Monday, March 8, 2010
A Simple Meal
I have moments when I think everything is going smoothly. I'm completely dressed and everything matches. I've let the dogs out for a walk, my mother has had breakfast and her medications, the birds are singing, and the sun is shining. Then I realize that I've had one of my menopausal mental pauses. It strikes when I least expect it and it takes a disaster to trigger my memory to work again. I had one of those pauses today.
Today I was expecting my Goddaughter to spend some time with me this evening and I knew my teenager would come home from school eager to go outdoors and enjoy the pleasant temperature. With these thoughts in mind, I decided I would have dinner ready early this evening so I could enjoy being outdoors myself if only for a short while. It would be a simple dinner we could enjoy quickly without a lot of dishes to wash after the meal.
Finding a dish that is easy to prepare that will also fill hungry teenagers and be easy enough for my elderly mother to eat is not always an easy chore. Today I settled on a chicken casserole and salad. While the casserole was in the oven baking I managed to get some laundry done, tidy up the dining room, season my cast iron skillet, and put my treadmill to good use. (I refuse to use the treadmill for extra storage space as many of my friends do with their machines after the first week of ownership.)
I guess I lost track of time the way I tend to lose track of my vehicle in the mall parking lot, my own cell phone number, and lately, even the birth order of my children. When the oven timer started to beep very impatiently, I turned the treadmill off and headed into the kitchen to remove the casserole from the oven. I placed the casserole, in a glass baking dish, across two of the stove top burners and went about the business of putting together a garden salad. I did not realize that I had left a burner on after seasoning my cast iron skillet. When I heard a loud popping noise I knew immediately what had happened and tried to reach across the casserole to turn the burner off with one hand while using an oven mitt to attempt to slide the casserole away from the burner with the other hand.
I am so thankful that my dogs were out for a walk and not under my feet. The casserole baking dish broke into several pieces and chicken chunks were thrown everywhere. I had casserole in my hair, on my clothes, and all over the stove, cabinets, and floor. The only thing that offered me any consolation was Miss Boots, my cat, jumping up on the counter beside of me to start licking the chicken and gravy from my cheeks.
I managed to get most of the mess cleaned up by the time I had to leave to pick my Goddaughter up from school. We enjoyed a simple meal even if it wasn't fresh from my kitchen. Subway sandwiches went with the garden salad perfectly and we all had a good laugh about my fiasco in the kitchen.
A few years ago a disaster like this in my kitchen would have upset me for hours. Now I just tend to let things happen and trust that the world isn't going to end if I make a mistake or let something go for a while. Maybe this menopausal thing does have it's perks! Now if I could just remember what I was walking through the house to do...
© Dianna Doles Petry