Monday, July 20, 2015

Making the connection over dinner

Tell us about someone you met that you always wanted to meet.

Since I can’t think of a person I’ve met that I always wanted to meet, I’ll share a different kind of story, a story along the lines of our theme for this month: connection.

When it comes to cooking, I have a saying, “If I can read  I can cook.” Though I can do it, I’m not exactly fond of it. Partly, because I’m so clunky in the kitchen and the process seems to take forever (especially since I insist on washing spoons after every stir).

Even though no one will ever use the word “chef” in front of my name (at least not with a straight face), I can definitely follow recipes. Every now and then, I can even come up with a decent meal on my own that scores big. But, make no mistake, cooking is truly a labor of love for me. Just sometimes more labor than love.

Breakfast? I have that covered. It’s dinner that always stumps me. Sunday, as we left church, we bounced around ideas for dinner. I’d thawed some boneless, thin sliced chicken breasts a couple of days earlier and needed to cook them. So I half-heartedly put the idea of chicken parmigiana on the table.

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Chicken Parm Prep

I’ve cooked chicken parmigiana once before, but it was years before my husband came along. And with the exception of breakfast, I still get nervous when I cook something new for him. I guess with just over two years in, maybe that’s to be expected. Anyway, I found the recipe I used the last time and decided to go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He loved it!

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Chicken parm on angel hair pasta with a side of asparagus and a glass of white wine.

He doesn’t believe it, but I can always tell when he really enjoys a meal. Likewise, I can also tell when a meal falls flat. But that evening, as we sat to eat together, it was clear that this one was a winner.

Later that evening, as I settled into bed I reflected on dinner. Feelings of accomplishment, pride and joy filled my heart. It was actually kind of weird. I realized how amazing it made me feel to step beyond my comfort zone to attempt to cook something that my husband may enjoy.

Like I said before, cooking is truly a labor of love. I’m not a natural at it by any means. But that one little meal allowed me to connect with him in a different way. To my surprise, the most significant accomplishment I made that day and the one that made me most proud was that simple meal I dared to cook and the rewarding fact that my husband enjoyed it.