Many, many moons ago, the Big Tuna and I left the bosom of our families back east and moved to sunny Arizona. As a fairly new bride my cooking skills were at the kindergarten level but I managed to piece together enough of a meal to keep us from starving to death. I should at this point say that after more than a quarter of a century, between us we’ve gained enough weight to have added a 5th grader.
During cold and bitter months we are a favorite destination spot for long lost relatives. We have one Far Flung In Law (FFIL) Phil who has a tendency to be a major critic of people for a little personal sport. On his initial visit he and the Big Tuna decided they’d go for a day of golf and we’d head out to a big dinner once I returned from my job at the old slave market. Upon my homecoming, the boys had been visiting the beer cart in the hot, hot sun and decided the little woman could hook them up with a little bite to eat. So be it, bacon wrapped beef filet, broccoli, and Rice a Roni it’s a meal, or is it….
Me: Something wrong with the rice Phil?
Phil: Mrs. Phil never makes Rice a Roni.
Me: Well Mrs. Phil doesn’t work so she has time to grow her own stinking rice.
Okay, I said the last line in my head, not out loud.
The following day, the Big Tuna left on a business trip but the good sport I am, made another feeble attempt at cooking something to please this picky in law.
4 chicken breasts
½ cup soy sauce
1 cup flour
2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
2 Tablespoons butter cut in pieces
Mix together flour and sesame seeds. Dip the chicken breasts in soy sauce and roll in the flour mixture. Place in shallow baking dish, dot with butter. Cover with aluminum foil, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 15 minutes.
Phil: This is the first good thing you’ve ever cooked for me.
Me: And also the very last. (Not in my head)
Phil staggers to town nearly every year, he stopped asking “What’s for Dinner” after about year ten. I will assemble a little meal for myself leaving them to forage for cold cuts and can openers. Sometimes he’ll even pop to take us out. The only thing I should mention here, is the best side dish with the chicken? You got it, Rice a Roni.