I started playing hand bells in September. It has been difficult. I am a former music teacher so I can read music and I thought this would be fun. I have never played hand bells before but thought it can’t be that bad to learn something like this. I was wrong. I am like that beginning clarinet or violin player who squeaks along and makes you cringe every time they play. It is a whole new skill set for me. I am not used to putting down one thing and picking up another to play a note. On a piano you push the key and the sound comes out. It is all muscle memory now. I see a B and my fingers automatically go to it. There is no real thought.
We had our “Christmas Concert” last night. We have played twice before in church but this time was different as my part was very exposed for this piece and I had to get it right. Up until Sunday I was not getting it right at all. I was ready to quit. But, I practiced all the time with my little wooden sticks standing in for bells. I would wake myself up counting – 1 + 2+ 3 + and making the motion of the bells.
We did it. It may not have been beautiful but we made it through and all ended together. I stuck it out and now have greater appreciation for that 5th grade beginning band and orchestra student. It is tough. It is scary and even if you are practicing all the time it is still possibly to make mistakes. It gets better each time but it takes time. I am not good with patience so we will see how I do with this.
After the concert the kids actually wanted dinner! The nerve of them. We went very simple. Potatoes with gravy and chicken over them.
My daughter said this was one of her favorite meals we have had in a long time. She likes simple meals. This had a bit of chicken and biscuits feel to it with potatoes instead of biscuits because at 8:45 pm I was not going to start baking biscuits.
With a green vegetable this was a yummy warming dinner on a cold, dark night.
Simple Chicken and Potatoes with Gravy
- 1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, cubed or frozen home fried potatoes
- 2 tablespoons + butter
- 2 packets chicken gravy or 3 cups homemade gravy
- cooked chicken shredded, I used leftover roasted chicken
- Morton’s Nature’s Seasons Seasoning Blend, to taste
- black pepper and parsley for serving, if desired
- Fry potatoes in a large skillet over medium heat with butter according to package directions. You want the potatoes nice and crispy on the outside and soft inside. You can also bake them on a baking sheet.
- Once potatoes are almost done make gravy according to package directions or heat your homemade gravy. Add chicken to gravy and heat through.
- Remove potatoes from oven and sprinkle with Morton’s Seasoning Blend to taste.
- Serve potatoes in a bowl covered with chicken and gravy. Sprinkle with parsley before serving if desired.