As I have mentioned a time or two, I am a Navy wife. At first, I was a U.S. Navy sailor and a wife; now, I am a "dependent." But, during both of these seasons of my life, I have spent much time as a single-mom, waiting for my man to get home, and wondering what would be the best way to welcome my sailor back home from the fray. I wanted everything on his first night home to be special, and welcoming, but not too fussy, since, invariably he will have just spent a little over a full day (one time it was closer to 48 hours) without any kind of real sleep and, so, would be happy to FINALLY be home, but also a bit jet-lagged, tired, grumpy, etc.
Needless to say, I felt a little bit of pressure to make everything JUST RIGHT.
I tried many different recipes. I don't even remember them all; I recall making a catfish dish once, that I paired with some kind of alcohol drink. What I do remember about those times was that the reaction I received was not what I had hoped. My efforts at just right had turned out just wrong! GRR!!!
One time, however, I actually got to talk to my husband on the phone before he got all the way home. I was able to ask him: "is there anything, at all, you would like to have your first night home, other than sleep, of course?"
He said, "Yeah. I want fish sticks and macaroni's & cheese." (That's really how he says it; with an "s" at the end of macaroni.)
Him: "Yep. I get to eat a lot of different things on board ship, and out in town when we're in port, but I never get to have fish sticks and macaroni's & cheese."
Me: "You're sure that's all you want?"
Him: "Besides seeing you and the kids, and my bed....YEAH!"
And so began our tradition of fish sticks and macaroni's & cheese homecoming meals!
In the immortal words of Paul Harvey: And now, you know the rest of the story.