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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Stewart


Updated: Apr 16, 2023

I recently had the most humbling experience at Costco that has quieted my mind and left me speechless. A stranger that I will never see again. His name was Tom… and he paid for my groceries. I was standing in line with my daughter. My cart was completely full of food… including a hanging fern. As I began to pay, my credit card wouldn’t work. (A simple yet, horrible misunderstanding between my husband and I - Who went to the bank first sort of thing?) I began to sweat… asked the man behind the counter to try it again. Before I could even try it again the man behind me quickly came over and bumped his card and said, “Just pay it forward”. I was stunned. Mortified. Embarrassed. We had the money, but it just wasn’t where I needed it be. I stood there with my mouth open. He kept saying, “It’s nothing. Please. I don’t need anything… just pay It forward”. So, I put everything in the cart and slowly walked away and waited for him to exit. I said, “Can I please have your name? ”…and he said, “My name is Tom. I don’t need anything.”

I walked so quietly to my car, for the rest of the day, all I could do was think about Tom. Could I ever be Tom? Could I happily pay for some stranger’s groceries in a moment of despair? I’ve thought about a lot of moments where I’ve paid it forward with my time and my cooking skills and perhaps a few small donations to people and things I cared about. But money has been such a meticulous monitored thing in our household that I’m not sure I could do that. But that day changed me. It truly gave me a very beautiful perspective of life. And love. I am so grateful for Tom… so today’s Blog pairing is dedicated to Tom. Thank you will never be enough.

I have been waiting for so long to pair a hefty recipe alongside one of my new favorite musicians. I am beyond excited to share both with you. Thank you to The Spruce Eats for the inspiration…

Taco-Rubbed Flank Steak (TACOS)

For the Rub

· 2 tablespoons chili powder

· 2 teaspoons ground cumin

· 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

· 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

· 1/2 teaspoon salt

· 1/2 teaspoon sugar

For the Steak:

· 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

· 2 pounds flank steak, trimmed

Heat grill on high or heat broiler on high. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried crumbled oregano, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

Squeeze juice of 1 medium lime over flank steak and rub juice into the meat.

Completely coat the steak with the rub mixture.

Grill steak or broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until desired doneness (about 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare to 15 minutes per side for well-done).

Add in the rest of your fixings for Tacos. Avocado, Grilled Peppers and Onions, Feta Cheese, and Avocado.

I’ve had this artist in my pocket for quite some time, awaiting the perfect time to introduce you to him. I’ll thank my Brother-In-Law for bringing this light of music into my life. Orville Peck occupies a unique niche in the world of Country Music. He was born in South Africa but is a resident of Canada. He wears a mask and has never shown his face publicly. Let me tell you, be prepared to listen to his album Bronco on repeat. Wow. Wow. What a voice. A little Elvis. A little Chris Stapleton. His song Trampled Out the Days is the winner of this pairing. And I hope you can dive into the rest of his Album like I have.

I know this blog pairing is not my way of paying it forward … but it is my way of telling the World there are some really good people out there… Still. In a World where all we fixate on are fear driven messages on our phones and televisions. Through the jarring news of death, war, and politics. As a mother, I have become more fearful for our future. Our children. Tom changed that for me this week. I can only hope and pray that someday my children will be like Tom.

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