Pandemic Journal, Entry 4: Mrs. Markham’s Pandemic Dining Journal


Sunday family dinner is a tradition at the Markham house and without fail Hubby, our twelve year old son Karl and three year old daughter Honey join hands around the dinner table, lift our voices in prayer, and enjoy the bounty the lord has given us. Today’s meal was London broil seasoned with my special garlic powder mix, a side salad with my extra special ingredient (rhymes with cottage cheese!) and baked potatoes, followed by my adoptive mother’s famous carrot cake. Simply scrumptious!


The start of each work week calls for a special dinner, unless of course there’s no work – but still! My Spaghetti al Markham is always the talk of the church carry-in, and my family loves it just as much when I serve it at home! Hubby says the vodka in the sauce is what makes it but please don’t tell my church family!


Inspired by six back-to-back episodes of Guys Grocery Games, I challenged myself to make dinner using ingredients selected by Karl and Honey. I won’t humble brag, as the kids say, but I made a pretty mean dish of rice, corn starch, and rosemary!


Theme dinners are always fun! Tonight’s was “Cabbage, bitches!” It’s always a good idea to experience new things, and Cabbage Three Ways was a most unexpected experience for everyone. Best of all, there were plenty of leftovers after the entire family could only eat a single (small!) helping. 


Imagination is the most powerful thing we can possess. “Karl?” He looked up from poking the cat with a stick. “If you were on death row and ordered a last meal, what would you imagine it would be?”

“A cowboy ribeye medium rare, two large BK fries, and a whole watermelon,” he answered, as if he’d been thinking about my question for days.

“Well Karl, imagine you’re in a Texas prison,” I replied, serving him a single saltine topped with (Dukes!) mayonnaise. 

Friday–Date Night!

Without fail, during our five years of wedded bliss, Hubby and I have dedicated Friday dinner just to us so that we can stoke the romantic fires, if you know what I mean! I spiced up this date night by tossing the car keys and twenty bucks to Karl. “Get you and Honey something to eat. No peanuts, no shellfish. You know Honey’s deathly allergic. I’m not kidding.”

I know what my man needs, and that was some “me time” in the basement, watching a rerun of the 2003 Bills/Patriots game, with the company of that half gallon of Stoly he keeps for those days that he feels extra sad. 

I also know the importance of self care, and that meant a bottle of Kim Crawford Pinot Noir and a half-gallon of Rocky Road, while I sobbed quietly where nobody could hear. 


Someone said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because if you’re not home in time for it you’re in a lot of trouble! I guess that meant the entire Family Markham was in hot water, after we spent all night and most of the morning at the ER after Karl fed Honey a (double!) helping of Shrimp Pad Thai! We gathered around Honey and waited with bated breath for her purplish skin to turn its more typical pale custard. 

Awkward mealtime conversations are always to be avoided. You don’t need to be Emily Post to understand that! To spare the hospital staff the unbearably awkward discussion about “no insurance” or “declined credit cards” we waited for the nursing shift change and empowered Honey to discharge herself! 


Another week, another blessed gathering of the Family Markham. Sadly, Hubby is not with us for this meal thanks to the untimely intervention of the sheriff, who had questions about our abrupt departure from the ER.

He’s with me in spirit, and I can feel this as I sit in his special lounger in the basement, cuddling his Stoly. He’ll be home soon (I’m certain of it!) and once again the whole famdamnily will gather around the table each night, at least until the last rotting vegetables in our fridge are gone.