Three of us share one office. Granted it is an executive space, with large floor to ceiling windows and a great view of the city. Still, the day I learned that two of my colleagues and I would have to reconfigure this space to accommodate all of us, I was filled with trepidation. Our jobs (caseworkers) require spending a fair part of the day on the phone, helping parents or volunteers deal with whatever issues they may be grappling with. How was this ever going to work?
It took a willingness to compromise and talk things over, but two years later, we are more than just colleagues. Our different approaches and personalities could have been an obstacle, but it turned out to be our strength. We support and encourage each other when we need it, we confer with each other when faced with challenging situations, we laugh, one of us cries, and two of us cry from laughter. We talk about our families, pets, books, movies, vacations, work, and, of course, food.
Barbie’s dad owned the famous Nibblers Restaurant and shares her wonderful memories of growing up there. A creative cook, Barbie often describes the concoction she had prepared the night before, using whatever she had in the kitchen. Susan, not so much a foodie, has some dishes that she has perfected and relies on, like Mac N’ Cheese, Butter Tarts and Lemon Chicken.
Some would find our situation impossible. We spend more time together than we do with anybody else, eight hours a day, five days a week, in close quarters. There is no privacy, sort of like three children sharing a bedroom, but I must admit, I never really liked having my own room.
Susan’s Lemon Chicken
2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts (I used strips)
flour for dredging
6 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves minced garlic
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
salt and pepper to taste
Lightly dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Using a frying pan, brown chicken in olive oil and remove from pan, placing in a Pyrex dish. Add garlic, broth and wine to frying pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour mixture over chicken. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.