“I am really hungry for pork chops,” is what I said to TM yesterday on our way home from his niece’s volleyball tournament.

So he said we would stop at the store to get some pork chops and he would grill them when we got home. Enough said, but then, I had to say it, “What are we going to have with them?” And then we started our standard discussion because he is good at coming up with ideas for a main dish, but doesn’t necessarily excel at thinking of side dishes. Don’t get me wrong, he knows how to cook a lot of different side dishes, he just doesn’t really see the need for them, so he doesn’t put a lot of effort into thinking of them.

After some discussion, I suggested baked beans and he agreed. I said I would make them, but then I said that maybe they didn’t go that well with pork chops. He asked what they go well with and to me, they go well with grilled chicken, kinda like a summer picnic. It just sounded better to me. Grilled chicken also was a better choice to him because he had chicken thighs in in his freezer and it meant a cheaper trip to the store.

So, that’s the story of how we ended up with this meal – grilled chicken that he cooked over charcoal on my old favorite Weber kettle grill, baked beans that I made and some bread and butter pickles that I pulled out of the cabinet (I canned them last fall).

Now, the real question, “was it real food?” I think the accurate answer is “sort of.” It could have been pretty easily. The chicken definitely was real food, and if I recall the recipe for the pickles, I think they also were, (although there is a chance that I put in a small amount of white sugar, which is a processed food, but I don’t really remember or have blocked out of my memory.) The beans easily could have been real food. I used a basic recipe that I found in my Betty Crocker cookbook that I’ve had for ages. But, I pretty much followed the recipe “as is.” Most of the ingredients are real food including several variations of canned beans (love Lima beans!) and bacon and onion. But I did use brown sugar and ketchup so technically, it was a fail I think with some work, I could make them with some tomato paste and honey combo as a substitute, but I just didn’t have the energy for it last night.