What do we do when we face a world that isn't the one we planned for? What do we do when our brief moments of joy are robbed? What do we do when accidents happen? I don't know. I don't know what we do. But I know what I've done. I've given myself a little more grace. I've reached out for love. I've reached out for guidance. I've reached out for therapy. And I've celebrated the mundane accomplishments I used to take for granted. A shower. A made bed. And a roasted chicken.
I think the trust I'm trying to build back up with myself is also translating to some moments in the kitchen. Usually out of necessity to adapt, like in the instance of this sort of chicken picatta. Instead of panicking I simply remembered what chicken piccata is. I mean, I think I did. This is at least close. And, honestly, if it's not chicken piccata, it's still delicious.
Is it great to lip grab a bass and snap a picture? It is great to toss a few in the basket, hoping maybe this time we'll catch enough for a fish dinner? It is thrilling when your son catches a fish for the first time, only to have a larger fish jump out of the water to try to grab the fish he's pulling through the surface? Yes. But when I think of fishing I don't think of a taut line. I don't think of a wild reel. I don't think of the dance it requires to succeed.
My husband's birthday was this past week. It was his second pandemic birthday. One was hard enough for my Aries, but we made it through. Hopefully this is the last he has to spend isolation from the rest of the world. He loves the world. And being in it. And I can't wait to go back into it with him.
Angus is the King of attempting to murder me while cooking. The first time he almost succeeded, I was making these Turkey Spinach Puffs and he was being a butthole about the puff pastry - unable to decide is it was an alien here to capture his family, or a pound of butter he'd like to eat.
It's hard sometimes to be able to set aside an hour to let something cook in the oven. Which is insane because, what, do I have to chain myself to the oven while it cooks? No. Is it actually easier for me? Yes. But it's the start time that's always getting in the way.
Only the best, most wonderful, most simple pork chops known to man. Only the incredible pork chops the require three ingredients and should never be eaten with anything other than roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes. Only the pork chops covered in that amazing gravy that is the actual epitome of what your childhood tasted like.
What has lasted in her absence is what often seems to last: Food. Her perfect, perfect Salmon Soufflé. Now, because both Aunt Sue and Mamaw are beyond us, I can say what I'm about to say, without fear of an uprising. Aunt Sue's Salmon Soufflé wins. It is the winner of a life-long feud: Mamaw's Salmon Loaf or Aunt Sue's Salmon Soufflé?
I remember reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Coney Island Mind on the dock of my grandparent's summer home in Okoboji, Iowa one summer a lifetime ago. One of the last summers I had before obligation became year round.
Dad wasn't perfect. He was good. He was a good person. He did good for others. He saw people. He loved people. And he often surprised people with quiet thoughtfulness. He was a savior. He was a confidant. He was a vigilante for your individuality in the middle of the night. He always wanted to curate an experience.