A week ago, I had a dinner party – outside, under a 20′ X 16′ canopy with sheets as curtains. The table sat 10. The menu had baked marinated chicken, pork BBQ ribs that fell off the bone, and sides that disappeared quickly – corn pudding hit the spot that chilly night. Fresh, home made bread and butter, and a refreshing orange – cranberry jello. A tray of fresh fruit. On the corner table there was chilled wine next to the hot mulled cider. The cider warmed you quicker.
I don’t know what the appeal is to me, but wanting to have an outdoor dinner with the table decorated ‘just so’ and an outdoor room that feels like an indoor room is just this great longing that hits every fall. I tried it 2 years ago, but even though the week was beautiful, it poured rain on that evening. Everyone had a good time, they say, but my spirits were dampened by dreams of what should have been. . .
But this year would be different! The weather was beautiful and we figured out how to make the canopy bigger and we were ready to go! I had put in (and was approved) for 3 days off work. Thursday, the prep day, Friday the actual dinner day, and Saturday, the clean-up and recovery day. I was excited that this time, my dream would come true!
Thursday saw the final purchases, marinating and the setting up of the canopy. My youngest came and mowed the yard, making it look perfect for company. Everything was going according to plan . . and then I got the text, “You have to work tomorrow” – I was stunned! I won’t go into all that went through my mind, anger was in there somewhere – but stress overtook it all.
Needless to say, the strawberries didn’t get dipped in milk chocolate and then drizzled with white chocolate, but the food got cooked and the house got cleaned, all because my wonderful husband took the day off and did everything he knew needed doing. What a man.
And now, to the butter. I love butter and I have the chins to prove it. Sometimes I have bread under my butter. I make the ribs with melted butter. I use butter whenever possible because – say it with me – “Butter makes everything better”.
When my baked chicken came out of the oven for the above dinner, it looked dull. I knew it was moist and delicious, but it just didn’t look it. I started to sprinkle my herbs on it and then, I had an epiphany! I got a stick of butter out of the fridge and rubbed one end over the hot chicken, giving it a glazed, moist look. Wonderful! I finished sprinkling it with herbs and voila! Beautiful, moist, glazed chicken.
I put the butter back in the fridge, but the end I had used had the herbs stuck to it – it looked like I had rolled it in the dirt outside, or scrubbed a toad’s back and removed all it’s warts. I forgot all about it in the following days until last night.
I was sitting at the computer, expanding my knowledge in the world of politics , (shudder), when Dane called out from the kitchen, “What happened to the butter?”
Not the kind of thing you hear every day, but, that was nothing compared to the answer he got.
“I rubbed it on my chicken”
Mind you, he’s hard of hearing and wasn’t certain that he’d heard what I said.
He walked into the room where I was and asked, “What?”
“I rubbed it on my chicken!” I replied, handing him one of the best straight lines ever!
So we now have a ‘go to’ answer for everything.
Don’t like what we’re having for dinner? “Ah, go rub it on your chicken!”
“Why don’t you rub that on your chicken?”
Something looks funky – “Looks like you rubbed it with your chicken”
It’s getting out of hand around here. It seems like there’s nothing safe from being rubbed on my chicken. Do I even have a chicken? Well, hello!