The Food Channel

Recipes, video, news, and more from FoodChannel.com.
Posts I Like

I’ve made a vow. No trips to the grocery store until the pantry, refrigerator and freezer are completely cleaned out. Yes, the refrigerator in the garage counts.

OK, so milk, bread, and eggs are excluded, but everything else must go or be used up. I recently had to toss some staples that were well past their “use by” date. Can I help it if my teenagers grew up, and I forgot to buy smaller quantities? Because my thrifty nature cringes at throwing away good food, this has to stop.

One of my problems, besides a slight hoarder’s mentality, is that I love to try new things. I’ll be perusing the grocery aisle, minding my own business as I look for something on my list, when my attention is captured by something that just sounds wonderful. A new pesto, or a lemony vinaigrette, or whatever—I buy it, thinking that it would be fun to marinate chicken, or come up with a new appetizer.

Except that I don’t. With just two of us in the house these days, and one of us on the road way too many of those days, we don’t eat at home much. When we do, we rely on the tried and true rather than new adventures.

There are additional problems, of course. Product samples come in all the time, we receive food gifts, and sometimes we simply overbuy. And when we do entertain, I’ll shop on the fly, forgetting that I already had a can of this or a bag or that tucked away.

And, so, the amount of sheer ingredients have piled up. I bought extra shelving, but even that has reached its limits. Yes, it’s time to use things up.

Yesterday for dinner we had chicken strips with the lemon sauce, that didn’t quite taste the way it did in my imagination. And the chicken had been in the freezer so long it needed more help than the sauce could give. My husband is gamely eating up the bag of tilapia filets, and I’m bound and determined to figure out what is in the plastic containers in the freezer (how long ago did I make that freezer jam, anyway?).

We even opened a jar of chocolate sauce that we’d been saving for a special occasion. Since 1999. Yeah, it went in the trash.

There’s a lot more in the shelves that will probably cause some unusual meal combinations over the days to come. But when we’re done, perhaps we’ll be able to find that bag of pasta I know I brought home from New York.

Here’s to spring cleaning. For now, it’s the future of meal planning.

justmigrate:

Hi,

I just moved my posts from Posterous! Do go though my blog for all the new posts.

Its easy to migrate try JustMigrate

3Crumbs app - Are you the local thrifter we all have been looking for? 

The Sunsets of Your Life


Posted from: MO, USA

A writer who I follow recently posted two sentences on his blog page. He said, “Please help! I can’t stop taking pictures of sunsets.” It was accompanied, of course, by a beautiful waterfront photo with just a hint of a pier and all the one-of-a-kind colors that make up a sunset.

A sunset is one of those things that is never the same. Even the same sunset is viewed differently from different beaches, different backyards, different perspectives. As you watch it, that subtle blue becomes purple, that orange turns to pink, and the blend changes before your eyes.

We like sunsets, and it’s not only for the colors. I think we like them because they close out the day. With a blaze of glory we can put the mistakes behind us. With a soft glisten of lingering gold, we can archive the memories. In a world where everything is in-the-moment, and communication is constant, a sunset offers an end, a goodbye, a finality that offers rest.

Because a sunset is cyclical, we know the sunrise is right behind it. We know, most days, that there will be a tomorrow. The colors will change, the view will change, and we’ll look at things with different eyes—eyes that have learned a new lesson, seen a new thing, or observed as something moved forward in life. But at the end of yet another day, there will be a sunset, a time of closure, of recollection, of reflection.

So, my friend, keep taking photos of sunsets. Every one of them offers a new perspective and a new reminder that the day is full of change, of surprise, and, yes, of color. Without the sunset we can never rise on a new day, accept a new challenge, or rest in between.

That’s all the help you need.

Giving It Up for Lent


Posted from: MO, USA

A doughnut by any other name is still one of the hottest food trends going for 2013. Some are heralding it as the replacement for the firmly-entrenched cupcake. This week, though, we see dough balls taking the main stage.

This is the week when doughnuts, under all of its guises, get trotted out, as people all over celebrate Shrove Tuesday.  

OK, so technically it’s not about doughnuts. Shrove Tuesday is when you, symbolically or otherwise, clean out your cupboards and get rid of all the food you won’t be eating during the 40 days of Lent. For some, it’s Pancake Day, for others it’s Fat Tuesday.

For me, it will always be Fasnacht Day. My years in Lancaster County, PA introduced me to the powdery, wonderful doughnuts that went on sale just days before Lent. An excuse to eat something fattening! After all, tomorrow you die(t), right?

We had Fasnachts, tied to the German heritage of that part of the country. Others have Pączki, more tied to the Polish among us. Then there are the Krapfens, and the Berliners, and the Kinglings—and probably many other dough balls that help use up the flour, lard, and sugar that are generally staples of an old-time kitchen.

However you celebrate, whether it’s with Fasnacht’s, pancakes, or just plain ol’ doughnuts, enjoy the rest of today. Because tomorrow marks the start of Lent. Whether you personally observe it from a religious standpoint or not, people all around you may be working hard on their personal self-control.

Oh, and you might catch up on Facebook, tonight, too. Word has it that some people are opting to give up some of their social media addictions instead of food.

Now excuse me while I go hunt down that blueberry filled Paczki someone brought into The Food Channel kitchens.

Sick for Christmas


Posted from: MO, USA

How do you handle being sick for Christmas?

Work deadlines delayed.

Shopping and errands undone.

Nothing to do but stay in bed—and you are so sick, you don’t even care.

Welcome to “The Christmas Mom had Strep Throat.”

Here’s how we did it:

Dad did the errands, including a scaled down grocery list. No point in some of the items when Mom can’t cook, bake or clean up.

Daughter and her husband picked up son at airport and took him to their place to stay, protecting everyone from potential germs.

Without a voice, communications were handled by text. (Not, actually, that different from day to day).

When the rest of the family went out to eat, they set a phone on the table on speaker so Mom could listen in on theconversation.

And, once the antibiotics kicked in, they cossetted and coddled and, for once, Mom stayed still while others did the work. They cooked, made a mess, cleaned it up, had great fun, and no one fussed at them or shooed them away. It was like watching a movie where the mom had been replaced by someone who was part of the fun, not organizing it or making sure others were having a good time.

We even took the time to gather in front of the fire and work on a puzzle. Amazing how conversation flows when the phones are down and you are working together.

 

How do you handle being sick at Christmas?

 

Take it from me—handle it with gratitude. Because it taught this mom that the “essentials” of Christmas are not the baking, the meals, the gifts or the traditions. The essentials of Christmas are Christ, family, and making room for new traditions. Like getting out of the way so everyone can enjoy the holidays.

 

Here’s to hoping I remember that next year.

 

Sick for Christmas


Posted from: MO, USA

How do you handle being sick for Christmas?

 

Work deadlines delayed.

 

Shopping and errands undone.

 

Nothing to do but stay in bed—and you are so sick, you don’t even care.

 

Welcome to “The Christmas Mom had Strep Throat.”

 

Here’s how we did it:

 

Dad did the errands, including a scaled down grocery list. No point in some of the items when Mom can’t cook, bake or clean up.

 

Daughter and her husband picked up son at airport and took him to their place to stay, protecting everyone from potential germs.

 

Without a voice, communications were handled by text. (Not, actually, that different from day to day).

 

When the rest of the family went out to eat, they set a phone on the table on speaker so Mom could listen in on theconversation.

 

And, once the antibiotics kicked in, they cossetted and coddled and, for once, Mom stayed still while others did the work. They cooked, made a mess, cleaned it up, had great fun, and no one fussed at them or shooed them away. It was like watching a movie where the mom had been replaced by someone who was part of the fun, not organizing it or making sure others were having a good time.

We even took the time to gather in front of the fire and work on a puzzle. Amazing how conversation flows when the phones are down and you are working together.

 

How do you handle being sick at Christmas?

 

Take it from me—handle it with gratitude. Because it taught this mom that the “essentials” of Christmas are not the baking, the meals, the gifts or the traditions. The essentials of Christmas are Christ, family, and making room for new traditions. Like getting out of the way so everyone can enjoy the holidays.

 

Here’s to hoping I remember that next year.

 

A Christmas Story: Ella and the Christmas Star Cookie

There’s nothing like a Christmas story to warm the soul. The team at The Food Channel has put together a tale that will not only make you smile, but will get you baking as well!

Check out our new story, “Ella and the Christmas Star Cookie” – and then read last year’s story, “The Night Before Christmas Cookie.” The links are below, and recipes are included. We hope you enjoy reading and sharing these original stories.

Merry Christmas!

http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/ella-christmas-star-cookie/

http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/night-before-christmas-cookie/


Communication Gaps        The other day, I heard from a cousin who had to track me down. It’s not me who’s hard to find. It’s that he uses a flip phone, does not subscribe to Facebook, and – gasp – doesn’t have a single TV. So obviously his contact list is non-existent, unless you count an address book that probably hasn’t kept pace with my phone number.   He’s not anti-social; in fact, he’s probably better at holding a conversation these days than the rest of us.    In that same day, I heard this discourse:   (Yelled from a neighboring office) “OK, if I send you an email?”   (co-worker response) “Sure.”   Minutes pass; co-worker is overheard on the phone. “I just wanted to let you know I received your email.”   Turns out they weren’t just playing—the first co-worker wanted to ensure someone was there to provide an immediate response. Still, I thought it was interesting that an actual person-to-person interaction tookplace. As much as we communicate with technology, once in a while we still need the human interaction. And, sometimes, we need to document our communication rather than rely on hallway conversations and poor memories.   What struck me was not how we communicate, but how different forms of communication are all accepted these days.    It’s OK to wait for the iPhone 5 to prove itself; it doesn’t remove our early adopter status to wait awhile. It’s OK to have something besides a smart phone (difficult to imagine, but OK). And if you can do allyour work on a tablet while traveling and not have to carry a laptop, too, you are my idol.   Conversation is what matters, not technology. It’s not how you have the conversation; it’s that you have it. It’s important to talk, to share, to connect.   Once I’d answered the immediate question from my cousin, we talked. I found out a couple of things I never knew about him, and we ended up with a promise to make the inter-state drive and have dinner.   He even said he’d pay.

Communication Gaps


The other day, I heard from a cousin who had to track me down. It’s not me who’s hard to find. It’s that he uses a flip phone, does not subscribe to Facebook, and – gasp – doesn’t have a single TV. So obviously his contact list is non-existent, unless you count an address book that probably hasn’t kept pace with my phone number.

He’s not anti-social; in fact, he’s probably better at holding a conversation these days than the rest of us.

In that same day, I heard this discourse:

(Yelled from a neighboring office) “OK, if I send you an email?”

(co-worker response) “Sure.”

Minutes pass; co-worker is overheard on the phone. “I just wanted to let you know I received your email.”

Turns out they weren’t just playing—the first co-worker wanted to ensure someone was there to provide an immediate response. Still, I thought it was interesting that an actual person-to-person interaction tookplace. As much as we communicate with technology, once in a while we still need the human interaction. And, sometimes, we need to document our communication rather than rely on hallway conversations and poor memories.

What struck me was not how we communicate, but how different forms of communication are all accepted these days.

It’s OK to wait for the iPhone 5 to prove itself; it doesn’t remove our early adopter status to wait awhile. It’s OK to have something besides a smart phone (difficult to imagine, but OK). And if you can do allyour work on a tablet while traveling and not have to carry a laptop, too, you are my idol.

Conversation is what matters, not technology. It’s not how you have the conversation; it’s that you have it. It’s important to talk, to share, to connect.

Once I’d answered the immediate question from my cousin, we talked. I found out a couple of things I never knew about him, and we ended up with a promise to make the inter-state drive and have dinner.

He even said he’d pay.

The Religion of Cooking

My husband likes to say that certain foods are “a religious experience.” He doesn’t mean to be disrespectful or sacrilegious; he really does believe in a high form of spirituality.

 

But it struck me while talking with a foodservice executive that others also view food as—if not religious, at least therapeutic.

“Last Sunday,” she recounted, “we were up at seven and my husband took the kids to Sunday School and church. I stayed home to cook. I’m a good Catholic and my friends all asked where I was, but they understood when he told them I was cooking.” She added, “I took all day to make sauce and pasta, and had a blast. And God understands.”

I always knew that cooking was, for me, a way to relieve stress. But a religious experience?

This professional, who works with the subject food all day long, still wanted more. She needed to get her hands into the meat, her passion into the flavor. She knew that she could throw a plate of pasta together inshort time, but she also knew that the methodical, the deliberate, the puresensory experience of cooking really can refresh the soul of a cook.

Just last week, after multiple days of meetings and decisions, I felt the urge to make something tangible. I came home with fresh avocados, a red onion and tomatoes and I chopped and sliced to my heart’s content. The guacamole was good; the experience of making it even better. Ifelt rested and ready to face the next day.

Not everyone feels this way, of course. My sister would just as soon not own a kitchen. Her soul is refreshed by technical pursuits, such as taking a computer apart and putting it back together. And routine cooking can, indeed, become a chore rather than a delight.

But here’s to those occasional days of worship when the kitchen is your chapel and the food you make is your offering.

Photo courtesy of KC Quaretti
Host: Chat ‘n Dish on The Food Channel
http://www.foodchannel.com/shows/chat-n-dish/

Holding HandsPosted from:  MO, USA     We were leaving a chapel, where a memorial visitation was being held for the 88-year-old father of a friend. We were already in a pensive mood, reflecting on a life well lived, and on the family legacy left behind. My husband and I were holding hands as we walked quietly to the car.   And then a small voice behind us said, “Hold hands as often as you can, while you can.”  We stopped, turned, and saw a little, grey-haired lady who was on the way to her own car. She smiled at us and said, “My husband has been gone 14 years. Treasure the time you have.”  Hold hands as often as you can, while you can.  We hold hands quite a bit, often without thinking about it. It’s an important part of our marriage.  I well remember the first time he reached for my hand. We’d been dating on a sort of off and on basis as college students. One day his parents came to visit from out of state, and he introduced me. That night, we all went to the school play together. One of my favorite professors was sitting behind us; my now-husband’s parents were next to him. His hand came over and covered mine, and I heard a small cough behind me from the professor, then saw a glance from his mother.  A small thing, perhaps, but it made me feel like a public statement had just been made.  And now, years later, we continue to make that public statement. Holding hands means we rely on each other. It means we stay connected. It means we reach out to be close, and to draw each other in. Itmeans we belong together and are willing to make sure people know.  Hold hands as often as you can, while you can.  We did it already, but the reminder didn’t hurt. Since that day, holding hands has seemed just a little more deliberate, a little more special. It’s not something to take for granted, but instead, we nurture and protect that small act of accountability to each other.  So, here’s to holding hands. As often as we can. While we can.

Holding Hands


Posted from: MO, USA

We were leaving a chapel, where a memorial visitation was being held for the 88-year-old father of a friend. We were already in a pensive mood, reflecting on a life well lived, and on the family legacy left behind. My husband and I were holding hands as we walked quietly to the car.

And then a small voice behind us said, “Hold hands as often as you can, while you can.”

We stopped, turned, and saw a little, grey-haired lady who was on the way to her own car. She smiled at us and said, “My husband has been gone 14 years. Treasure the time you have.”

Hold hands as often as you can, while you can.

We hold hands quite a bit, often without thinking about it. It’s an important part of our marriage.

I well remember the first time he reached for my hand. We’d been dating on a sort of off and on basis as college students. One day his parents came to visit from out of state, and he introduced me. That night, we all went to the school play together. One of my favorite professors was sitting behind us; my now-husband’s parents were next to him. His hand came over and covered mine, and I heard a small cough behind me from the professor, then saw a glance from his mother.

A small thing, perhaps, but it made me feel like a public statement had just been made.

And now, years later, we continue to make that public statement. Holding hands means we rely on each other. It means we stay connected. It means we reach out to be close, and to draw each other in. Itmeans we belong together and are willing to make sure people know.

Hold hands as often as you can, while you can.

We did it already, but the reminder didn’t hurt. Since that day, holding hands has seemed just a little more deliberate, a little more special. It’s not something to take for granted, but instead, we nurture and protect that small act of accountability to each other.

So, here’s to holding hands. As often as we can. While we can.

Zombie Burgers for Halloween


Posted from: IA, USA

Halloween is a food holiday.

No, there isn’t a traditional family meal, and you really can’t bake anything to hand out at the door. But there are parties, candy, caramel apples, and anything pumpkim—and last I checked, those things qualify as food.

At our house, Halloween was usually a take-out pizza night, so we could hurriedly eat and get everyone dressed for trick or treating. My husband would dress up in his camouflage to escort the kids around the neighborhood, and the kids would transform into their chosen characters.

We weren’t great about advance planning, buying expensive costumes was always discouraged, and our collective sewing skills enabled someone to sew on a button, no more. So costumes were often compilations ofthings that would make do. Some layered clothing, charcoaled cheeks, wild hair and a trash bag transformed our beautiful little girl into a bag lady; an eye patch, toy sword and dark clothing made our swashbuckling son a pirate. Of course there was the year one of them wanted to be a stop light … an empty box and three circles of construction paper later, and we were ready to go.

As they grew, the kids got into drama and learned about stage make up and all sorts of costuming tricks. Seeing a picture of our son fully in costume for an indie zombie movie was a little disconcerting, of course, but it only turns up in my nightmares once in a while.

All that to say, when we got a referral to go to Zombie Burger in Des Moines, Iowa, I was all about it. Until I got to thinking, “Do zombie’s eat burgers? What’s going to be on this menu, anyway?”

And then we walked in, only to be greeted with a sign that said, “Keep Calm and Eat Brains.”

It was a far cry from stop light costumes and bag ladies, and a long way from bobbing for apples at a Halloween party.

But it was fun, with food that is perfect for Halloween night, or any time when you want a little escapism. For the full review, see the story at http://www.foodchannel.com/articles/article/zombie-burger-and-drink-lab/.

And stay alert. Halloween is coming. And the zombies are hungry.

Sampling Events


Posted from: MO, USA

What’d you have for lunch?

I had Autumn bisque, bacon wrapped peppadew, Boursin bleu grape truffles, blow torch prime rib, pub stuffed burger, French dip slider, a chicken empanada, shredded beef tacos, a coffee-rubbed steak taco, tilapia ceviche, pizza, hot chocolate gelato, salted caramel gelato, pumpkin harvest cupcake, and a tuxedo cupcake, all washed down with a railcar root beer from one of the local brewing companies.

Before you worry about my appetite, I had about a bite of each at a local “sampling event” that provided a taste of 30 or so of our local restaurants. In order to make the most of our sampling, I had two others along with me (including my daughter, pictured above), and we split anything bigger than a bite.

I could also have had baked ziti, chai latte gelato, buffalo chicken dip, bacon ranch alfredo, cashew chicken, sweet & sour chicken,general chicken, hand breaded port tenderloin, tequenos, boca chopped salad, pork belly carnitas taco, battered avocado taco, cottage pie, Brunswick stew, pulled pork slider, BBQ pork nachos, butternut squash ice cream, chicken salad croissant, voodoo chicken pasta, nan, chicken marsala, spinach dip, lemon pepper chicken, caramel apple cheesecake, eggrolls … shall I go on?

OK … churros, jambalaya, potato soup, sausage stuffed polenta, pumpkin pecan cheesecake, cucumber dill crisps, parmesan artichokecrostini, tamales, drunk rum burnt ends, lobster ravioli, lobster Rangoon, confetti cupcake, roasted poblano chicken corn chowder, pulled Guinness brisket sliders, pumpkin spiced cheesecake, praline cheesecake, and more.

It was a great chance to have a girls’ day out, learn about some new restaurants, and remind ourselves of a few favorites we haven’t visited in awhile. We heard about one restaurant that has expanded to breakfast, and a taco truck that is finding a permanent home. We talked with chefs, owners, and lots of hard workers who understood the value of getting to know their customers.

More and more communities are doing “Taste of” events, often as community fundraisers. It’s a great way to showcase some of the great food that is being created each and every day.

So here’s to the restaurants who made it work, to the organizers who pulled it all together, and to the people who went out in support of a fun event. Now, if we’ll all just patronize our favorites over the next 30 or so weeks, just think what that will do for the local economy!

Sample, anyone?

All’s Fair


Posted from: IA, USA

Fairs have changed.

When I started going to local Fairs, the standard was funnel cakes. When I moved East, I discovered elephant ears—a more cinnamon-sugar substitute, but still basically fried dough.

Then, for awhile it seemed like everything was on a stick. Chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick. Corndogs on a stick.

Next, bacon was added. This week I sampled the Double Bacon Corndog, with bacon wrapped around the hotdog before it was dipped in batter and fried. It’s not for the purist, but if you believe everything is better with bacon, go for it.

In recent years, it seems the goal has been to up the ante on the types of foods that could be fried. Enter deep-fried Oreos, Twinkies, and, yes, deep-fried butter.

In the interests of food knowledge, I checked it out to see how it was done. I learned that they take a stick of frozen, real butter, dip it in a batter mixture, then fry it for several minutes. Even though it’s on a stick, one bite and you’re dripping in butter, with something that tastes vaguely like a cinnamon roll wrapped around it. Best advice: if you must have it, share it. And forget the stick—eat it out of the plate.

Better advice? Order a cinnamon roll with a dab of butter, instead of the other way around.

(OK, even better advice—skip the fried and buttery foods altogether. But, c’mon. It’s the Fair!)

On a trip to a Fair in Northwest Iowa this week, all of those delicacies were offered—but a few things had changed. They had a stand offering French crepes. Another with cappuccino and gourmet coffee. And another with fruit smoothies.

At our own local Fair, one of the more popular stands is called Pineapple Whip, a non-dairy dessert that gives ice cream a run for its money. Although not billed as low calorie, it has that healthier aura, particularly when you choose it over fried foods.

As America in general is paying more attention to its health, it appears Fairs are paying attention. They won’t quit offering the fried options—it wouldn’t be a Fair without them. And crepes and cappuccinos may not be fried, but they are still high calorie.

That said, an upscaling of options might, well, stick.

In the meantime, the end of summer/early fall is a good time to go to a Fair. Here’s to the small town feel it brings … and the food that goes with it.

Posted from: PA, USA

I was part of abusiness that faltered after 9-11.

Ok it failed. It was an Internet company, and while there were lots of reasons for it to work, the distrust of technology that arose after 9-11 made the reasons for it not to seem much stronger to our clients.

To the credit of the people who believed it in, that business has since picked up the remnants and reinvented itself.  In the process, though, investors and employees lost a lot, and a lot of time was spend in building anew.

But they did build. So did I, in another business, and another since then.

It’s perhaps the most fitting tribute to 911. The events of that day were designed to bring America down. And at its core, America is about the ability to create our lives and our businesses as we wish.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania. It was a beautiful tribute to heroism, now commemorated in a national park. The plane was left as the final resting place of the heroes on board. They are the people who took a vote and decided to do what needed to be done to save others and send a message back to the terrorists. You haven’t won this one. And I love that they took a vote. It just says something about democracy.

While I was sitting there contemplating their decisions and their sacrifice, looking out over afield now planted with wildflowers, I took a business call.

Because I wanted to be reverent, I stepped away. But I also thought that just maybe the people of Flight 93 might be OK with business being rebuilt. Because it’s at least part of what their sacrifice was about. It was so that America and the businesses of America could go on.

The same week, we stopped by a veteran’s park in New Jersey, where my father-in-law has a brick with his name on it, a small thank you for his service during WWII. One area of the new park is hosting a ceremony today, on September 11, 2012, to dedicate a piece of the twin tower that is now a feature of that park. Apparently theycommissioned the government for the remnant as part of the memorial tribute to those who have served our country. We saw the piece before it was landscaped, in all its stark beauty. Rough edges, demonstrating quite clearly what was ripped away from family, friends, and America.

It reminded me again that we are still picking up the pieces. We are finding new places for them, and not only rebuilding, but building from scratch again.

Even while we fight our current economic conditions, America hasn’t lost her ability to create and recreate. It hasn’t lost her ability to do business.

For me, who lost something important on 9-11, it’s another reminder that life goes on. For those who lost their lives in 911, and those who lost their loves, it’s not that clear and not that easy; I know that.

So we pause andremember and say thanks to those who made a deliberate decision to sacrifice on that day. We say prayers for those who were hit without warning.

And we continue to build and rebuild. It’s what America does.

Here’s to picking up the beautiful pieces of America.

You’re Good At This Game

It’s not often that I get down on the floor with small children.

That doesn’t mean I don’t play games.

My days are spent sitting across from adults at a conference table, wondering who will be the first to start to sneak a turn at Words With Friends. My days are spent sitting at a desk while I try to figure out whatmind games are being played. And my days are spent standing over a stove, guessing what ingredients are in the latest recipe creation.

So I know games.

But it’s different with little ones. They play by the rules, at least as they understand them. They fully engage. They tell it like they see it.

Last week I found myself on the floor with a two and three year old. When they wanted to play hide and seek, in a fairly limited area, I did my best. I hid around the edge of a doorway, popping out to surprise them as they ran to find me. I pretended not to see them when it was my turn to seek, giving them extra moments of delight. I got myself into all kinds of positions, and lifted them countless times just to hear them say, “Do it again.”   

All of a sudden, the oldest looked up at me with wise eyes, pointed her finger, and said, “You are good at this game!”

It was high praise. It meant she recognized I was having fun with them. It meant she found me believable. It meant she knew we were playing a game that had a purpose—giving us a chance to get to know each other better.

We need to be good at the game. While sitting around the conference table, we have to be prepared to jump out with a surprise to keep the team engaged. While tied to our desk on a conference call or answering emails, we have to care enough to understand our co-workers’ challenges and motives. And if we’re lucky enough to work in a beautiful kitchen, we need to keep up on food trends enough to recognize Saigon Cinnamon when we taste it!

So, here’s to being good at the game. It just might mean you are good at your job.



This blog is part of an original series entitled Cheers to an Everyday Life.