Not McDonald’s chicken and spaghetti meal

Last night’s chicken and pasta meal wasn’t inspired by anything from McDonald’s. It’s not a reaction against fast food junk either although I am no fast food fan. Neither did the recipe come from any cookbook. This meal was inspired by my daughters in a kind of oblique way. Let me tell you the story.

My 17-year-old daughter, Sam, is in her first year of college and she stays in a condo on weekdays. She is so sick of food bought in the vicinity of the university that when she comes home during the weekend, she is practically demanding that I cook this-and-that and bake too. Last Sunday, she wanted chicken but we were in a hurry to leave (she was moving from her old dorm to a condo) and I didn’t have time to cook. Her father made a SPAM-and-egg lunch. She didn’t complain. She’s on her term break now and she’s home.

At this point, you’re probably beginning to see why there is chicken in last night’s meal. Now, let me tell you about the pasta. My almost 16-year-old daughter, Alex, did a school cooking project yesterday. She and her group mates made lemon chicken for their TLE (that’s short for Technology and Livelihood Education) class. She left the house early morning with a kilo of chicken fillets from the freezer, a chopping board, flour, and a few other things.

When she got home, I asked how it went. She said it was a disaster. One of her group mates, a boy named Renee, kept pouring salt on the chicken despite her protestations. So, the chicken turned out much too salty and the sauce was too sour to boot. When she asked what we were having for dinner, I told her chicken. I had been thawing thigh fillets in the fridge all day. And she whined saying she was sick of chicken.

She didn’t have to elaborate. I knew it was a reaction to the lemon chicken disaster that she felt she’d rather not see nor eat chicken for a long, long time. She wanted pasta. With red sauce and cream. And now you know why last night’s dinner was chicken and spaghetti. Why do I call it “Not McDonald’s chicken and spaghetti meal”? When I was assembling the bowls of pasta, my husband, Speedy, commented, “What’s that? Chicken and spaghetti meal? McDonald’s or Tropical Hut?”