The Fruits of My Labor?

3 Jan

Wow, that kind of sounded like I was going in a childbirth direction, but I’m not.  Actually, I was thinking about all the time and energy I put into our New Year’s Eve celebration.  The prep and cooking time alone for our fete was a good eight hours not to mention the shopping, setup and cleaning up.  But every minute was worth it.

It was truly a pleasure planning the menu and preparing by myself most of the tasty tidbits served that evening.  I created a “tasting” menu, thanks to the inspiration of seeing the cute mini dishes that are becoming the rage at stores like Pier 1 and World Market, and then actually receiving some of said dishes as a birthday gift from my family.   The menu included balsamic rosemary chicken skewers, ginger shrimp on a bed of coconut rice, and a honey lime fruit melange as well as Korean BBQ ribs and an assortment of dessert breads and candies.

That evening, our guests not only enjoyed the food but were most complimentary. These are two of the fruits of my labor: the happiness of my guests and the recognition of my efforts.  The third fruit is the satisfaction I got by doing the work itself.  I felt a bit guilty accepting the thanks of my guests for creating such a feast because my actions were largely selfish.  I wanted to do it.  I think I almost needed to do it.  I immersed myself in it all day, not noticing how the hours were flying by.  I guess I needed to be employed but in an enjoyable way, to have fun, to play, as Chick Tracey talks about in New Year’s Playfulutions.

When we question whether the reward is in the journey or the destination, we set up a dichotomy that does not necessarily exist.  Maybe it’s not an either/or choice.  Maybe it’s both.

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For those who are interested, below is my balsamic rosemary chicken recipe.  It’s super easy.  As you will see, I do not like recipes with more than a handful of ingredients or too many steps.  I also care very little for measurement, so adjust your quantities to your taste and need.


Chicken tenderloins, diced into pieces very roughly 1 inch square

Diced squash and zucchini (or other veggie of your choice) of same size

Balsamic vinegar

Fresh rosemary

Olive oil

Kosher salt


Morning –

1. Put the diced chicken and veggies into separate Ziplock bags.

2. Into each bag, pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil and some balsamic vinegar (enough to coat all ingredients), and a sprig of rosemary.

3.  Into the veggies, also throw a little kosher salt.

4.  Store in refrigerator for a few hours.

Evening –

1.  Pour a spoonful of olive oil in your pan (cast iron is great) and begin heating.

2.  Pour the contents of the chicken bag into the pan, add more rosemary if you like and saute it all on medium high heat until chicken is no longer pink.

3.  Pour the contents of the veggie bag into the pan and cook for just a few more minutes, ensuring chicken is fully cooked and veggies are slightly soft but not mushy.

4.  Remove pan from heat and as soon as cool enough, skewer chicken and veggies in alternating order on some fancy party toothpicks or small skewers.

5.  Serve!

2 Responses to “The Fruits of My Labor?”

  1. ticklingthemuse January 4, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    For me, the reward was in the destination that night. Thanks for laying out such a delicious spread! It was wonderful. =)

  2. hostingthemuse January 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    I can’t wait to try it. Thank you!

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