Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Forgot!

Tonight for dinner, I made Pork Chops with Orange Rice. I especially love the orange flavored rice and was looking forward to enjoying this meal with my family.
The recipe for this dish is soooo simple, and the results soooo yummy I actually got it published in my favorite cooking magazine several years ago. Really, all you do is season pork chops with salt and pepper and brown them in cooking oil. Place 1 1/3 cups instant rice in a greased casserole dish, pour one cup of orange juice over the rice and top the rice with the browned pork chops. Then pour a can of chicken with rice soup over it all, cover it and bake it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes. So simple! Too simple to mess up, right? You'd think so.
As I brought dinner to the table I noticed the rice around the edges looked a little dry. That happens sometimes, and when it does I just don't scoop around the edges. But tonight as I looked at the rice I realized why it was dry. I'd forgotten to put the orange juice over the rice.
Awwww. How could I have done that? This recipe is so simple. It's too simple to mess up. But somehow I managed to do it.
My family was very gracious. Everyone avoided the rice as best as they could, and just smiled politely as they spit out crunchy rice. Fortunately, the pork chops were still good and the bread was yummy. It wasn't a total loss. I still felt stupid for forgetting the orange juice, though. I mean, come on, I've been making this recipe for fourteen years now.

When it was time for the kids to start getting ready for bed, I directed Matthew to get into the shower and I started washing the dishes. Quite often, Matthew needs close supervision in order to complete his tasks. More than once, I have walked into the bathroom to ask if he's almost finished with his shower only to find out he's simply been standing under the running water and hasn't even started washing yet. But tonight he got the job done without much intervention.
I returned to the kitchen after checking in on him and was only barely aware of what he was doing for the next several minutes. Then I realized Matthew was standing in the dining room, still dripping wet. I called out from the kitchen, "Matthew, how about drying off and getting into your pajamas." He perked up and said, "Oh yeah," with the tone of voice that said, So that's what I'm supposed to do after I get out of the shower. I'm supposed to use this towel Mom gave me to dry off. Then since I'm naked, I should put something on my body, and since it's time for bed I may as well put on pajamas. Yeah, this all makes sense now.
I noted his tone of voice and thought to myself, Matthew, you're almost seven years old. Getting ready for bed is not a new thing anymore. You know what to do. Just then, I looked down at the dishes in the sink. Sitting right in front of me was the casserole dish. The one with dried rice stuck to it. I thought about that simple recipe I've been preparing for some fourteen years. The one that is too simple to mess up. I thought about the fact I'd forgotten to put the orange juice in the Pork Chops with Orange Rice. And I thought, Maybe I need to give Matthew a little more grace.



Jen said...

What wisdom! Thanks for that reminder that we as moms indeed need to give grace to our kids! By the way, that recipe sounds really yummy!

Jenny said...

Kinda smacks you in the face doesn't it? I am thankful for those times, 'cause I don't say something that I know I'll regret later! I always goof up rice casseroles. I have never found one that is so easy I wouldn't mess it up--operator error I think! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh I can see that being my son in a few years from now. He's 3 now, but we laugh about what a "blonde" he is. I swear you can ask him to hand you something that's right in front of him and it'll take him 10 minutes to find what you asked for. I can SO see having to remind him the basic steps of showering!! LOL!! Great story!

Annie said...

I think it is amazing that you can see your own faults and then allow your children to make mistakes as well. It's hard being a mom on the go to keep all these things in the front of our minds, but we probably all need to just slow down. Thanks for the sweet reminder.

Corrie said...

So true! It's so easy to get frustrated with our kids and yet we aren't perfect..This was a great reminder! Thanks!

Mandalyn said...

We forget the simplest things, too, don't we! I know I do!

Jenileigh said...

Ok, I had posted on my page that tonight I was emotional. I believe that is putting it lightly. This left me in heavy tears. I have a daughter named Sky who sounds so much like your Matthew. And yes, I need to give her some grace...
Thanks Karen,

Robin Green said...

Thanks for the sweet reminder--sorry your casserole didn't turn out. It sounds like it is normally very yummy though!

Anonymous said...

What a humble admission, realizing and admitting that we all need to give each other a break.

Man, I forget everything these days. I need to remember that when my kids get distracted.

Great story, as usual. (Maybe think about working this up as a magazine submission?)