I blame Pinterest.
It was there where I got the idea to turn nearly two pounds of perfectly good chicken in "Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole."
Sunday nights are when we have time to prepare a meal versus our typical weeknight in which we are simply scrambling to put things onto our table for fear bombs (our children) will explode (seriously, they will explode) if the task is not done by 5:45 p.m. Fun times.
Step one involved greasing the pan. Check and Check. Thanks, "Pam"!
Step two involved bringing the salsa verde to a boil. F and F! I had forgotten to buy "salsa verde" to make my "salsa verde" chicken and rice casserole. If ever there were a time to say "story of my life" this would be it.
I sent my husband to the store by continuously lamenting that I'd forgotten the main ingredient until he was so tired of hearing about it, he left. By the time he returned, we had a lot invested in this meal. At least $15 worth of "Smart" chicken (does buying this increase anyone else's self esteem?) and a 20-minute trip to the grocery store for a $5 jar of salsa verde just for starters. I decided to 1.5 the recipe because nothing doubles your chances of screwing up a recipe like doubling a recipe. Did you know that half of 3/4 is .375? You're welcome.
*Spoiler alert: our math went wrong.
Mr. Lindquist made the chicken mixture while I made the rice - which somehow was very complex I'll have you know. As we moved to mix the two together, I noticed it was rather "liquid-y."
Now here's the difference between me and my husband.
My brain: WARNING! WARNING! This is doomed. Abort mission. Why did you even try, you Pinterest-loving wannabe?
His brain: This will be fine. Ignoring problem in 3-2-........ Man, I'm a great cook.
I strained the rice out of my watery mixture, but the chicken was too far gone in sour cream and milk to do anything about. It still needed to broil for 10 minutes so in the oven it went and cross our fingers we did.
(Cue 10 minutes of distraction techniques while we defused lit bombs using only tortilla chips.)
Straight out of the oven, it looked edible. We gave it five minutes to "set up" and then I attempted to "slice" it. Have you ever run a knife through soup? No, because if you did your brain would say, "Why am I using a cutting tool on liquid?" and your hand would stop. But I was not about to give in that easily. I cut the entire pan of Liquid Casserole into pieces and began slopping it onto plates. Now I can be pretty convincing and somewhat demanding when it comes to dinnertime with my family. Edamame = magic beans. Also, eat five more bites cause you're 5-years-old (thanks, Mom). And everyone's all time favorite - because I said so, which I mostly use on Rob when doesn't serve himself enough vegetables.
But with this I just couldn't muster up my strength. I placed the dishes in front of the girls and hoped for the best. When the looks came seconds later, (you know the looks) I wasn't offended. In fact, I agreed. I didn't want to put fork to mouth myself.
The thought crossed our minds to turn this into enchilada filling, but with one sorry tortilla left in the fridge and a man that probably wasn't going to go back to the grocery store anytime soon, it was do or try time. The baby got the tortilla filled version. The Kindergartener got the nacho version and hubby took a bowlful with crushed chips on top. I depressingly contemplated my next move. Just as I was about to enter Poutyville (so much time invested, so much $ on groceries) my husband put his typical positive spin on it. "It's a Choose Your Own Adventure meal," he said. "Each one of us is eating it a different way."
I had to laugh. Partly because I wanted to "choose" to throw my version in the garbage, but partly because here I was "choosing" to be down in the dumps about some stupid overpriced chicken breasts when he "chose" to find the humor.
That's when I realized that so much of life is "choosing" what to do. I can choose whether or not to freak out over this meal gone wrong or I can chuckle about it. I can choose to be in a good mood on Monday morning or I can post a meme of Facebook on how much the start of the week sucks. I can choose to walk/run over my lunch hour or I can choose to read about Khloe and Lamar. I can choose patience over yelling. I can choose to call a friend versus watch TV. I can choose to brush my teeth or just eat my 5th mini KitKat. Everything is a choice. And before I get to philosophically deep into this, you should know that believe it or not, I "chose" to eat the leftover "Salsa Verde Chicken" for lunch today.
I call it Liquid Courage.
What will you choose?