A young mother stood slightly bent over her hands as I approached her on the Iron Horse Trail. Her infant slept in the stroller in front of her. I chuckled when I saw what she was doing: painting her nails a bright blue. She had carved out a small amount of time for herself in the time-consuming world of new motherhood. We smiled at each other in understanding.
Many times when I walk the trail, I hear voices in other languages: Eastern European, Chinese, occasionally Italian, sometimes Spanish. I listen carefully when I hear Japanese, proud of myself for still being able to distinguish the Japanese words from other Asian ones. I might hear, "Kudasai," or "Genki desu," or "Koko," or "Hai, doozo" -- phrases that stand out in my memory -- but all the other words slip by me too fast for me to grab them and understand what the walkers are saying.
One day on the trail, two women walked towards me gesturing with their hands in English. As I approached, I realized they were talking about food and what they planned to make for dinner. The more I heard, the hungrier I got for a satisfying dinner on a chilly night. One woman planned to make Chicken Cordon Bleu, a dish I hadn't cooked in a long time. I stopped them and asked for their favorite versions. We all had similar recipes.
Done with my walk, I picked up the ingredients at the grocery store and began preparations for the evening's dinner.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Set oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray.
Pound chicken cutlets and lay a piece of prosciutto and a piece of Jarlsberg cheese on each chicken breast. Roll up each chicken piece and use a toothpick to hold each one together.
Whisk two eggs together.
Mix together chopped garlic, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper, parmesan cheese, and whole wheat breadcrumbs.
Dip each chicken bundle into the eggs and then into the breadcrumb mix.
Place on a cooking sheet and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the juices run clear.
Serve with roasted vegetables or a generous salad. Enjoy some comfort food on a chilly night!