Apron Strings by Samatha Gianulis

It started with good intentions the way most potential disasters do. I was invited to join Facebook by the publisher of a literary magazine for which I edited.

Slow Cooker Yellow  Curry Chicken

I’d scribble this down on the back of a team roster or grocery list with a grin for you if I knew you, but this will have to suffice. Perfect for busy weeknights.


10-15 (frozen or fresh) chicken tenderloins.

1 bottle of yellow curry sauce (NOT PASTE), Trader Joe’s or similar,

1 14.5 oz. can of coconut milk (light coconut milk may be substituted).

3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced.

4-5 carrots, peeled and diced .

Optional: sliced yellow onions, Sriracha sauce for heat.

Cooked jasmine rice

EQUIPMENT: slow cooker


In a slow cooker, add chicken, potatoes, and carrots.

Pour over coconut milk and yellow curry sauce. Mix well. The liquid should cover the chicken and vegetables. Add Sriracha sauce to taste, if you like heat.

 Set slow cooker on low setting for 5-6 hours, or high setting for approximately 4 hours. Slow cookers cooking time may vary. Check the food periodically (but not too often, releasing the steam inside the slow cooker will decelerate cooking time) for doneness.

 Meanwhile, cook rice to package instructions. (Recommended, at least 2 cups for maximum sauce absorption).

 To serve, top fluffy rice with yellow chicken curry. Leftovers are even better. Copy and paste this as your status (* wink *).

“Good visibility”, “readership”, and “connecting with our audience” soon became me finding friends from first grade who moved away after a parents divorce, being found by friends I lost after graduation(s), and either sending or approving requests of friends I made in my 20s and 30s, all of whom know exactly what I mean in some of my posts – and all of this feels good.

I started on Twitter, reciprocating follows of friends and hanging on words of people I found fascinating, even though the term “followers” and “following” stirred a warning of superficial gratification in my head, to which I should have listened. What came next was being “followed” by people I didn’t know, and of course, they wanted to be followed back. Intriguing content seemed lost in a never ending numbers game.

“The down side to the social media is huge,” my Dad told me one day. “But do you remember so-and-so? My friend from elementary? I’m friends with them now. And what’s-her-name has two girls the same age as mine and lives in Frisco!” My Dad nodded, said “Oh, that’s nice,” in an unimpressed how-did-you-ever-live-without-that-reconnection acknowledgement of my growing friend list.

His words stuck in my head, currently crowded by knowing what everyone else was doing, or what was on their mind.

What do I like about this social media thing, anyway? Is it detrimental? Is it beneficial? Is it…wrong?

My internal feed went into overdrive.

Well, I like looking at pictures of my friends families, seeing which microbrew is on tap at my neighborhood tavern, and never missing a birthday.

I can’t say I like seeing pictures of a party I wasn’t invited to, wondering if I have upset someone, feeling like a jerk because I haven’t donated to a cause this month, and learning things that, before Facebook and Twitter, I survived just fine without knowing.

Indeed, I like reading tweets by authors, celebrities (I admit it), athletes and knowing where the pierogi food truck will be today.

I can do without pictures for shock effect and popularity contests.



My father was right again. How fitting it is that I am friends with high school chums in the social media, because sophisticated technology has a way of bringing out sophomoric qualities in even those of us who know better.



I know better, I really do, but I have self-inflicted wounds of the technology learning curves – posting to an indifferent, unfeel

ing laptop screen, without considering if I would have said the same thing to a friend or colleague, face to face. And forgetting that – for apps, pages, or friendships – available is not always advisable.



It’s a modern day dilemma for me. I want to stay online and not miss anything. I want to leave the silly world of cyber-translation for my own sanity.



I struck a bargain with myself. I quit Twitter, because I can look up tweets of individuals on Google without subscribing to a feed. I have stayed on Facebook, but I stay signed out and removed the app from my smart phone. I found it’s a lot easier to maintain an idle account than it is to store hundreds of email addresses and birthdays in a book somewhere. If I’m compelled to post then I do – I just don’t spend precious time coming up with witty updates (anymore).



The social media, little universes constantly spinning, demonstrating the laws of gravity and relativity every second in each twenty-four hour cycle. I matter somehow, and I am also just a dot. But most importantly and still the same as ever – whatever I send out, it’s coming right back to me, so I better be good. (And it doesn’t hurt to create and maintain a good filter).



Before you ask, yes, I will send good thoughts your way and do what I can for your cause. Yes, I like your status and totally see what you’re saying (LOL!). Happy everything to everyone! Thank you for showing me the upside of daily life or the world in general, and finally, for learning me how to manage the downside. Again.

My strategy to surviving the online exposure is the same strategy as always, for just about everything. The best way I know how to, when moved to speak or socialize, avoid offending anyone and encourage unity – is with food. Food, that content that is universally non-controversial. Food, the way I used to connect with others before I had an online profile. Food, when I think about it, prepare it, and put it out there for my family and friends I don’t worry about how many thumbs up “Likes” or comments it will generate, I see, and can touch, smiles on pink-cheeked faces and twinkles in wide-open eyes.

Those affirmations, I insist, are the best form of communication. Those responses are things I need to know.

Logging off now.









Smantha Gianulis

Samantha recently released my her family food memoir, Little Grapes on the Vine…Mommy's Musings on Food & Family .

Samantha is a self-taught chef. She worked in the Catering and Special Events industry for seven years before becoming a stay at home, now a work at home, Mom.
She appeared on NBC's ivillage Live.

Smantha Gianulis

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https://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2016/04/chicken-curry.jpghttps://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2016/04/chicken-curry-150x150.jpgSmantha GianulisApron Strings Cooking ColumnActivities for Kids,Cooking and Recipes,Emotional and Social Well-being,Families Online MagazineApron Strings by Samatha Gianulis It started with good intentions the way most potential disasters do. I was invited to join Facebook by the publisher of a literary magazine for which I edited. Slow Cooker Yellow  Curry Chicken I'd scribble this down on the back of a team roster or grocery list...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids