As Time Goes By

This post is probably due to the holiday season. That time of year when everyone, regardless of their feelings, comes together in a semblance of "family". I apologize in advance for sounding a bit down in spirit. I've tried to make this blog more positive than when I began it. But sometimes that just doesn't work. Sorry.

This is also possibly the result of feelings for my beloved Frost who died at 2:06 a.m. one year ago today. I don't know, I have Blue to keep me company now but somehow it's not quite the same. Siberians are very unique creatures. They are fully cognizant that "they are not dogs" even if they look like dogs. Maybe it's having had that breed for 30 plus years. Whatever the case, I really miss Frost. She was a wonderful companion as were all the other loved ones.
Frost in her favorite corner of the yard wearing her holiday finery. xox

Labels: ,


Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

Well, I've recovered enough to sit for short periods at a time, hence this post. I also got myself pulled together enough to cook Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday. It was stunningly delicious. Oh, and my plans to use a Roaster Chicken vs. a Turkey went poof when I found out that by spending $25 at a store, which I was already doing, I could get a 10-pound "Butterball" turkey for $8! Cheaper than the Roaster would have been!

I made the entire bag of the wonderful Pepperidge Farms cubed stuffing. Obviously it was more than the bird could hold, so I buttered an aluminum "throw-away" loaf pan and put the balance of the dressing in it. I dotted it with butter and covered it with foil and set it aside. In searching for turkey tips on the net, I found one important piece of kitchen info:  put the extra dressing in the oven one half hour before the turkey will be done. Sounds so simple, so elementary but when I was married I could never figure out how Mr. Cook could totally dry out the the casserole filled with the extra dressing. Duh. He put it in as long as the bird. Four or more hours are not neccessary to heat the extra dressing. I was so tickled. My extra dressing came out beautifully though not quite as moist as the stuff in the turkey. The turkey took exactly as long as the directions predicted, three and one half hours.

One can tell one doesn't cook much that's complicated because just after putting the turkey in the oven, it suddenly dawned on me that I needed to baste it with something. So I put half a stick of butter in a small pan plus 1 teaspoon each of dried thyme and oregano. To that I added some kosher salt and about half a teaspoon of dried sage (with the parking lot fall on Wednesday, all thoughts of fresh herbs went out the window). I basted the bird with this about every 20 minutes or so and it came out a stunningly bronzed bird. Gorgeous and yummy!

I toyed with the idea of making a side dish and gravy to go along with the turkey and dressing but decided that all I really, really wanted was the bird and stuffing. I saved the drippings from the pan so today or tomorrow, I'll make gravy and mashed potatoes with fresh green beans to accompany the turkey. After that I'll slice some to freeze for sandwiches. Thanksgiving turkey on bread with catsup is my favorite sandwich on earth. Well, it may tie with turkey on a dinner roll with mayo and topped with fresh basil leaves. The balance will go into a casserole. I found several good ones on food blogs. Then the bones will turn into turkey stock for soup.

Sounding pretty energetic aren't I? The casserole recipe I'm thinking of is from Kalyn's Kitchen and is titled "Brown Rice Casserole Recipe with Leftover Turkey (or chicken), Mushrooms, Sour Cream, Cheese and Thyme". Does that not sound wonderfully delicious? Kalyn's Kitchen is a lovely blog with recipes that work with the South Beach Diet (she's not affiliated, just has great recipes) which is the only diet that ever worked for me and at this point is just the way I eat most of the time. Anyway, check out her blog! Oh, and she has a recipe for turkey breast in a crock pot that I just may have to try. I'd hoped to email her to ask permission to use the photo of her casserole, but the email bounced back, so to be sure and check the casserole recipe link for the photo.

Labels: , ,



As you get older, you get less stable on your feet it seems...at least to me. Yesterday I ran the last few (like 3) errands before going home for the balance of the holiday. Unfortunately this last errand will be the third time in less than two weeks that I have fallen in broad daylight. So I want to tell you that I won't be writing anymore posts for a while since walking and sitting are almost impossible. I am, for a while, stuck in bed on my left side. It's the only part of my body I can lay on without pain.

Sorry to be a bummer, but it hurts. Will be back on the blog when I can move vs. crawl. Hope you have a very thankful Thanksgiving.

Just in case you're wondering, I'm very thankful I didn't break any bones. Love and best wishes to you all!



Countdown to T-Day and Beyond

Since Turkey Day was rapidly approaching, I spent an inordinate amount of time researching cooking and stuffing Roasters which are bigger, therefore older and potentially tougher than everyday Fryers. I so very much DO NOT want to relive last Thanksgiving's utter failure!

I'm debating using a turkey cooking bag, or treating it like a turkey and basting it. Just like a turkey, if it starts getting to brown before my instant read thermometer says "done", tenting it with foil.

 I know for sure that when I pick the Roaster up, I'll be getting a bunch of fresh sage. Regardless of roasting technique, my plan calls for lifting the skin on the breast, away from the meat (don't remove it) and elsewhere and sliding sage leaves under with a little softened butter. Another technique that I found on several sites may involve getting the bird all set and doing this followed with a few hours uncovered in the fridge. This will supposedly help crisp the skin when it's finally cooked. Check here for more info and video on crispy skin from Cook's Illustrated.

Yes, I know it's rather a lot to go through for one person, but if you don't take care of and treat yourself well, then who will? I think that's one of the things I've learned in the last four and one half years of waiting to get divorced. In the end, all one has is one's self. And how you treat yourself may determine how you come out on the other side of a bad situation. To quote Cher (something I've never done before, but apropos for this moment)..."we all sleep alone".

So if you're alone on a holiday, don't give in to the malaise of depression, which is definitely easier "said" than "done" but think of it as a gift to yourself. Try to find something you could enjoy about the holiday (it doesn't have to be big) and do it. I'm already thinking about Christmas and what I can do to make that day special for me. It shouldn't necessarily involve spending a lot of money either. Last year I knit one thing for everyone in my family, five in all. I wrapped them just so in cellophane with multiple holiday colored bows from my ribbon collection which I may start selling on Etsy very soon. I'll never get through all the vintage and unusual ribbons and lace I've collected by the time I leave this planet! I decided to wrap the gifts in cellophane because a lot of work went into knitting those babies so why cover them with wrapping paper? Plus, cost-wise, all I had to buy was cellophane, everything else was in my "stash"!

But I digress. I think this year could involve some jewelry making among other things. I'll keep you posted. And do take good care of yourself in the upcoming days, you're worth the effort! Really!!

Labels: , , ,


It's a Miracle

You'll recall from this post, that I could not find my tried and true Pepperidge Farm Cube Seasoned Stuffing.

Today I walked into two stores and almost fell over! There was the stuffing of my past. I bought two bags immediately! Heaven....

All that's left to get for my little Thanksgiving meal will be a Foster Farm Roaster which I'll pick up on Monday or Tuesday. I'm so happy that I will not have to fight the traditional Thanksgiving shopping hoards. So very happy now that I have "the dressing". I know, my posts aren't riveting and exciting but for someone who lives alone in the fifth year of trying to get divorced from the spouse of 34+ years, this is true happiness. It's magnificence for someone who is living in limbo. I take the smallest of little highlights as a gift of grace and am truly thankful for those moments.

What are you thankful for this year?

Labels: , , ,



Last night and this morning we had some lovely rains. Nice, steady and long. Just what So Cal needs. Now the sun is out and everything is shiny and sparkly clean. A few big puffy white clouds in the sky and sunlight twinkling through all the leaves on nearby trees as the sun slowly sets.

I hope everyone enjoyed yesterday's post via Posie Gets Cozy with the great dog moving adventure cartoon from Allie of Hyperbole and a Half!

Labels: , ,


Storm Warnings, Cookies & Posie

The local weather prognosticators are beside themselves with delight. In the land of sunshine, a storm has arrived and another one will be following right on the heels of this one. Of course they have to hype it up declaring "winter storm watch", "possibly lightening and thunder" and "heavy rains". Well, so far, there's been rain, but not heavy by Midwestern standards. A nice rain, more than drizzle but less than stormy.

Of course this means Mr. Blue is extremely reluctant to set a paw out on the wet ground. If it's actually raining, there's no hope of getting him within ten feet of the back door. Between rain showers, I've had luck throwing a little "treat" out and twice now he's actually gone out and gotten it...and better yet, did what he needed to do. Of course upon coming back in the house, he gets another treat. So we're looking at a happy pupp-let. The cookies he gets are Newman's Own Organic Dog Treats. I was introduced to them by the neighbor across the street with her 3 little boys when I first got Blue.
According to the advertising "Paul Newman treats are made with nothing but natural, wholesome ingredients like organic barley flour, organic carrots and organic apples. Our formulas contain no wheat, corn or soy products. The heart shape is perfect as a training reward. Convenient resealable package keeps treats fresh and tasty. Offered in a variety of flavors." 

They come in small and medium. I usually break the medium size in half when I can't find a bag of the small size cookies. Since I don't want to goof up his digestive track with all different flavors, I've pretty much stayed with the chicken flavor. (No affiliation, just "Blue Approved") The typical retail price for a bag is $3.49 although I did see them at Ralph's for $3.99 and didn't purchase any. A bag of either size usually last about two weeks or so.

Just the other day Alicia Paulson over at Posie Gets Cozy posted this link from Allie of Hyperbole and a Half. I hope Alicia won't mind me sharing because the author/artist is spot on with the drawings and description of the traumas of moving one's animals. The post was so hysterical that I laughed till I was crying! It was that funny! (Well, either that or I was slap happy from being unable to fall asleep!) Enjoy and also check out Alicia's blog, I appreciate her style of writing and quality photos immensely. And who could not love her little Corgi Clover Meadow with friends the Bee (aka Bridget) and Violet?

Labels: , ,


Very Soon

At least 12 plus avocados. Very hard to see against a white-out sky.
Very soon I will be inundated with avocados. As I've mentioned in the past, half of a huge avocado tree hangs in my yard. It's a beautiful tree and this year is loaded, really loaded. It's such a shame though. I like avocados, they however, don't like me. As I mentioned in a past post, I became very ill on some guacamole in a great little Mexican restaurant years ago, so I end up giving this treasure trove away by the bagfull. After some research on it I found out it's a Fuerte avocado, not a Reed. It's super creamy and everyone who's tried them loves the texture and flavor. Fuertes also have quite a bit more "meat" than the Hass that are commonly found in the grocery. I was out in the yard yesterday and looked up at the brach directly above me. There had to be over a dozen fruits hanging in very small area. Between the pecan tree and this, it's no wonder the squirrels are such plump little beasts! Here are a few photos of what I'm about to be bombarded with!

This is just one innocent little avocado, but he has friends, many, many friends.

Labels: ,


A Classic

Yesterday I made my mom's recipe for Chicken and Dumplings for dinner. It was so good! I mentioned how good her recipe is a while back but I didn't include the recipe. So here it is; sorry no pictures, I need to play with the white settings or something on my camera because the pics I took were not at all appealing. 

Dot's Chicken and Dumpling Stew

3-4 chicken breasts with bones
3-4 celery stalks, rough chopped
3-4 carrots, rough chopped
2 medium to large onions, rough chopped (I like onions, if you don’t, use more of the carrots and celery)
1 can of peas, drained (Le Sueur canned peas are my choice; tried others and frozen but zip)
1/4 teaspoon of pepper (more if you like pepper)
6 quart Dutch oven

Put chicken in pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil.  Then add onion, celery, carrots and pepper. Add 3 Tablespoons of Wyler’s Chicken crystals. I prefer the crystals to cube bullion. Personally I think the cubes have a very flat, cardboard like taste.

Cook on medium heat (simmer), stirring occasionally, until tender or approximately one hour. At this point, taste for seasoning. If it needs more chicken flavor add crystals by the teaspoon, let dissolve, taste. I don’t add any salt since the crystals have enough for my taste.

Remove chicken breasts to a plate and cover with foil. In a small bowl add 1/4 cup broth from pot, about the same amount of ice and 2 Tablespoons of Wondra or regular flour in a small mixing bowl; adding flour slowly while whisking to avoid lumps. Ice will melt as you do this. Pour this mixture gradually into pot, stirring constantly. My Dutch oven was about half full with liquid so I repeated the flour, ice and broth procedure again. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer. You should notice the broth thickening. Depending on many factors, I’ve added the mixture only once and as many as three times to achieve the consistency I’m looking for which is a light and creamy not heavy gravy. Gently fold in peas. Return chicken breasts to the pot. You may remove any loose bones (chicken will be hot) before putting the chicken in the pot if you wish; just makes it neater when serving.

For the dumplings, follow the recipe on the box of Bisquick (or make from scratch if you prefer). Turn the stew up to boiling. Once it’s boiling drop spoonfuls of dough for the dumplings and cover pot. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes per directions on box. Remove lid and continue. I turned the heat up a little after removing lid so the stew would stay at a simmer. To serve, spoon one or two dumplings and a chicken breast to a warmed plate. Spoon vegetables and gravy over both.

You can doctor this all different ways if you wish. I never do, since the simple “chicken-y” taste is what I love. Perfect comfort food for cool weather!

If you want to see a load of chicken and dumpling photos that are way better than what I took, click here.

Labels: ,



The first year alone, I was still in married mode and cooked an 18 pound turkey. Duh. It came out great but really was sooo much work and overkill for one human. The one dark spot that holiday (other than Thanksgiving alone) was using the only dressing locally available, Mrs. Cubbisons. Eouw, mush and cardboard tasting. The next year, I repeated the same turkey overkill but was lucky enough to find O.N.E. store that had Pepperidge Farms seasoned cube dressing. Delicious!! Still too much turkey.

The following year I cooked nothing special and was bummed. You know all about last year's Thanksgiving-turkey-breast-slow-cooker-failure. So I have been searching for what to make this year. Luckily I saw one of the stores in area was having roasting chickens (vs. the usual fryers that are available) on sale for $1.19/lb. Since these birds weigh in at 6 to 8 pounds (fryers are usually 3-4 pounds) they're perfect for stuffing and serving one person with just enough left overs for another dinner and sandwich or two.

Since childhood my mom's and then my "go-to" stuffing has been Pepperidge Farms seasoned cubes. The cubes hold up well under cooking and don't turn to mush. Well, this year, every store has had PF dressing on sale but not the cubes. They've been carrying the ground up bread crumb style. Aka:  Mush.
My mom picked this up one year by mistake and never heard the end of "mush dressing". So I've been quite annoyed and puzzled as to why all the stores went gung-ho on the mush version. 

As a result, I've been searching on line for a good stuffing recipe with sage, thyme, celery, onions and bread for the most part. Nothing fancy. No sausage, chestnuts, cornbread or apples. In my search I've found quite a few but they all include one or two eggs which I don't really feel comfortable including in something that's going to cook inside poultry. So if anyone reading this has any, what I would call classic Midwestern, stuffing recipes, I'd love some recipe suggestions. 

Labels: , ,


Green Tomatoes and Guilt

I know in recent posts I complained that it was still unduly hot in November. Next time I say something like that, slap me! Yesterday I was freezing. It was all of 62F in the house. Being outside this morning to plant my sweet pea seeds required not just my leather palm and cloth tops garden gloves but the full blown all leather ones! It also entailed pulling up the last of the volunteer tomato plants and weeding around the gardenia bushes, a bit more work than I planned on. I have never met such a generous plant as this tomato. I pull up 4 volunteers, 3 more appear, pull up those and five more appear! It's crazy. This is the tomato "Champion" which has tough skin and isn't that great taste-wise so I didn't want to be bothered with it this year. But it persisted despite me. The darn plants have a dozen 1-2 inch tomatoes on them which I know from experience will not ripen no matter what I do to them and I have no desire to can 12 little fruits.

In one of my past jobs, there was a man who loved fried green tomatoes, so every fall he was delighted with the garden "left-overs". This is where the ghost of my mother who lived through the first depression appears shaking her head as I throw the tomatoes away. Oh well, I guess I'll just be wasteful because I'm not going to try to do anything with these 12 little guys. Oh, the baggage we can carry.
Such a sad little plot of land. I really need to toss some flower seeds in this Spring.



Chocolate & Zucchini

A few days ago (11/5/10 to be exact) I wrote about a food blog called Chocolate & Zucchini that I'm fond of. I also emailed its author Clotilde Dusoulier for permission to post a few of her desktop calendar pictures. She kindly agreed and so I'll share a few with you now. First is Nov. 2010:
Next is the one that currently resides on my desktop. I love the bright yellow although the confection above might just tempt me to replace it.

I love mussels. The first time I tasted them was when I visited my penpal in Holland years ago. Her recipe was so utterly simple. Even today, when I see or taste them, I'm swept back in time and see myself in her home seated at their table, enjoying the ambiance that surrounded me. So as you can imagine, this image stayed on my desktop for quite a while.
Next is another reminder of my trips to Europe. Always a magical time!
The following picture reminds me of all the wonderful outdoor markets for food, flowers, antiques and so on throughout Europe.
So take a look at her site, there's a lot there to enjoy! Her most recent blog entry from Nov. 9 had a multigrain starter bread recipe that I'm tempted to try. It's from another blog (looks like a blog worth investigating...bread making) which you'll find here with her variations to the recipe added. This is the  problem with reading blogs...one leads to another and another and what can I say, suddenly it's time to dream up something for dinner.

On second thought, I just read the multigrain recipe and found it required sour dough starter which is a bit out of my comfort zone so I think I'll go back to the no knead bread recipes I found here and here the other day. I think they're more my speed.

Labels: ,


Fall Planting

Well, I had the best of plans to plant sweet peas by the chain link fence in October and now it's November! Eek, time flies! So I'm dropping the seeds I have from last year into some water for the night and tomorrow I will plant them. It takes so little effort and the results are so lovely. Here's a pic or three of sweet peas from two years ago.

Aren't they just lovely? So delicate and nostalgic looking....



A Scent of Winter

Today has a definite "wintery" smell to it. There's a chill in the air and my mind reels back to sixth grade in winter. The school building was old even then and at the back of everyroom was an authentic "cloak closet". It covered the entire back wall and louver-type opening doors without the louvers for ventilation. The closet wall was covered with hooks for coats to hang while class went on. Back then, we didn't change class rooms for each subject or period. The nun or teacher in that room taught everything. So when it snowed on the walk to school you can imagine 50-60 (yes, classes were big and the nuns ruled with an iron fist thinly veiled as a velvet glove) wet, wool winter coats hanging in the closed closet plus wool mittens and hats and scarves...all melting. Today's air has a bit of that scent to it. Wet wool.

When I had Siberian Huskies, I got to "enjoy" that fragrant memory about twice a year when we gave the kids a bath. Siberians fur is very clean and doesn't have the oils and dander like most dogs so bathing is not encouraged and can really dry their skin. Poodles fall into this catagory too although I don't know about the bathing part for them. It's utterly remarkable how much a wet Siberian can smell like wet wool!

In the midwest, there's a distinct smell after a snow fall. If you haven't experienced it, it's very hard to describe. But that's also kind of what today smells like. Usually, I don't smell "winter" in California. I know many people don't even "see" winter in So Cal. For some reason I do though.

Labels: ,


Blue's Blog Entry

Since it was a lovely day with clouds floating in between the sunshine, I bounced up and down while Mom was cleaning the yard. I reached up her leg and pleaded to play ball. She's not real keen on playing ball with me she says because I don't get the idea of fetch. What she doesn't know is that I understand perfectly well what fetch means but it gets terribly boring so I liven it up by making her try to get the ball back. She isn't impressed with my game of fetch. Of course maybe there's the thing with the missing blue ball. Last week, she got tired of chasing me and went inside, leaving me with the ball.  Now the ball is missing...how is that my fault I ask you?
"Okay, we're outside now so throw the ball. Pleeeeeease! I promise to bring it back!"

"Here I am speedily bringing the ball back."
"Now we'll play my way, note how I balance the ball on my paws so I know where it is at all times."
"I hear something..."
"...it's Mom trying to sneak up on me and get my ball!'
"No, I'm not giving you my ball! I have plans for it!"
"Like ripping all the fuzz off it"
"You can't fool me with tummy rubs, you're just trying to sneak up on me and steal my ball!"
"All in all, a good day to play!"

Labels: ,


A Little Bit of Everything

Being on a tight budget, I always look at the Tuesday and Wednesday grocery store fliers. This week's ads had a load of turkey offers! I'm sorry, but isn't Thanksgiving a few weeks off, like more than 2 weeks away? I wonder how many people have room in their freezer for a big bird until that time?

I've also noticed prices on everything going up for the last few months. The $1.79/lb. beef shank at Stater Bros. is $1.99 now. Last night there was a news clip on just this...food prices rising. I remember when I was part of a couple, having a steak at least once a month. I don't think I've had a steak for over two years. Rather remarkable when I think about it. I'm pretty much a chicken, salad and beans with rice kind of gal lately with the occasional sandwich thrown in. That could also explain my fascination with food blogs lately.

One food blog called Chocolate and Zucchini has a new foodie desktop calendar that you can download once a month. If you go to her blog, one the left hand side under "Archives by Category" you'll find "Desktop Calendars". There you can enjoy a slew of great pics for your desk top. I fell in love with July 2010's bright yellow zucchini photo so I haven't changed it. I find it very cheery. Though I may be tempted by November's lovely French confection!  The photos are always well styled and a pleasure to view! The blog itself is very informative and her recipes are intriguing. The entry for Oct. 26 had Cep(e) and Walnut Pizza. It was garnished with freshly picked mushrooms; can you imagine? I forgot to mention that she (Clotilde) lives in France and has a cookbook which is on my Christmas wish list. For more information go to my 11/10/10 entry.

Labels: , ,


Roller Coasters

Well, we are supposed to hit 93F today which means more like the high 90's for this area. Yesterday it was 99F and then we're to drop to 85F and 77F by Saturday. I guess the weather hasn't gotten the message that it's November!! Enough already.

Speaking of roller coasters, I think those are my favorite rides at theme parks. I remember class trips to Muskego Lake amusement park in grade school and high school. You can keep the ferris wheels (too scary) and the Wild Mouse just give me the earth shattering speed of a roller coaster flying through the air. There was something special about the old time amusement parks vs. today's. When I think of them, I feel a nostalgia for times and innocence lost. And while I realize change is the only constant, I still miss the time of rotary dial phones, vinyl albums, poodle skirts (thank heavens I just missed that fad) and the days when getting the mail meant something other than junk mail.

Labels: ,


A New Site to Visit

Did you ever wonder what to wear for a particular event but have no one to ask? Wonder if you can get away with the long dress look when you're 5' tall? Well, that's were "Lookville" comes in. Daphne's recent email to me explained "We started our site Lookville.com not too long ago. It's a place for people to have discussions, share tips, and ask questions about fashion." 

I liked the idea of submitting a pic of an outfit for comments. I could have used this on a recent job interview. Instead I emailed my poor brother 6 photos of outfits to get some feedback (he's fashion forward, so I knew I'd get good advice). Still, I'm sure he would have gladly been spared being my stylist. 

They started a blog recently which features different designers and their fashions. I always like to see new (to me) designers thoughts. Anyhow, it's a nice concept so give it a look! I think you'll enjoy it!

Labels: ,


Chick on a Stick

It seems that this is fast becoming a food oriented blog. Of course, I think it's the cool weather that's arrived. A whole summer without heavy comfort foods that require turning on the oven has a lot to do with it too. However, after my last two cooking failures, I'm pulling back to basics from my past. Tonight I'm making Chick on a Stick which pretty failure proof. There'll also be a side of asparagas with Parmesan.

If you've never tried a vertical roaster, you've missed an excellent way to cook chicken AND get crispy skin! (If you don't know what it is just Google "vertical roaster".) Start with a nice little chicken and a about a dozen good size sprigs of fresh thyme. Wash the chicken and remove the "last over the fence" and as much of the fat as you can. Next you'll carefully loosen and separate the skin from the flesh by sliding your fingers between the two (do not remove the skin). After doing the back and breast areas continue to reach around loosening the skin from the legs. Now take the sprigs of thyme (thyme and chicken go particularly well together) and insert them all over the chicken under it's skin and in the cavity. Fold the wings back and place bird on the vertical roaster which has been sprayed with something like Pam. Put in an unheated oven or grill and turn the temperature to 475-500 F. When the oven or grill reach temperature, set your timer for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes turn the roaster a complete 180 degrees and cook 10 more minutes. If it's on the grill it may flame so be cautious. At this point the bird should be turning a nice deep brown. This varies depending on your grill or oven.

I left it in on high for almost 30 minutes one time. Once you have a deep crispy looking brown, turn the temp down to about 325-350 F. Cook until instant read thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh is 160 F. If I've cooked the bird in the oven, I began by putting the roaster in a 9? x 13" pan which makes taking the fat filled roaster out much easier. When I remove the chicken from the grill I have the same pan on hand. I stick a fork on each side of the bird, picking it and the roaster up as one placing it in the pan. Let sit tented with foil for a few minutes. I use two forks to get the chicken off the roaster; one to hold the roaster down and one to pull the chicken upward. If there's a lot of hot grease in the bottom of the roaster I lift bird and roaster out of pan with the original two forks and drain it for safety. Place on cutting board and carve away.

I recently watched an episode of Cooks Country America's Test Kitchen on PBS where they cooked the chicken this way but on a half full beer can sans the thyme. You can watch the episode here. They did rub the chicken before cooking with baking soda or powder and let it cool in the fridge uncovered for about an hour to further crisp the skin. I probably won't bother with that because I'm quite pleased with the current method I'm using.

Note:  you can also use fresh rosemary, oregano, marjoram, sage or a mixture of these under the skin. Just don't get too carried away with the sage, it can lean to the bitter side. Also, if putting a chicken in a cold oven worries you, just crank it up and pop it in after temperature is reached. Enjoy!


At Long Last

Finally, no more acidic political ads! It's been a long haul. The mute button and I became good friends. While visiting a blog called "Time Goes By" yesterday I came across some pithy quotes on politics in general and I thought I'd share:

"Fifty percent of people won't vote, and fifty percent don't read newspapers. I hop it's the same fifty percent."  by Gore Vidal

"We'd all lik t'vote for th' best man, but he's never a candidate."  by Kin Hubbard

"Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote."  by William E. Simon

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - both commonly succeed, and are right."  by H. L. Mencken

Personally I thought the last one pretty much covered the California race for governor. Just my humble opinion, so you needn't make any remarks. I'm just so flippin' sick of the ads!!

Labels: ,


Day of the Dead

I'm not a big fan of Halloween, not sure why. But I'm fond of Day of the Dead which falls on November 1. While traveling in Italy a few years ago, I was in the Greve in Chianti region of Tuscany on that day.

I couldn't figure out why there were so many parked cars around a church I wanted to see. Parked four blocks away and as I approached the church, I found out why. There in the church's old cemetery were dozens of families gathered around the graves of loved ones. Some had brought dinners, others were toasting with wine. Many had photos. Somehow it was a very comforting sight. I think there's something reassuring about thinking about people who have passed out of this life. I've found with time, I tend to remember the good moments and not so much the bad. Keeping just the good memories, makes it easier to go on without a special person. The loss stings a bit less.

The first anniversary of Frost's passing is coming up at the end of November, maybe that's what made me think of death. Or maybe it's my brother's fascination with graveyards as we grew up. I don't know, but I find the rituals associated with it very comforting.

Labels: , ,