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Reconnecting over Cheeky Chicken

I was on the phone with my friend, Simon, a bit ago, and we were talking about how difficult it has been for Melissa and me while she’s been working two jobs. We’ve had significantly less time together, which is quite a change for us. We were used to spending just about every day, all day together… and we liked it. Many couples can’t imagine spending that much time together, but for us, we just love it. This dramatic shift of now spending about two hours per day together (on a good day) has been challenging, to say the least.

candle.jpgAs I was sharing this with Simon, he emphatically jumped in and said “So, what are you going to do about it?” Nothing like the coach being coached, eh? “Well, I’m not sure,” I said. “We’re hoping for some time together to reconnect this weekend.” “Why wait?” he said. “What’s on the agenda tonight? You have to eat dinner don’t you? Why not make it an event?” Let me add here that Simon is a phenomenal chef and loves to cook. “Well, I guess I could light some candles with our pancakes tonight.” “No, no, no,” he said. “Make a real meal with a nice bottle of wine. Isn’t your effort to reconnect worth more than pancakes?” And of course it was, but I, unlike Simon, don’t enjoy cooking. At all. Mainly because I can never think of what to cook, and then how to prepare it. Enter Simon. He lays out a menu for me, ingredients and all, and instructs me, step by step, how to prepare it.

To be totally frank, while he was describing it to me, I was just sort of “yessing” him, thinking I had way too much to do that day to pull this off. Of course, he called me on that and had me convinced by the end of the call that I could do it. And do it, I did! I must say the meal was delicious, and Melissa was shocked to come home to a table set with several candles burning, full place settings (I even folded a cloth napkin so it stood up on the plate – check me out…), wine glasses with a chilled bottle of one of our favorite white wines (Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé – thanks to our friend Max for introducing us to it a couple years ago) – the whole shebang. We had great conversations between delectable bites of Simon’s recipe, and totally and completely reconnected.

So as to not keep you wondering, the dish was boneless chicken breast, pounded flat, with cream cheese spread on it, topped with fresh chives and pieces of ham. Rolled up and baked for 30 minutes, served with Spanish rice and a steamed veggie – Melissa thought she died and went to heaven. And it really was easy. I asked Simon what it was called so I could brag about what I made. “Oh, it doesn’t have a name – just call it Simon’s Cheeky Chicken.” Yes, Cheeky Chicken – cut him some slack, he’s British. So, there you have it. Don’t wait for time to open up to spend it with someone you love or doing something you love. Create the time and treat yourself to Simon’s Cheeky Chicken – and don’t forget the wine.

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