Several years ago, I went to a Wednesday evening Bible study at the church I was attending at the time.  My hubby (Bob) wasn’t with me – he was either working or attending a class somewhere.  The subject we were talking about that night was “grace.”

After an opening prayer, the minister began the discussion by asking us to write down the first thing we thought of when we heard the word “grace.”  He called on several people to read their answers, and I was hoping he would ignore me, especially when I listened to what others had to say.  Then I heard him call my name.  “Sara Ray, what did you write?”

I really didn’t want to break the serious momentum the minister had going, but I had to be truthful.  “Klutz,”  I responded.  Since further explanation was required, I informed the gathering, “My husband tells people, ‘My wife’s middle name is Grace, and she spells it K-L-U-T-Z!’”  Laughter followed my statement; thankfully, the minister was able to draw our focus back where it belonged.

To be quite truthful, I have often said my mother jinxed me when she gave me the middle name “Grace,” for graceful I am not.  I trip on non-existent objects.  I bump into other objects that are clearly visible.  I have never been good at any type of sporting activity.  In grade school, I was only chosen to be on a team because everyone had to be selected.  I recall one particular time when I hid behind the big tree that stood at the edge of our playground so I wouldn’t have to play softball.  Afterward, I mingled with the members of whichever team was at bat, working my way back to the end of the line-up each time.  Since everyone else was concentrating on the game, no one noticed what I was doing.  It was such a relief not to have to strike out for the umpteenth time.

When we were dating, Bob decided we should go bowling one night.  I tried to warn him about my lack of coordination, but he refused to listen.  He was going to teach me the proper technique to use, and I would then be able to get the ball to roll down the lane instead of into the gutter.  I will admit that Bob tried his best to instruct me; nevertheless, after the ball flew out of my hand during my backswing and landed on the floor behind me, he became discouraged.  I don’t remember going on another bowling date.

I may have been bad at bowling, but roller skating was worse.  Bob loved to skate and greatly desired to attend a skate night sponsored by our school.  He refused to go without me, so I agreed to go.  I really wanted to sit and watch him skate; he wanted me by his side.  I tried to stay upright but found it impossible.  My feet didn’t want to stay together, and I found myself on the floor more often than not.  I finally convinced Bob to skate without me so that he could enjoy his time on the rink without having to stop and help me get up from a fall.

Thankfully, Bob didn’t hold my ineptitude against me.  I may not be extremely coordinated in a lot of areas; however, I can hold my own in many others – the kitchen being among them. There are a lot of things I enjoy doing with my hands, things like sewing, crocheting, and other crafts.  Although I may not be the fastest at doing so, I can type reasonably well.  However, none of these things require my hands and feet to be in coordination with each other.  And I’m okay with that.  Turn me loose in the kitchen, just don’t ask me to play on a sports team.

This past week I invited a friend to my house for dinner.  She didn’t realize that she was going to be a guinea pig for a new recipe, else she may have chickened out.  “Stuffing-Coated Chicken” turned out to be as tasty to eat as it was easy to make.  And my friend was thrilled to take leftovers home with her.

Sticking with the fowl theme, I am including other easy-to-make recipes that include chicken.

Stuffing-Coated Chicken

1-1/2 cups stuffing mix, finely crushed (I used Pepperidge Farm)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder)

5 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)

In shallow dish, combine stuffing crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  In another shallow dish, combine butter and garlic.  Dip chicken in butter mixture, then coat with stuffing mixture.  Place in a greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining stuffing mixture and drizzle with remaining butter.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.  Yield: 5 servings.

Savory Balsamic Chicken

6 (4-ounce) boneless chicken breasts

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon canola oil

1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1-1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Season chicken breast with salt and pepper then dip both sides in flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and oil in large skillet; cook chicken 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and juices run clear (ensure internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees).  Move chicken onto serving dish and keep warm.  In the same skillet, add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Cook 5 minutes.  Stir in remaining butter and pour over chicken.  Makes 6 servings.

Chicken Crunch

4 cups diced cooked chicken

1/4 cup minced onion

1 cup diced celery

2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted*

1-1/2 cups chicken broth

1 (5-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 (3-ounce) can chow mein noodles

1/3 cup toasted slivered or sliced almonds (optional)

Blend broth and soup in greased baking dish.  Mix in remaining ingredients except almonds.  Bake in slow oven (325 degrees) for 50 minutes.  Just before serving, sprinkle with almonds.

*May use cream of celery soup.