The Blessing of the Everyday Ordinary: Chicken, Pancetta, Lemon and Garlic Pasta
“‘Is all well with you? Is all well with your husband? Is all well with the child?’And she answered, ‘All is well’” ~ 2 Kings 4:26.
72 days into 2019 – 7 days of doctor visits, pre-surgery testing, 2 surgeries, 3 hospital stays totalling 14 days. There has not been much Everyday Ordinary. . . . , but there have been miracles, stunning displays of God’s timing, and God with us . . . . and such a story to tell – of what God has done for my husband, for the desires of my heart, for my family, but the telling of that is not for today (but soon – and if you didn’t know, it’s o.k. because only a handful did because we focused on God throughout the journey). Today is for the Blessing of the Everyday Ordinary.
My youngest, the saucy one, he’s a senior this year. His soccer season started about a week ago. Home is mama cooking, as he calls it, “The good stuff.” I remember baking my granola bars two weeks ago. I’d even made my Chicken Noodle Soup and Grilled Cheese – was it about 10 days ago? Even a Chicken Piccata. But there wasn’t any consistency. No Everyday Ordinary.
He’d tell you I hadn’t been cooking at all. He even used my Instagram account to prove I hadn’t been cooking: “Where’s the pictures, Mom?”
Moving out of A Time of Great Challenge back into The Everyday Ordinary, God knew I’d need some help with the transition.
The youngest, somewhere in 2019, woke up wanting to eat Banana Pudding. Maybe it’s his taste buds maturing. Maybe it’s because it’s his dad’s favorite. Regardless of the reason, just because he asked, I bought all the ingredients, but I just couldn’t seem to get the timing right.
“Today Mom?” he’d ask.
“No, not today,” I answered, eyeing him. “Someone ate the vanilla wafers.”
“Now Mom?” he asked another time.
“No, someone at the bananas.”
“Banana Pudding, Mom?” a third time.
“Milks all gone.”
He wasn’t used to this kind of project fail from his mom, so he determined I needed coaching, his own special, saucy brand of coaching – a lot of verbal sauce with a hug thrown in to get me to cross the finish line – really, to help me cross over into Everyday Ordinary – and I couldn’t resist his entreaties, so I promised, “Tomorrow” – and yesterday I did. He even offered to help me so he could learn.
When I tried to get by with just one box of instant vanilla pudding (because that’s how my husband’s mama made it – so that’s the way I make it), he made sure I pushed through and used both boxes: “No slackin’ Mom.” A few layers later, my husband walked through the kitchen, checked out my progress, “Yes,” I answered before he even asked. “Meringue on top just like your mom made.”
Whew! I was being hen-pecked in my kitchen. . . . I loved every minute of it, every minute of this special brand of Everyday Ordinary that is Home to all of us at the Blue Cotton House. Apparently, they needed the Everyday Ordinary I’d cultivated for over 36 years just as much as I did.
When I set the Banana Pudding on the counter, if I had doubted that I was back in Everyday Ordinary, I knew, when, instead of admiring how beautiful it looked, the youngest asked, “What’s for dinner?”
I was ahead of him this time because I’d been planning on putting a new spin on an old favorite recipe.
Monday I had cooked my Muddy Cheese Steaks with green beans and salad, yesterday was grilled ham and cheese because of an away soccer game, but last night – last night we experienced the grace, the extravagant beauty of finally moving into the Everyday Ordinary, where we sat around the counter eating, talking, friends coming in, sharing a bowl, followed by a mile walk in a early spring trying to blow winter out.
God knows! He know sometimes we need being sauced back into shape, sometimes we need someone cooking “the good stuff,” and sometimes, we need the “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” that allows God to work his miracles in our lives, and we need the rhythm of The Everyday Ordinary, with its God-designed blessings and grace, to come home to after the challenge has been redeemed.
Chicken, Pancetta, Lemon and Garlic Pasta
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Package Capellini Angel Hair Pasta Nests
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1/4 cup hot sauce
- 2 cup whipping cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat butter and Olive Oil over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and diced pancetta, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic. Add the chicken, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through. Stir in the cream and heat through. Season with salt to taste.
While chicken is cooking, prepare pasta according to directions.
Layer with pasta nest, chicken and sauce, pepper and sprinkle with parmesan.
* * *
One of the scriptures my husband would recite each time before he went under anesthesia and when he came out:
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” ~ Numbers 6: 24-26
Jan 2017 I was looking forward to getting a knee replacement since I could hardly walk when it was revealed I needed heart surgery first, double bypass. Recovery took as long as they said it would and by Nov. of same year I got my new knee, and it took as long as they said it would. All that to say, I get this new normal living. I am back to somewhat normal only two years older, 72 which does make a difference. The knee doctor ask me what my expectation were for my knee. I told him I would be happy to get back to getting around like I was 65-66 year old. It worked and I finally got back to the pool, can cook almost as good as I did before. One of the normal I enjoyed before was clear thinking, its coming back, but not normal yet. I have changed my schedule to fit my new normal. Thank God my family is behind my new normal, they want me around for along time. Love your attitude toward all you have been through. God’s grace was in every detail of my life, then and now too. Blessings.
Oh, my friend! How we could sit long and talk much! So glad you are doing better – adjusting, knowing when to move forward and when to settle into peace. We have been in a journey of miracles, but I have just been the companion, the support, the caretaker – and am awed by the amazing work God has done – to set up the miracles and work out the miracles. I am still processing – and adjusting – everyday seems like a new normal. Blessings to you sweet warrior!
Oh I loved this post. LOVED it – except the pudding recipe is missing (*ahem*). I know, I know – look it up! I’m sure it’s on here somewhere and I will find it. The “eyeing” when the wafers were missing… was he the guilty one? Darling, you are such an incredible writer and your words bring me into your amazing family. You bless me, especially with your wonderful words of God’s Wisdom! Love you NAN p.s. I AM making this chicken recipe – too bad it’s 2:00 a.m. or I’d do it now!
Nan, you are going to be so disappointed about the pudding. Keith’s mom used instant vanilla pudding – and so, because it needs to be just like his mom’s, I used instant vanilla pudding. No shame there! LOL And, of course, he was the guilty one! They’re all guilty. I probably was, too! LOL
My mom used to make from non-instant then discovered instant is just as yummy and no one noticed when she switched it out! I loved this post. Everyday Ordinary is truly miraculous!