Chicken Stew with a Story

Dan asked what I wanted for dinner this evening, and the first thing that came to mind was his wonderful chicken stew. The dish itself is delicious, but the story behind it is extra special. Dan makes it in a pressure cooker- his mother’s- and the pressure cooker bears the marks of damage done by a twelve-year-old Dan. I never tire of hearing the story whenever we pull out the old pressure cooker…

The pressure cooker was a wedding gift to Dan’s parents- married almost sixty years before Dan’s father’s death. When Dan was twelve, he and his neighborhood friends built a large fire and decided that they wanted some popcorn. Dan ran home and searched for something to use to cook the popcorn over the fire, settling on the pressure cooker. Unfortunately, the wooden handles of the pressure cooker weren’t a great match with a roaring open fire. 

Young Dan tried to hide the burned handles of his mother’s favorite pot to no avail. She discovered them…and she cried- something GG rarely did. She forgave him, but Dan never forgot the experience. The pressure cooker was branded with a family story from that point forward. And now, every pot of  delicious chicken stew is embued with the memories of a young boy’s folly, and a mother’s love. 


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