When Things Just Fall Together

Last week I still had some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket. I had more than the first season of Homeland on DVD was which was all we had decided we would spend that money on and we needed a few groceries, so I went over to the grocery store I work at and grabbed a couple of “we-need-this-now” type stuff. I walked through the frozen food aisle when something caught my eye.

Now, being married to a chef, I relish the “we-made-it-from-scratch” style, but sometimes convenience can trump that. In this case, it would. Frozen Moravian Chicken Pie. The price was right, the company local and good, so I added it to my cart.

For those not familiar, Moravian Chicken Pie was a dish created by the Moravian settlers in the US that closely resembles a pot pie but without vegetables. The geniuses at America’s Test Kitchen included it in the most recent season of Cook’s Country and it hails from the Moravian communities of eastern Pennsylvania and piedmont NC. I’ve been to the settlement at Old Salem in NC a few times, being I’ve lived in NC for close to 30 years now, and I am a huge fan of Moravian cookies, but I had never even heard of this pie. I didn’t feel so bad when I found out that Jeff who has lived his entire 50 years in NC had never heard of it either.

Jeff eyed it with suspicion until  I reminded him how fond he is of Stouffer’s Meat Lasagna and this was from a smaller, local company so we could at least pretend it was made with more love. The days are short and cooler, it is January after-all and so I put it in the freezer. It so happened we also had a great sale on meats last week as well, so our diet this week has appeared to be super-loaded with protein. We typically meal plan but this week got away from us a little.

Monday was easy, we had pork chops from the meat sale pulled out so I fried them up, doctored up mashed potatoes from the box (not thrilled with the prospect of instant potatoes, but I was short on time, so doctoring them up enough was worth it), and made some mac and cheese for Shelby (who won’t touch meat tougher than a chicken nugget since she lost her two front teeth and has loose incisors). Jeff came home and threw together gravy.

Tuesday, we planned on frozen pizza. Shelby had her dentist appointment in the afternoon and it would be hectic. Jeff ended up waking up sick that morning and calling out, so he took the boys to the park while Shelby and I did the dentist. Joey helpfully noted that McDonald’s would be a good dinner to pick up on the way home, before I could say “no” Jeff said, “good thinking Joe.” McDonald’s it was. Shelby did deserve a treat, after all and no food is dearer to her heart than McDonald’s French Fries.

I pushed the frozen pizza to last night (I prefer homemade, but this week it wasn’t meant to be). And before bed I asked Jeff if he had any thoughts to dinner for tonight. He answered “fish sticks.” I like fish sticks, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to save fish for Friday and a thought popped in my head, how about that chicken pie? Jeff said sure.

So, although it’s unseasonably warm today, chicken pie it is. I went and got some vegetables after dropping Joey off this morning and am very excited to make what promises to be a dinner of both convenience and comfort tonight. And as luck would have it, Joey’s lunch at school today will be: fish sticks. Even better, I get to avoid that fight about having them for lunch and dinner!


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