Quickly as you can my dear friends, name five things you are really good at. Can you do it? It’s not very easy, is it? In fact, I found coming up with five things I genuinely suck at was much easier. Alas, today we are focusing on positivity so the sucking list will have to wait until a negative day. I did come up with a list after what felt an exhaustive effort on my part. Here it is.
I can blow out my hair. Start to finish using a hair dryer and only a clippy and brush, I can dry and style my locks. Now here’s the kicker. I live in the south, and the humidity here is brutal most of the year. It is uber disappointing to leave the house in the wee early morning for work only to arrive with fuzzed up hair. This scenario happens so often in the Spring and Summer months, I keep a supply of hair bands in my car and purse. I’m sure if I had the proper products this wouldn’t be the case, but I have yet to find those. Because the heat of Summer has finally left us, I’m having a good hair day. Woohoo!
I can do my makeup in less than five minutes. True glam takes so much longer, but I can put on a quick everyday look in no time. Growing up, I remember watching my Mom in the mornings sitting at the kitchen table putting on her makeup and fixing her hair while sipping on coffee. It was her morning routine. As a result, she always looked put together every day when she left for work. Her good grooming habits left their (beauty) mark on me. I never leave home without my lipstick on. It is a matter of personal pride. If I ever show up for work without my face on, I’m half dead from illness or some other catastrophe. I’d feel like one of those people who go to Wal-Mart in their pajamas, sorta like I just fell out of bed and went.
Chicken pot pie anyone? I am not a bad cook, but I can make a good chicken pot pie. I remember the first time I attempted to make it from scratch. I had my trusty Betty Crocker recipe book and a whole lot of “want to” working for me. I managed to turn it out, and it wasn’t half bad. At least I don’t remember any complaints from the peanut gallery. Since that first attempt, I tweaked the recipe by adding different vegetables, changing the crust to puff pastry, omitting spices, and then adding others. Now, twenty years later I have a dang good recipe. I think I’ll include it in this post!
I am a great planner. I love hosting dinner parties, planning the holidays, and mapping out vacations. As you can imagine, this is my favorite time of year. Beginning in October with my annual Halloween Party, I plan, plan, plan. I may get this from my Mom. She likes to be ready with her Thanks Giving Menu in early October. It’s borderline obsessive, but that’s ok. We enjoy the process. While the kids were growing up and even now, I have always planned out their birthday parties to fit their likes and tastes. I’ve never been one of that over-the-top, mortgage the house to pay for party mom, just a detail oriented one. It’s the same way with Christmas. You should see me pack for a trip. First I make a list of the days and then the outfits for those days along with accessories including shoes. Then I pack. (Stop rolling your eyes.) Friends, I find my list making, helps me not over pack. There’s nothing worse than hauling around unnecessary stuff all over the country when you are traveling.
It took me a long while to come up with number five, but I did eventually come up with something. I have what I now know is a rare ability for conversation. It may not be the most scintillating topics but I have over the years learned to can and often do through my work and even in my personal life have occasion to make small talk and make people feel at home. It is enough of a talent, that when my co-workers need someone to fill the void during a luncheon will come to get me to visit with a vendor or sales rep.
I now pass the gauntlet on to you. Can you come up with five things you are really good at? Let me know at least one in the comments below.
As promised, here is my chicken pot pie recipe.
Holly’s Chicken Pot Pie
Cooked chicken, deboned and cut in to bite size pieced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
1 stick of butter
1 small onion diced
1 sliced stalk of celery
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp crushed Sage (optional but I love it)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
16 ounces frozen vegetables (peas, green beans, carrots, & corn)
refrigerator pie crust (like Pillsbury)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. While melting butter over medium heat in large cast iron skillet or other oven-proof skillet, throw in the onion and celery to saute until they are soft and onion is looking translucent. Stir in the flour until all the butter is absorbed. Let the roux cook a couple of minutes to develop some flavor. (If you skip this step the gravy will taste like paste.) Add in the chicken stock and milk all at once while continually stirring. Turn up the heat just a tad to medium-high. Keep stirring the mixture while adding in sage, salt, and pepper. The mixture will start to get bubbly and thicken a bit. When this occurs stir in the frozen vegetables. Remove the skillet from heat. Place the unrolled pie crust over the top of the skillet, carefully crimping the edges so you don’t burn yourself. Cut a couple slits in the top to vent the pie. Place on middle rack in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. (Line a cookie sheet with foil, place under the skillet to catch any liquid that boils over.) Once the top of the pastry has browned to your liking it should be hot and bubbly on the inside. Serve and enjoy!
Your fancy farm girl,