Most parents of college students I know will agree that one of the great things about the holidays is having your child back under your roof for a bit. Some kids will have plans to do things with friends, or work jobs, or take classes, but most of them will spend a little time soaking up hugs from home. Annie is no exception, and we’ve been enjoying her return since last week.
What I didn’t really think about when anticipating her return to the nest was that she’d be home with a lot of stress-free time on her hands. Ah, the joys of a less stressed teen can’t be overstated. In fact, she’s been feeling so relaxed, she was willing to pitch in and cook dinner without any advance warning earlier this week. We had attended another family event on Monday and I hadn’t planned for dinner or had the time to shop for ingredients. I was stressing because, among several holiday to-do’s on which I was falling behind, I hadn’t ordered our Christmas cards yet!
Luckily, my smiling, returned teenager was happy to help, and I gained a little, unexpected time to check off a few things on my list. An early Christmas present in my opinion!
Since I didn’t have a plan, we spent a few minutes foraging in the freezer together and came up with some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. There was a mix of white and sweet potatoes in the pantry. And frozen green beans were also found in the freezer. Then Annie took to the internet and came up with a recipe that sounded good on AllRecipes.com. She read the list of ingredients to me, and it turned out we had everything she needed to make the Sweet, Sticky, and Spicy Chicken. I probably spent another five minutes or so assisting her with defrosting the chicken, a cooking skill she didn’t have yet, but after that, with very few follow-up questions, she put together this tasty dinner for us.
And the Christmas cards have been ordered.