Miles Chicken

*Merri buried herself under a pile of book launches. So her characters are filling in and taking over her blog and newsletter. This week’s entry is from Ashbrook, Montana’s matriarch, Aunt Tee.

I don’t get into trouble often, but when I do it is a doozy.

This time it was one of those newlywed mistakes. I thought Miles would be pleased when I washed his Arizona Cardinals t-shirt. That thing looked horrid. It had a mustard stain on the left side of his chest. The last time he wore it, he spilled soda down the front.

In the name of being a good wife, I made him a meat platter with some veggies and washed the shirt.

He loves that shirt. Every time there is a game on the television he moves the furniture around so his recliner is in front of the televisionThen he gets one of those bags of freshly popped popcorn from the Superstore. “It’s like I’m there,” he says.

I was adding the dip to a bowl when I heard an exclamation filled with horror. “Theresa, what have you done.”

That was the first sign that I was in trouble. Miles never uses my real name.

I ran to the room. I knew I hadn’t done anything, but whatever it was that he encountered had distressed him.

He was standing at the foot of our bed in his pants and undershirt with the folded, clean shirt in his hand. His ears were red and his mouth was agape.

If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn he was in physical pain.

“My shirt.” He held it out like it was a broken toy.

From where I was standing it looked fine. “Did it shrink.”

The color drained from his face. “You. You. You. Washed it.”

All the pride and bravado I’d mustered while cleaning it wilted like a flower in a snow storm. “Because it was dirty.”

“And now the Cardinals might lose.”

The despair in my husband’s face told me that it wasn’t the time to tell him that the sportsmanship of a team playing over 2000 miles away did not depend on the cleanliness of a middle aged man’s shirt.

I dug deep for something to assuage his concern. “Maybe they won’t notice?”

They may not have, but Miles did. I felt the icy glare when they lost the all to the other team. The murmurs—it was like I was on the field helping them.

A little before half-time I made what I call Miles Chicken. It is his favorite recipe.

This may or may not have been a coincidence, but apparently the Cardinals started playing better around the time the aroma of the chicken filled the house.

Thankfully they won the game and I am back in Miles good graces.

And guess what we’re having for dinner, “Every Sunday until the Cardinals win the Super Bowl.”

Just in case you want to join in the experience, here is a copy of the recipe.

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