I made a terrible mistake today. I don't know what came over me, really. But Larry took all the kids out kite-flying and picnicking all afternoon (and no, you cannot have him - he's mine!); and I was feeling so refreshed from being able to clean the bathrooms and do my taxes in blessed peace and quiet, I decided to make everyone a special dinner tonight.
Reubens. Honest-to-goodness Reuben sandwiches.
I've been meaning to make these for going on 20 years now; but I have never had all the necessary ingredients in the house at the same time. Imagine my surprise, then, to discover that not only did I have the sauerkraut (unexpired), the rye bread (essential), and the swiss cheese (small miracle); but, lo and behold, there was an entire cooked corned beef in my refrigerator. (Don't ask - massive St. Patrick's Day fail around here...)
[I consider it no small coincidence that this marvelous confluence of events occurred on the selfsame day as the House's passage of the health care reform bill. Certain things can only happen about once every 50 years.]
Also? Fresh cantaloupe. Yum!
So I buzzed around the kitchen and mixed up my Russian dressing (mayo and ketchup - from a kid's perspective, what's not to like?), slathered the rye bread with it, shredded the beef, topped it with the cheese and sauerkraut, and fired up my panini grill. I was totally channeling Betty Crocker by the time I diced up the cantaloupe and put it in dessert bowls.
Larry and the children came back just as I slipped the first sandwiches on the grill. I was smiling, the spring air was pouring in the windows, angels were singing...
"What's that?" Rachel demanded.
"Reubens!" I said. "Special sandwiches!"
"Is there mayonnaise on them?" she asked in alarm.
"Well, yes, but..."
"What are those?" asked Susie, as Rachel broke into paroxysms of wailing.
"Reubens!" I said. "Special sandwiches! And, look! Cantaloupe!"
"No! I don't want those!"
Now we had a duet.
"What are those?" asked Brian, hearing the fuss and looking apprehensive.
"Reubens. They are a very special treat!"
"But they're on rye bread!" he said, in the sort of horrified tone most people would reserve for saying, "They are crawling with cockroaches!"
David walked in. No hope there; he's a vegetarian.
So we ate dinner, Larry and I, to a chorus of wails and complaints and with the sight of big, fat, sloppy tears (Susie's) dropping onto cantaloupe. And I am never, ever going to cook dinner for these ingrates again.
[Photo credit to SheKnows]