“Can I do anything?” Mackensie says as she comes into the kitchen?
“Can I crush the cornflakes?”
Mackensie gets out the large plastic bag, pours in 3 cups of cornflakes, takes the rolling pin, and crushes the cereal. I slice the chicken and melt some butter. Mackensie dips each piece of chicken into the melted butter, making sure it is completely covered, and coats it with cornflakes to make one of our old favorites, cornflake chicken.
As a family, we have decided to cook our way through this pandemic. We alternate nights. The girls want me to make all of their favorite childhood dishes (while they make all sorts of new and innovative meals from the New York Times, the Missoni Cookbook, and a myriad of other sites and books and articles). Tim makes our family classics; salmon with capers and feta, steaks with grilled asparagus, and anything that requires the outdoor grill.
I could not be happier with my task. I’ve made Karp Burgers (burgers with toppings of avocado, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise), chicken fajitas, stuffed peppers, Chicken Marbella, and now cornflake chicken. Each time I make a meal, I’m taken back to an earlier time. A time when the girls were younger. A time when Tim sometimes worked nights, and the girls and I had Girls’ Night with a special dinner and movie. A time when the girls were doing homework at the dining room table or practicing the piano or flute while Tim was making dinner and I was packing school lunches. A time when Morgan would dance her way across the floor while Mackensie was singing a song or reading a book.
I love spending time with these memories as I cook another family meal. I also love the fact that, for now, we are together again, making new memories as we cook our way through this pandemic.