My second cookbook (after I publish Don't Scrape the Bottom, a recipe book for distracted moms) will be the Officer Wives Club Cookbook with little tidbits of juicy gossip along with a each dish. I will include elaborate decoration suggestions, dress tips, guilt-trip fundraising, and conversation starters. Hey, this is not a bad idea.
I am a slacker wife, so this year I decided to sign up to help host this month's "Coffee". I have yet to see coffee at these meetings, and if I were a coffee drinker, 7pm seems a little late to start drinking. I am guessing that in the past these meetings were held in the morning along with coffee and pastries (hmm, maybe I should include a history of the wives club in my book) Our "coffee" this month included a keg of beer, so maybe we should change the name to "Wives Kegger"
Okay, so a few weeks before the meeting we had a 2.5 hour planning meeting where we decided what soup to serve, what color napkins to have, and most importantly, what kind of beer to serve - 4 pitchers with a variety of flavors, or a keg with just one choice. Our menu:
Cheesy Potato Soup
White Chicken Chili
3 kinds of cookies
keg of beer
water available for me
I get asked by my non-military family if the wifes are a bunch of backstabbing, gossiping, b-witches. But really, we are not so different than your average Mormon Relief Society bunch. Some women seem to glory in their husbands rank, but most are just there to make friends. We have a monthly meeting where we socialize, eat, volunteer to help bake cakes for bachelors or take dinners to new moms, discuss upcoming activities, and sometimes do a craft or have a guest speaker. If you just throw in an opening prayer and a little less brewsky, you've got "Enrichment Meeting"
Last night the meeting was hosted at a paint your own pottery store. There were little beer steins available to paint with the squadron thunderbird logo. Every time our husbands change squadrons they get a beer stein with their call-sign and squadron logo printed on it. So the wives could paint our own lady-stein to match our husbands'. For my family, a beer stein is like a big mug that looks like something Gastan from Beauty and the Beast would drink out of. These steins were smaller and a little more feminine.
I know Nathan's mom loves hot cocoa at work, and her highschool's mascot was the Thunderbird, so I made her a little Thunderbird stein for Christmas. On the bottom I printed "Nate's Mom" so you can read it when she lifts her mug. 1 gift down, 20 to go. Sorry mom, no stein for you
This whole squadron thing is like belonging to another church. There are jobs you can volunteer for, that the women take seriously and treat like a calling. There are monthly family potluck dinners, holiday parties for kids, adult formal evenings, twice monthly bunko, mom's morning out, and service projects.
I think the main difference (besides the beer) is that the women go way overboard planning these activities. We are planning to serve dinner in November to the spouses of the deployed guys in the other sqadron. The theme is Italy. We are providing 3 different wines, 2 antipastas, 5 pastas, 3 breads, and 3 desserts, as well as table centerpieces, hand made invitations, and a takehome gift, not to mention childcare for the children complete with dinner and crafts and games. Also , if you are staying to help serve you need to wear black pants, a white shirt, and your husband's red thunderbird scarf. The planning for this dinner has involved several emails, and 2 planning meetings. (This could be all included in my book)
You can see why I need this book, my ideas are not so involved. I declined to help plan, but I am willing to bring a dish and help with childcare. It's probably a good thing I wasn't at the planning meetings - here's my idea - 2 large Sam's club lasagnas. Garlic bread. Bagged salad. Lemon water. No meeting, just an announcement at the wives meeting along with a signup sheet to help with child care. That's all.