Christmas Eve Eve was a pretty big day this year.
For anyone who was brave and daring and came into the store
to pick up their bacon, kielbasa, ham, turkey or other
Christmas dinner or breakfast ingredients,
you might have seen something like this:

 as staff frantically tried to find homes for all of these turkeys, turkey roasts and turduckens,

made baskets and trays

cooked even more cabbage rolls

rolled chicken cordon bleu and broccoli cheddar chicken,


made trays and trays of slavinken (did not see that coming!),


sliced slabs and slabs of bacon (even though we did plan on the insane run on bacon, we still ran out at 3:00),


and sampled speculaas cookies.  Yummm!


Customers were cheerful and patient,
excited to see old friends while waiting in line as Jacqueline averaged
under a minute per customer cashing out over 500 customers over the course of the day.
Overall, an excellent day, lots of fun, and


Greg and I were simply exhausted.
Gabriella, Garret and Sterling had all put in a number of long work days over the past two weeks,
and just the thought of finding food and cooking it for my crew of hard-working Schinkels made me cringe.

Now, many of you may know that I sometimes mention that my kids
are a little, um, well, picky.
Much as I hate to slander their characters, they just are.
Even choosing a restaurant is a big deal.
Ella doesn’t like fast food.
Garret likes potatoes.
Christian is pretty good with fast food,
but not anything in the least bit gourmet (and by gourmet, I mean toasted buns).
And Sterling likes tacos with just ground beef and cheese.
And spaghetti.
That’s it.

Quite the Dilemma

So you can see our family’s dilemma as we drove home,
trying to find one restaurant in town that everyone could agree on
that would be at least a little bit “grown-up food” so my
super hard-working man could get properly fueled.
Ella was the one to suggest Rose’s Kitchen.
She delivers orders to them from time to time, and,
apparently, is often encouraged to stay for lunch when she does so by the ladies in the kitchen.
She told us she’s always impressed, and so Greg and I quickly voted “Aye”.
Once Garret was assured that there would be perogies, he was all in, too.
Sterling and Christian decided to tag along,
as opposed to sitting in the car enjoying whatever crackers and snacks they might find leftover in the back seat.

Feeling Welcomed

I did feel a little bit bad, showing up at 6:30 with my boisterous and
not quite quiet crew right at a time when I believe the staff of
Rose’s Kitchen would be looking forward to finishing up their regular clientele’s
and starting to begin closing routines,
we were made to feel welcome with happy smiles
and shown to a table in their empty side room

(maybe a subtle nod to our not quiet kids?
I’m good with that. Totally get it, in fact.)

The lady who served us brushed off my apologies, very graciously,
took our drink orders and left us with menus.
We had a fabulous meal.

After we convinced Sterling to try a hamburger and the server promised
she would have the kitchen make a special “dumbed down” version of their usual fare,
he ordered a plain burger, ketchup on the side.

I am only showing this picture to show how far the staff of
Rose’s Kitchen were willing to go to make a young man happy with his meal.
I’m pretty sure, when Rose got the instructions from our server,
she felt pained to have to create something so simple.

 Garret, Christian and Ella all proceeded to order perogies,
based on their affinity for all things potato.
They were extra thrilled to discover that if they did not have the usual side soup or salad,

they could, in fact, enjoy extra perogies with their order.

(I may have been shaking my head in despair at this point,
wondering at all the years I spent patiently teaching them about balance and nutrition.)

The staff probably found this to be particularly entertaining, I’m sure.

Greg, being a burger kinda guy, went with their mushroom swiss burger.

Sounded heavenly to me, but since I always try to be adventurous in my dining experiences, decided on their roast beef.

Dill Pickle Soup

 And, to be truly adventurous, I was easily convinced to try their Dill Pickle Soup.
I had never even heard of Dill Pickle Soup.
First reaction was, “Huh?!”
after being assured by our server that it truly was good,
and made from scratch,
and used real cream (I’m a sucker for real cream),
I decided to give it a try.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it really was delicious.
I made all my kids and Greg try it, too.
Yes, even Sterling.
Greg and Ella were impressed, the boys less so.
But, really, I don’t think they were opposed, either, and that’s still saying something.

It was thick and creamy, not overpowering in the dill,
and had enough other vegetables in it to be more stuff than soup
– which I always like in a soup.

Rose’s Kitchen, a Schinkel Hit.

End of story, our family was very well fed, it was affordable,
tasty even for or picky ones, and no one had to do any dishes.

If that’s not a great dining experience, I’m not sure what is.

For our hard-working family, who just wanted a quality, home-cooked style meal
and a pleasant batch of ladies to serve it up,
Rose’s Kitchen certainly fit the bill on Christmas Eve Eve for the Schinkels family.