I really had every intention of being a superstar employee this week but Aiden came down with a nasty bug late Sunday and I had to put on my Super Mom cape and put work on the back burner Monday morning. Which means I tend to my sickie but still monitor work emails for emergencies from my phone instead of glued to my computer monitor.
We made it to the doctor’s office because I’d rather be safe than sorry. Good news is he doesn’t have strep, pneumonia or bronchitis. Bad news was he had a super high temp that left him pretty exhausted and finicky over food.
Exhausted enough to need his mom every second of every minute and finicky enough that I had to think of a “feel better” meal to get him to consider eating a little something. I wasn’t the only one thinking about a “feel better” meal; Timmy & Margo both emailed me once they knew Aiden was out of school sick and asked me where I was taking him for his “feel better” meal. And then nostalgia kicks in and here’s why:
When we were little and the school nurse had to call my dad to come get one of us, he never made it seem like leaving work in the middle of the day to rescue us was an inconvenience. I remember that he always knelt down, felt our foreheads and asked how we were feeling now (keep in mind it probably took him 30-45 minutes to get to the school from the time the nurse called). I always said something like, “Not good at all Dad. Can I go home with you?” I would bury my head in his chest and peak up with one little eye ball to see if he was really going to let me leave school or if he’d send me back to class.
I would see him look at the nurse and signal that he was taking me home. And then, low and behold, I was suddenly feeling 100% better. I’d hide the pep in my step until we’d at least left the building and then beeline for his car and buckle up knowing what he’d say next.
“So, Phanneth, what would you like to eat for lunch?”
I’d laugh because you’d think he’d remember this by now because my response was always the same. My “feel better” meal was always chicken nuggets from McDonald’s with BBQ and Sweet & Sour dipping sauce for my nuggets and my fries. Maybe he remembered and it was just part of our routine, but I always played along when he asked and I loved it.
I loved my sick days hanging out with Dad, pulling up through the McD’s drive through and then bumming on the couch with him until everyone else got home. It was like our secret time together. I never felt as sick when I left school and was with Dad. It’s like my fever flew out the window once he walked into the nurse’s office to rescue me. And to this day, when I feel sick, I still find myself craving a chicken nugget meal from McDonald’s and needing my daddy.
So I asked Aiden what he really wanted to eat since it was his sick day and his appetite for regular food was poor. I told him to think of a food that always makes him feel better, and to think about what he likes from a restaurant or that I make. He surprised me by saying, “Mom, I always love when you make Monkey Bread for me and Andrew.” I totally thought he would say Chick-fil-A for sure!
Well, I can throw down a mean monkey bread. It’s pretty much a standard monkey bread, I just changed the technique to up the butter and cinnamon-sugar flavor and only use one can of biscuits since there are just the four of us. It’s the fastest and easiest Saturday morning breakfast that my kids can count on me for if we have biscuits in the fridge.
I like the toasted, cinnamon-sugary, crunchy side that bakes up (which becomes the bottom).
The boys, including Joel, like the gooey, caramel-y, sticky sweet bottom (which becomes the top).
I usually add pecans, but Aiden vetoed the nuts and the raisins this go-around. He wasn’t feeling it yesterday. He was feeling like watching ‘The Sandlot’ 3 times in 1 day, and I’ll admit that I went ahead and let him.
Anything to make my Aiden-Bug feel a little better, get some food in his belly and hear him giggle a stuffy nosed little giggle. Because that’s what Mommas do.
The Monkey Bread was, and is, always a huge success. It was even a hit with Dad who came over for a quick visit with my little sickie in the evening. I think Aiden’s fever flew out the window once he saw Papa drive up, too.
Hi, Dad. I love you!
PS: Do you have a sickie “feel better” meal?
- 1 can Pillsbury Flaky Layers buttermilk biscuits, quartered
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Optional: ¼ cup raisins
- Optional: ¼ cup walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Apply non-stick spray to a standard loaf pan
- In a large zip-top bag, mix white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon together.
- Add quartered biscuit pieces (and raisins and nuts, if using) to the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Close the top and shake to coat. If the pieces stick together, pull them apart and shake some more. You want all pieces to be fully coated.
- Dump the biscuit pieces into the loaf pan allowing some of the sugar mix to also fall into the pan.
- Pour whatever sugar is left in the bag (should be about ¼ cup, but don't measure! whatever is left will work just fine) into the melted butter and stir to combine.
- Pour the butter mixture over the biscuit pieces, then bake for 24-28 minutes.
- Remove from oven and invert pan onto serving dish immediately. Serve warm.