When my future husband, Steve and I decided to get married, he pointed something out to me, "I don't even know if you can cook."
He was right. I had never cooked for him. I was still in college and living at home with my mother. The need to cook for him had never come up. Steve and I always went out to dinner, usually for pizza and beer.
So, the challenge was on. My task was to prepare an dinner for him. On the other hand, I wasn't going to let this challenge be one-sided. He had to do something in return and my choice was that if he liked the meal, he had to do the dishes. He agreed, with an additional provision. He wanted a pecan pie for dessert.
While I didn't cook much, I did help my mother in the kitchen from time to time. One of the meals I liked to help prepare was baked chicken with mashed potatoes. It was easy and very little could go wrong. Unfortunately, I had never baked a pecan pie before, so I turned to mom for help. She had a wonderful recipe and I even took it a step further and planned on making the crust from scratch.
The following weekend was the test. I had everything finished when Steve arrived for dinner. He took a seat at the table and I brought the food over. It turned out beautifully and he enjoyed the meal. What he didn't enjoy was doing the dishes afterward, but that's a story. Below are the recipes that I used.
1 chicken, cut up
1 1/2 C cornflake crumbs
1/4 C milk
Preheat oven to 350º. Spray baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. Mix eggs and milk in a bowl. Put cornflake crumbs in a second dish. Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture and then roll in cornflake crumbs until evenly coated. Place on baking pan and bake for 1 hour.
Simple Mashed Potatoes
5 medium potatoes
1 stick butter or margarine
salt, to taste
Peel, wash, and dice potatoes. Boil in water until tender. Pour off water, and mash potatoes with butter or margarine until fluffy. To make potatoes smoother, add a little milk and stir well.
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1 C. light corn syrup
1/2 t. salt
1 C. chopped pecans
Cream sugar and butter; add syrup and salt. Mix well. Beat in one egg at a time. Add pecans. Pour mixture into an unbaked pie crust. Bake at 350º for 1 hour, 10 minutes.
1 1/2 C. sifted flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 C. shortening
4-5 T. ice cold water
Sift flour and salt together, then cut in shortening with a pastry cutter until pieces are the size of small peas. Add water one tablespoon at a time and combine with a fork. Once mixed, form the dough into a ball. Roll out on a floured surface to make crust. This makes one 9-inch pie crust.