It took me 5 days to make chicken salad.
First, it's all about the chicken. Breast only. Not the big fat breasts that are good for supper, but thin, small breasts that cook quick. No bones. I chose 7.
I do not know how I became such an overachiever. Each volleyball parent was required to sign up for one meal. We could sign up for sandwiches, fruit, or drinks. Anybody else's dad would have signed up for drinks. Not me.
Next, that chicken has to be marinated. I put it in a ziploc baggie while still frozen and let it thaw in a marinade of Italian Salad Dressing. Just thawing and soaking up the flavor...I imagine them like chicks, sitting around a cold tub.
Anybody else's dad would have just signed up once. That's all that we were required to sign up. But, I've seen these parents. Some of them can't sign up once and that's no reason for their girls not to get to play or for there not to be supper for the team or for them to be embarassed or put on the spot. Sign up once. Just once. Not me.
Now, normally, I'd plop that chicken on a hot grill and listen to it sizzle and smell good, but our grill is out. No fire. We've got gas, but it's not getting through the assembly. Rob's taking care of that, but I needed to cook chicken on Monday. So, I put it in a hot, non-stick skillet without any oil and just cooked it and cooked it and added more dressing until it was all brown and crusty and caramelized on the outside. Yummy.
This week, I needed to bring sandwiches to the game. I really didn't think that through enough to realize that it meant making 15 sandwiches. I pulled one loaf of bread down in the grocery and thank goodness Rob was there to ask if that was enough. I said I thought so, but we counted and it was way short. Imagine how upset I would have been this morning without bread.
Tuesday, I cut the cold chicken into bite size morsels. So tender and flavorful. Sweating inside a plastic container and the water carrying flavor everywhere. And, I boiled 7 eggs. Who else hates peeling eggs??? Five of them peeled easy-peasy. Two of them...nearly half the egg went out with the shell.
I got a lecture about how the other parents put sandwiches on white bread. Nobody else uses wheat bread and won't I "please, please, please use white?" No. I am not the other parents. We get white bread as a treat, but these girls are playing ball tonight. It's all about protein and slow burning carbs. I am not the other mothers.
Wednesday, I chopped the celery and the grapes.
Thursday, I put it all in the biggest bowl I own with all the sweet pickle relish I had and two hugely heaping spoonfuls of real mayonaise and a healthy dose of black pepper and a pinch of extra salt and I stirred and I stirred and I picked up stuff off the counter and put it back in my too small bowl. And, I stirred.
Sydney and I ate breakfast in the kitchen, which we may never have done before, and we made sandwiches. I spread a hefty scoop of chicken salad on and topped it with another slice of honey-7 grain bread and handed it off and Sydney zipped it in a sandwich bag.
We packed that in a grocery bag and I took it to work, where it sat, cold in the bottom of an office fridge. I left work early because I was supposed to be there at 3:30... "when it's your night to feed the girls, I don't care what comes up. You are responsible and you'd better be at that door with food at 3:30 ON THE DOT."
The coach got there later.
Now, there's just anticipation of the sweet adoration that we all know I will receive from a bunch of 13 year old girls. Right. Could have been spam on white bread with american cheese and mustard and would they have noticed the difff? Prolley not
Next week, I have to bring water for 30 girls.
And, next month, I have to bring fruit for 25.