Mother never liked to plan for anything. When we had company coming she always waited until the last minute to do what would loosely be called cleaning. Then she would take off for the grocery store to buy whatever supplies she thought she might need. Her special dishes that she usually prepared were barbecue beef and potato salad.
The cooking took all day. She boiled that poor humongous piece of beef to death. The smell was overwhelming and permeated our entire house. Then she would begin boiling a big pot of potatoes. She also killed the potatoes until they were almost mush.
The preparation was an all day event and woe to the person who got in her way!
When she “threw together” the two dishes, the company had already arrived, the kitchen was a disaster, and it was difficult if not impossible to find a place to sit. Sometimes Mother would put together a big plate for each guest and be offended if they didn’t ask for seconds. She was not a fan of small appetites and expected you to eat until the food was gone or you were sick. Not an uncommon occurrence with her lethal touch!
Julia Child she was not.