends soldiered on. “Oh no,” Maria said politely, “it’s good!”
But she couldn’t breathe.
I learned an important lesson that day: there is a time for fancy and a time to order a pizza or make sloppy joes. A simple meal prepared well is much more enjoyable than a fancy meal you don’t have time to make. I also learned that the little box of black pepper in my cupboard is not a substitute for freshly ground pepper. Not even close.
For more tips on what doesn’t work, head over to Shannon’s for this week’s special edition of What Doesn’t Work for me Wednesday.