While our church dinner tonight with the ladies auxiliary didn't look anything like the one to the left--the women in the photo all in pert little hats and wide flowing skirts--we sat around round tables with real tablecloths, our fancy table setting of stemware, silver and real plates borrowed just for the occasion.
I was one in forty there tonight, but all over our church this month, women in many congregations gather to celebrate the birthday of the women's auxiliary, a proud occasion. I like this annual event, and brought my little gift to exchange, my chicken dish, and even lent them my husband to help serve, do dishes and to put away the tables and chairs at the end of the night. However they may soon ban me from the bring-a-dish volunteer.
When I was handed the recipe for the chicken dish, I inwardly groaned. It was like those recipes I used to cook in the 1970s, that always included opening a can of cream-of-something soup and pouring all over the chicken, topping with cheese and then bread crumbs drenched with butter, then baking for one hour. High fat, high sodium, low flavor. So as we stood in the hallway, the food lady and I, I asked if I could substitute the canned soup for a homemade white sauce, as we didn't keep those cans around: too much sodium.
Then do you mind if I switch it to a broth-based sauce and cut out the cheese? Lactose intolerant and low fat, you see.
Can I leave off the butter off the bread crumbs? That low fat thing again.
Yeah, whatever. Just have it there by 6:30, hot.
I made Ginger-Orange Chicken, and was served last (by my husband) which was fine with me because I didn't really want to upset the karma of the universe too much. But really. Church ladies! Time to update those recipe files. There's been a huge food revolution the last five years with Michael Pollan's books, slow foods, and locally grown food cooperatives among other things. Time to throw out a few recipes and learn how to cook the newer way. Like your hairstyle from high school has to change, so should your cooking. I didn't utter any of these radical sentiments at the dinner table, but three women asked if they could have a bite of my chicken.
Sure. No problem.
P.S. Recipe can be found *here* at ElizabethCooks.com.