What to put on the table when San Diego is taken off the table….

I’ll tell you what, Steve’s grandmother’s creamy chicken thing! It doesn’t have an official name so that’s what I call it. It’s easy to make and doesn’t have amazing flavors that burst on your palate, but it delivers comfort and that was exactly what I needed.

So here’s the backstory: I’m a So Cal girl at heart (my mood is directly proportional to the weather) and we moved to the greater New York area 2.5 years ago due to my husband’s job. I’ve made the best of it, but I’m finishing my MBA, got downsized (so I’m unemployed) and need to find a job. Once again, we’re waiting to see where my husband will be transferred to make our next move. I’m not a patient woman by nature and I’m anxious to get started on my career search so when he came home and said he put his name in for a spot in San Diego I nearly jumped out of my skin. I had visions of year-round runs along the beach in Carlsbad, a really cool marketing job with some San Diego based start-up, a nice tan, surf lessons on weekends… I even started to check out the housing market and found the *perfect* house for us in my favorite beach town, Carlsbad. In short, I fell madly in love.

I was already packing up our stuff when my husband came home a few days later to report that his boss said that the spot in San Diego was neither the right job nor the right place (apparently, people go to San Diego to retire…Really?? I go there because it’s the ONLY spot on earth where the weather is agreeable to my skin, hair and mental state). He went on to report that we would need to stay put and wait for the “right” position to open up (does wait mean 30 days? 3 months? or 6 months?? God forbid it’s a year because I am seriously over humid summers, rainy springs, and super cold winters). The company mothership is in Dallas, TX so that’s ultimately where they want my husband to go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m good with Dallas. Love the housing market, there are opportunities for a budding MBA like me to cut her teeth in a marketing job and the weather isn’t bad. However, there’s no job there for my husband right now. So we have to give up a known opening to wait an undisclosed amount of time for an unknown job…
Not exactly my strength.

So, I’ll admit it, I cried. I did, I know, it’s lame but I did. I lost my love. But let’s look at this for a minute; who takes San Diego off the table and puts nothing else on the table? Now, I’m waiting again…something I don’t do well. Waiting to find out where and when we’re going to move so I can start my career search and get started paying off those student loans I’ve accumulated. Waiting…

And while I wait, I cook. Today is a comfort food kind of day and Steve’s grandmother has the answer:

4-6 bone-in chicken breasts
8 c chicken stock
1 onion
Peas (or some other vegetable you like, I use frozen as I’m too disappointed/lazy to deal with fresh)
16 T flour
1 stick of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Frozen puff pastry

Boil chicken, salt, pepper and onion in enough water to cover for 45 minutes. Remove chicken, strain. Then, melt butter and whisk in flour to a paste consistency. Add stock from chicken 2 cups at a time until thickened. Add peas, salt and pepper to taste and simmer on low. Remove chicken from bone and add, simmer. Cook pastry as indicated on box (about 20 or 25 minutes). Remove center of pastry and fill with creamy chicken mixture. Enjoy!

Like I said, nothing but comfort here. This and a good bottle of wine will make bad news so much more palatable. Patience, it’s my repeated lesson in life. What’s your lesson in life?