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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

...And a Mighty Fine One at That

March 26, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was worn out from clearing brush all afternoon with Mr. Sundberg, and running the kids to choir and back while I listened to the show. Let me tell you, that two hours of music and poetry and stories was pure blessing. My body ached and my feet were beat and I hit the sack shortly after the show.

Of course I was up before the sun on Sunday morning, and had more than enough time to whip up a few omelets du fromage for the kids. We all left the house just before 9:00 — Mr. Sundberg to the airport for a flight to Milwaukee and a motivational speech for the employees of a brewery, and the kids and I off to church, where I dropped them off at Sunday school on my way to Bible study.

Now this Bible study isn't as much a Bible study as it is a discussion group. We start with Scripture and it isn't long before we're hashing over what our purposes are and what "heaven" would look like were we to paint it, and why good people die. Sunday's text was from John 12, where Mary washes the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume and dries them with her hair. We got to talking about how awkward it is sometimes to simply receive a gift, and how we might feel we don't deserve it, or how we might want to give a gift in return.

Well, it was a lot to think about and I had to laugh later on after I had lunch with my friend Leila, who surprised me with the news that she'd made appointments for us to have pedicures — her treat, since it would be my first such event — and we'd best hurry or we'd be late. A pedicure? Good Lord. Half an hour later I found myself in a massage chair with my pants rolled up to my knees, my feet soaking in hot soapy water and a young man about to rub what would feel like sandpaper on the rough edges of my foot. I was a bit tense, I'll admit, so when he took my foot in his hand and began gently rubbing my heel, I looked over at Leila, whose calves were being pushed and pulled like putty. I nearly couldn't bear it and began to laugh. The young man paused and asked, "Tickles, Ma'am?" Well, it's been awhile since anyone has touched my feet, I told him, and he apologized and went back to work on my foot, this time with firm, even hands.

And it felt good. It felt so good that I nearly dozed off as the young man pressed and clipped and painted and trimmed. When he had finished, I lifted my right foot to show Leila, who smiled and shook her head, "Well, that's about the most boring color of nail polish on the planet." She lifted her foot, whose toes were what I might call "Electric Jungle Green." "Whaddya think?" she asked, and I smiled and said, "It's definitely you, my dear."

"Sparkling Nude" is not boring; it makes sense to me. Like wood-handled spatulas. They help me get done what I need to do without people asking a lot of questions. As for pedicures and the whole idea of someone washing your feet, you really ought to try it. It is a gift, and a mighty fine one at that. And if that odd guilt creeps in, well, that's what tips are for.

Chicken Continental

3 lbs frying chicken
2/3 cup flour, seasoned with pepper/salt
1/4 cup butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 ½ t grated onion
1 t salt
1 T parsley
1/8 t thyme
1 1/3 cup water
1 1/2 cups Minute Rice
celery salt

Roll chicken in flour. (I prefer boneless breasts, but any chicken works.) Brown in butter in large skillet. Remove. Stir soup, seasonings and water into drippings. Heat to a boil while stirring; remove from burner.

Spread Minute Rice in a lightly greased 1 1/2 qt casserole or 9" x 13" cake pan. Pour all but 1/2 cup or so of the soup mix over the rice. Stir well. Top rice with chicken and the rest of the soup.

Cover in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then 5-10 uncovered.
This makes about 4 servings, so I'd say double it up for a family dinner.

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