Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday, 19 January 2008 - A well-stocked freezer

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for well-stocked freezer.

S just invited M, our Air Force Academy cadet, to spend Sunday at our house and watch the AFC and NFC championship football games on our HDTV.

Although we haven't seen M since he returned to the Academy after Christmas break, we do know that he survived fall semester, his first at the Academy. We also know that his current schedule is even more grueling: six academic classes, military training and athletics (his sport's season begins in a few weeks so he'll also travel out of state for tournaments and league games).

S agrees to clean the house as long as I do the cooking. Fair enough. I'm a lousy housekeeper but an excellent cook.

As usual, I am unsure of the menu. M frequently complains about the Academy food - typical dorm food, nothing special for the athletes. So, when he visits, I want to be sure to feed him healthy and hearty home cooked meals.

After a careful search of the freezer, I find packages of beef and pork (baby back) ribs. Great! The menu comes together quickly: ribs (oven braised Sunday morning for 2-3 hours and basted with homemade BBQ sauce), Greek coleslaw (made with an olive oil and lemon juice dressing), cornbread (spiked with roasted jalapenos), apple crisp (topped with vanilla ice cream) and biscotti (studded with sliced almonds and dried cherries). The only store bought item is the vanilla ice cream.

Well, time's a wasting. Today, I need to bake the apple crisp and biscotti and thaw, prep, and marinate the ribs. T, sensing my excitement, anticipates a very good day for him in the kitchen as my "sous" chef. (Actually, we call him "Chef Underfoot" because he gets in my way when I work in our small kitchen).

So, our house is very busy right now. Cleaning. Cooking. We love M's visits. For us, it's always a great day when a young person spends time with us in our home.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


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