gaining determination from setbacks

gaining determination from setbacks

A couple weeks ago, when it was my turn to cook dinner, I had a great idea - I wanted a fresh and flavorful dinner, and I wanted it grilled.

We had chicken sausage in the freezer (a package each of hot and sweet), and we had potatoes in the pantry. I stopped on the way home for some fresh green beans and asparagus. Mmmm, this was going to be a perfect spring-time dinner.

grilling sausage, potatoes, and fresh vegetables

I quartered the potatoes (so they would cook a little faster), and wrapped each one in foil with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then I put them on the grill to start cooking.

After about 15 minutes I added the chicken sausage to the grill, figuring they would need about 25-30 minutes, and the potatoes, having the 15 minute head start, would be done at the same time.

While the potatoes and sausage were cooking, I prepared the vegetables. My younger son can be a little picky, so I cut the ends off the green beans. This should avoid any comments about "not wanting to eat sticks." My oldest son can't eat dairy, so I didn't use butter. I seasoned the beans and asparagus with the same olive oil and seasonings as the potatoes, and put them on the grill when the sausage had about ten minutes left to cook.

By now my mouth was watering, as I imagined how awesome this would taste.

Finally everything was ready, so I turned down the grill and brought the food in to eat.

That's when dinner went sideways..

Turns out the potatoes weren't done; they needed another 10-15 minutes. By now everybody was hungry and ready to eat, so we had to make the best of things while I put the potatoes back on the grill. The sausage got wrapped on a plate with foil, and the vegetables went into the oven to stay warm.

Ten minutes later I went out to check on the potatoes, and the grill had gone out. Apparently this was my grill's way of telling me I hadn't refilled the propane tank recently. Oops. In a span of 20 minutes I had gone from "everybody get ready for an awesome dinner", to "damage control time", to "full on improvisation mode."

The sausage was good, and the vegetables were great. I salvaged enough potatoes for the kids to eat. Then we hit the pantry for chips, pita bread, and whatever else we could find to round out our plates.

This was not my finest hour as a cook. But, just like anything else that doesn't go perfectly (like a skipped workout or a bad day of eating), it's just one day. Live and learn, right? And do better tomorrow.

For me, personally - that picture above has been staring at me, taunting me. I'll make this same meal again in a month or two, with a full tank of propane and more patience on the potatoes. Sometimes a setback just makes us more determined to get it right. I might even add some corn on the cob next time. Mmmmm, I'm getting hungry again.

-Chris Butterworth