It started out so well. I had my new dough wisk that I had gotten from my not so secret sister. Thank you Christine. Yeah, that "Secret Sisterd" thing is a whole OTHER story. Anyhow, I love this tool. I think it is my new favorite kitchen utensil. Thank you Christine Burns Rudalevige!
I even just happened to have Charnushka. Who has Charnushka laying around the house raise your hand.
This recipe comes from my pal Cathy Barrow and you can get the recipe here. I even had her texting me to cheer me on. So, I was blissfully ignorant baking away. Smug was my middle name. Wait, no it wasn't. You know what it is like to be in the "zone". I was in the zone. I was dancing to my own drummer and I thought nothing could go wrong. Wait....
Um, yeah. Getting chilly outside, no? Ugh... I burnt it. I mean the top is kinda fine. I covered it with foil but...
This will just have to be my "Pain Noir" phase in baking. I still am not sure what party is going on inside these puppies.
Oh, here is the crumb. It looks like sourdough. I wave the red star (get it? that is the name of yeast. I really crack myself up). So, I think that the bread thing eludes me. Oprah can have this loaf.
And this sums it up.
I have been an absent blogger. I decided to stop putting my attention on food. I actually decided that I wanted to go down to my "good weight" I wanted to be healthy. I have now lost the 50lbs that I gained. I am down to my good weight. I know that food and blogs can be healthy but that isn't what I wanted. Food has started to bore me. However, cooking doesn't bore me so I am in a quandary. So, what did I do? I got a puppy. Her name is Ruby. She is an amazing dog and I am so glad she is ours..
I am going to write down my feelings about the election. I don't normally just write. I have to do so. I have ranted and raved over the whole Trump thing. I felt my heart race with anger just seeing him on TV. I said things that my dear Dr. Food even lifted an eyebrow to (and that takes a LOT from the man that has lived with me for 16 years). I was despondent when the subhuman won. I was. HOWEVER.... I have gotten to the point in my life that I have the new philosophy that if you don't participate I don't want to hear the whining. I know I know, how dare I? I know you are entitled to your anger. I know. However, if you are not willing to take action and get involved in your community or help someone who doesn't have as much. Stand up for human rights. DO SOMETHING. If you aren't willing to do this then I think you are a hypocrite. There, I said it. I think the people yelling the loudest are the ones that are behind the computers giving all the opinions and doing nothing. Do SOMETHING. I don't care if it is talking to your elderly neighbor. Offering your time to a lonely person. Donating money is great and much needed but what about your time? You willing to put in time for the good of the whole? We will see.
I am personally volunteering my time and will add even more time to do so. I will also donate to different charities this year. I will be more thoughtful. I will be better. That is the only way I can think of to be part of the solution. I am really embarrassed by this country and the way we have handled this election. It makes me want to barf.
At one time I had this boyfriend that said to me "I love you but I hate your pants". This stuck in my head all these years. I thought to myself "he hates my pants he hates me". Really crazy thinking but this is my brain we are talking about. Here are the pants that I spent months knitting. Will I wear them? Of course!
I am now working on this vest. No bad boyfriend ever said "Love you but hate your vest" It is a pattern by Carol Sunday. Softest yarn I have knit with in a long time. I love how it feels to knit with.
No eggs yet. I am thinking that I got the kind of chickens that don't lay eggs. They better get started or they will become dinner.
Slow-Roasted Chicken with Sausage and Porcini DressingPaula Wolfert
1 whole organic, free-range chicken (about 4 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 ounce dried porcini (1 cup)
Pinch of sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons rendered duck fat
1 small leek (white part only), finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
4 ounces fresh pork sausage, casing removed, and chopped
1/4 cup chopped dry sausage, such as Boar's Head Abruzzi-style pork sausage; or substitute 1/4 cup finely chopped prosciutto
9 large garlic cloves - 8 chopped, 1 minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups diced stale white peasant bread, crust removed
1/3 cup milk
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Rinse the chicken thoroughly inside and out and pat dry. (Remove the neck and giblets and reserve for stock.) Starting at the neck, loosen the skin and with kitchen scissors, cut off about 1 1/2 inches of the backbone. Generously sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper, cover with paper towels, and refrigerate.
2. Soak the dried porcini with a pinch of sugar in 2 cups warm water to soften, 2 to 3 hours. Drain the mushrooms, straining the liquid through a coffee filter or paper toweling. Rinse the mushrooms briefly and finely chop. Set aside the mushrooms and soaking liquid separately.
3. In a medium skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the duck fat over medium-low heat. Add the leek, carrot, and onion; cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the porcini mushrooms, fresh and dry sausage, and chopped garlic. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until caramelized here and there, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom liquid; raise the heat to high and cook, stirring often, until the liquid is syrupy and glazed, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer until it is absorbed, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let cool.
4. Toss the bread with the milk and let soften. Combine the bread paste with the mushroom-sausage mixture and blend well. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Pack the stuffing into a 10-inch baking dish greased with duck fat. Cover with foil and refrigerate. (The dressing can be prepared up to 1 day in advance.)
5. About 3 hours before serving, remove the chicken and the dressing from the refrigerator and let stand for 45 minutes. Set an oven rack on the lowest rung and preheat the oven to 375°F.
6. Stir 1 cup water into the dressing. Rub the chicken with duck fat and season generously with salt and pepper. Carefully position the chicken on a vertical roaster with the legs facing up and set in the baking dish above the dressing. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 200°F. and roast for about 1 hour longer, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 150° to 155°F.
7. Raise the oven temperature to 400°F and continue roasting until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160°F, about 15 minutes longer.
8. Remove the chicken and dressing from the oven. Use oven mitts to carefully lift the chicken off the vertical roaster; cover with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. Press down on the dressing to express excess fat and discard. Spread the dressing onto a heatproof serving dish and cover with foil.
9. Carve the chicken into 6 or 8 serving pieces. Arrange the chicken pieces over the dressing and return to the oven to reheat, uncovered, to finish cooking, crisping and browning the birds, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and the minced garlic and serve at once.
Sometimes I just need to write to let it out. I never really know what "it" is. Get what out? It isn't a thought. I am trying to let go of thoughts. You know what I mean. The rumination about things that aren't productive to anything. Yeah, those. What do I do when I get like this? (which is 99% of the time) I usually knit. Knitting has saved me from so many things. It is the one place I can go and not a thought has to stay. It can blow away because I am counting. Not like OCD counting but like knitting counting.
I can not remember a time when I didn't knit. It is something that is just part of who I am. So why should you care? I don't know. I hope you all have something that you have the same passion for. In those times that knock you down it will get you through.
I remember where I lived and what was happening with every piece. This piece was done while sitting around the house waiting for Dr. Food to find a job. I sat there day after day knitting on this waiting for any glimmer of hope.
I will never forget what my life was like when I look at these pants. They represent so much to me right now. I am thankful that I can make these time capsules of my life. Don't worry, I won't go to the grocery store in these. They just are here to make me smile.
We went to Portland Maine for my birthday. We had a wonderful time. We got to have a wonderful lunch with our friend Christine. We also had our friends come up (and they were nice enough to drive to Portland to be with us). Dinner at Fore St was really good.
We did some shopping. We even bought Tchatkes from the local prison. This is a bird house. I hope some bird uses it.
That is nothing. See that chicken at the top of this post? I have been eyeing that chicken for years. Every time we go to Portland I ask for that chicken. I negotiated this time. I told Dr. Food that if I didn't get that chicken this time that I would never cook him dinner again. Wait, that part is a fib, Aren't I an amazing negotiator? I didn't even read the book.
Chickens have always been a theme for me. I bought this as a good luck chicken for the first house that Dr. Food and I lived in when we were in San Jose, Ca. I just noticed that I really have been collecting chickens. Didn't even realize it.
This is a birdhouse too. I never put it outside because I didn't want birds pooping on it.
This guy was a gift from my friends Monte and Peter. They put it in the window of my shop. It is years and years old now and I really can't part with it. I think it may have lice. Don't tell Dr. Food.
This is the oldest chicken paraphernalia.
Uh, I might not have closed the door too well when I went to go get food and water for the "girls". We haven't let them out. We have now. They love roaming free.
It was like a jail break. They were free at last. I sat there and watched them for about 30 minutes. I find the sounds they make so relaxing. Now if they would just start laying damn eggs and it would stop raining.
This is Leonardo. Hey, I didn't name her. Someone I love named her. No, not Dr. Food. He named his Chicken "Bossy". Really? I think he should have named his chicken Hydrogen or Kinase or something scientific. Bossy. I named my girl (well they are really all mine) I named her "Schmutz". Last but not least there is Bok Bok. My x boss named her that. I mean he named her that and he isn't even my boss anymore. I call her BB because she is MY bird.
They all went back in. I like being a Chicken Wrangler.
In case you didn't hear, I got chickens. I did. I only had 3 prerequisites.
1. Hardy in cold weather.
2. Lay LOTS of eggs
3. Not broody
Ok, I had four prerequisites. I didn't want fancy chickens. I just want chickens. Hard working girls that all get along.
Chickens. I have always loved chickens. When I think of chickens I think of this...
I think that the reason I love chickens is I grew up with this every morning in school.