What If? & Another Game Day Recipe-NOT Wings

My winning recipe as photographed in Taste of Home Magazine

My winning recipe as photographed in Taste of Home Magazine

What if I had called him that day? What if he had accepted the invitation to visit his aunt, and cousins who were in Wilmington? What if he never elected to his extend his stay in the military? The questions come fast and furious following my son’s death in a car accident. What if it could have been prevented? There will always be more questions than answers and that is what makes the loss and the grief journey so prolonged.

Every griever has their own unique set of questions. Of course the answer I search for is that he would be alive. He’d be home and hanging out like usual. He was supposed to be done with the navy in March 2011. Trust me I tried to convince him to not extend his stay, but he, like always, came up with a good defense. “It’s like this mom. My brothers are going to be deployed one more time and I need to be with them. If anything ever happens to them and I am not there I could never forgive myself.” He makes me so proud to be his mom. And for the friends and brothers who knew him you could not have a more loyal and committed player on your team.

DSCN2396 IMG_0156 Keys and the boys at shirgazay

This Sunday is the Super Bowl. It’s the biggest game day ever for all kinds of chicken wing recipes and Buffalo this or that. But “what if” you arrive at the grocery store to find chicken wings selling for $4.69/pound (highway robbery) versus boneless/skinless chicken thighs and breasts for $1.99/pound? I’ll tell ya in our house we ain’t havin’ no wings—no questions asked.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Rolls

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves pound to a 1/4-inch thickness

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons blue cheese (or any good melting cheese you like)

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/4 cup red pepper sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot)

2 cups crushed cornflakes

Heat oven 400F. Lightly grease a foil lined baking sheet. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place 1-tablespoon blue cheese on the center of each chicken breast. Fold in sides and roll chicken around blue cheese. Secure with wooden picks. Mix mayonnaise and red pepper sauce. Brush each chicken roll with mayonnaise mixture and roll in cornflakes to coat. Place chicken rolls on prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. 

Remove wooden picks before serving

14 thoughts on “What If? & Another Game Day Recipe-NOT Wings

  1. These were one of my first recipes I ever made of yours and John requests them all the time!!! I understand the need to question what happened with your son but he sounds like such a wonderful man I don’t think he would want you to.

  2. I am so sorry about what happened to your son, It brings tears to my eyes. I am lost for words.. I will try out your recipes,

    • Thank you. He was stationed at Camp Le Jeune. There is a roadside memorial on rt. 17 Hampstead just before the turn to TopSail if my memory serves me well. 1st battalion 2nd marines scout sniper platoon navy corpsman

  3. I spent a lot of time writing short stories that were my “what if” alternative endings that I imagined for a similar-but-totally-different life tragedy. I totally understand that impulse. Your son sounds like an amazing man. And yeah, that is highway robbery for chicken wings…

    • Thanks for reading and sharing such a thoughtful comment. There are so many kinds of loss and grief reactions. I think about the loss of going through a divorce or losing a job or a home to mother nature’s wrath…..how about a parent that walks out on the family or a mom who gives up her baby for adoption? Life is so difficult and the writing helps us adapt. A creative outlet even though we are looking in the review mirror. Thanks for the compliment on my son. Yes, a good man.

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