Like most of America, and in particular anyone who is a parent, I have been gut-wrenched in ways that continue to evolve as more details about Friday’s shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, emerge. I work part-time in an office located in the town next to Newtown and the tentacles of that crazy day have reached into the office where I work. One of the teachers who died protecting her students is the daughter of a copy editor in the newsroom of my part-time office, and my design director lives in Newtown. Thankfully, her children were not students of Sandy Hook Elementary.
I do not know how you go on when your child dies, much less is senselessly murdered by a deranged person in a place you once thought of as safe. I suppose this is just another example of how God or Biology or Whatever so wisely made breathing part of the autonomic nervous system; it happens whether or not we want to make it continue and so, under moments of extreme horror and sadness, we can’t literally choose to stop breathing.
I am the mother of older children. They are in the 20s and on their paths. And yet, I continue to worry, depending on the moment, on where they are going and how they will get there. I read something recently that made total sense to me. An older woman was handed a baby. After tickling her and hugging her, she turned to the mother and said, “When they’re young, they sit on your knee. When they’re older, they sit on your heart.”
And so, when our youngest child, Sam, was in the air on Saturday, winging his way home from a semester in Prague, I was more worried than I usually am when someone I love is in the air. And when he happily arrived and I hugged him for the first time in four months, I took a deep breath and for just a moment relaxed.
Sam loves bacon and ranch dressing and cheese. It was a no-brainer to make this recipe for his first dinner home.
Bacon and Cheese Slow-Cooker Chicken
from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 chicken breast halves or equivalent number of thighs
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
12 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
Pour the olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the chicken pieces on top.
In a small bowl, combine the teriyaki sauce and ranch dressing. Whisk together and pour on top of the chicken. Add the shredded cheese and bacon pieces, trying to place in between chicken pieces where possible. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours.
There are things that we eat a lot of around these parts. Oatmeal and granola are definitely at the top of our breakfast list. Both are such great ways to slip a ton of nutritional value into a quick and delicious breakfast, particularly for Maxine. Importantly, both also lend themselves to one chunk of time in the kitchen that generates meals for the week. As working parents–heck, as parents in general–this holds a whole lot of weight for us.