Early yesterday morning, my youngest watched me load the crockpot. He looked confused. The concoction of baby carrots, dijon mustard, a weird looking thing called a “leek”, chicken broth, “woostersure” sauce, brown rice and funky-looking mushrooms apparently befuddled him.
“What are you making?” he ventured.
“Something yummy,” I replied as I squished browned chicken tenderloins into the mixture.
When he grimaced, my stomach did a flip-flop.
I’m always a little nervous trying new recipes, but this one would be shoving my guys into new culinary territory, challenging their tastebuds in ways that years of PBJs and frozen pizza hadn’t even come close.
I began to rethink my decision to convince my college student son, blowing in for the afternoon to attend a friend’s Eagle Court of Honor, to linger long enough for a home-cooked meal. Not that he’s especially finicky, but this dish doesn’t exactly qualify as a much-loved home-cooked meal – yet.
I made a mental note to make a side of pasta, just in case.
Around 2pm, an exotic aroma began wafting throughout the house. As I made my way into the kitchen, I found my youngest standing in the middle of the room, his nose up in the air as he sniffed.
“What smells so good?” he asked.
Three hours later, I beamed at my husband sitting at the other end of the table. After a week of typical, but trying parent-teenager relations, we watched as all five boys gobbled down the new dish. But that wasn’t the best part.
They weren’t just sitting side-by-side eating. They were getting along. Really, really getting along – chatting, being respectful and showing concern for one another.
They laughed, I cried (happy tears).
It was weird, but wonderful.
Yep, this is definitely a much-loved meal.