Random Acts of Life-Saving
Random Acts of Life-Saving
The man who waited on me to cross the parking garage and held the heavy entrance door… the woman who complimented my outfit on a day I felt frumpy….the co-worker who gives me a cheerful greeting every day and genuinely cares…the thoughtful gift my friend/hairdresser made for me and surprised me with in memory of my father…building employees who held the hard-to-catch elevator for me on a rushed morning …the flowers that I received from a friend this week…the friend who knew I was a little fragile, made time for me and invited me for wine…the smiles from strangers….the hugs, laughs and pats on the back… acts of kindness. All lifesavers, and appreciated more that the giver will ever know.
I’ve had a really hard week, and it’s humbling, yet reminds me that I’m human. I’m the one who tries to fix everyone’s problems, the caretaker, the worrier, the nurturer, the cheerleader – but even the cheerleaders have bad days! I have to realize and remember that “this too shall pass”, and that whatever my troubles may be, someone else is going through much worse. I’m reminded that I need to be a “lifesaver” every day, because I know how comforting these random acts of kindness made me feel. Instead of dwelling on myself, I’m going to reach out to others and TRY to do what the Golden Rule dictates.
Of course, when I feel this way, I want to cook. So cook I shall, and I’m making a comfort dish that I haven’t made in a while, Coq Au Vin. Of French origin, this dish is both comforting and elegant at the same time. The original recipe calls for red wine, but I tried it with white wine once and loved it. Here’s my version:
Twink’s Life-saver Coq Au Vin
Serves 4-6, depending on appetite
- 8 pieces bone-in chicken, drumsticks, thighs and breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (not margarine)
- 4 strips bacon, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped\
- 1 large container baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ cup half-and-half
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat and add the chicken. Brown chicken well on each side, remove from pan and set aside. Add the bacon, and cook about 3 minutes, then add onions and mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes, stirring well. Add the chicken back to the pan. Pour wine into pan, stir, stir in mustard, thyme and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and cover pan. Add more salt and pepper. Simmer until chicken is fully cooked, about another 15-20 minutes. Uncover pan, stir in half-and-half, and cook about 6-8 minutes until the sauce is thickened, stirring often. Garnish with chopped parsley.
I serve this over fettuccine with asparagus, and yes, red wine! Add good, crusty bread and you have a comforting, lifesaving dinner
Never has this saying been more important – “Until next time, be kinder than necessary”. I know I will!