More Than One Way to Cook a Chicken.

So over the last several years I have been feeling pressed to do better on food choices and were my food comes from. Years ago I started organic gardening, and that has evolved into so many other areas. But today I wanted to have a quick post on what I did with a chicken I obtained locally from a nearby farmer. This chicken did cost more than say your grocery store chicken. But considering it was raised on pasture and not in a dark warehouse in a cubicle, and the fact that it was fed an organic diet I think constitutes its higher price. So here we go.

I wanted to cook this chicken rotisserie style but had no rottisserie. So I opted just for my oven. After de-thawing it and rinsing under a cold faucet I put it in a glass casserole dish.
I learned  a few months ago that wet skin on a chicken before baking will make its skin when finished rubbery and soft. I did not want that so I patted it down well with a dry paper towel. This way the seasonings will stick better and you will get that crispy flesh I was after.

Then I took some herbs from the garden– Thyme, Oregano and Sage. And stuffed it right between the chickens breast and skin. It looks a little funny. But let me tell you it’s good eats. That and a little “rottiserie style seasoning on top and it’s oven-ready.

I cooked the chicken for a little over an hour at 400f. While it was cooking I made some Basmati Brown rice. You could use whatever rice you like. We just love Basmati. After it came out we had it all on a plate and we even drizzled some of the chicken fat over the rice.

Very, very, good. So after we were finished we had about half a chicken left. And half a pan of rice. So what’s one to do? Chicken Soup of course! So today As I write this I smell the wonderful aroma. Here is the break down.

Right after you have devoured all you could of the chicken the first time around. Take what’s left and de-bone it. If you wait to do this when its cold it will take longer. But do what is easiest for you. But whatever you do– do not throw the bones out! You will need those a little later.
After you have it all ready [I had a bowl of the meat and another bowl for the bones] scoop that chicken fat out of the casserole dish and put it with your bones. Now you can either put the whole concoction of bowls in the fridge or you can cook soup with it right away. I waited and made soup two days later.

And now for making the soup.

First thing I did was drag out the crockpot. I placed the setting to low. Then I put the bowl I had of chicken and made narrow strips of it. I brought out two long celery stalks and diced them up. I then put the chicken and the celery in the crockpot  along with the leftover rice with about four cups of water.

I covered the crockpot then I pulled out a pot with a metal strainer. I put the chicken bones along with the fat in the pot and filled it to just covering the bones.

I then heated the pot on my stove until only 1/3 the liquid was left. I added around three teaspoons of kosher salt and mixed it in well. And then I had my chicken broth/stock for my soup. I added the broth to the crockpot and there I finally had chicken soup! I am going to let it cook now for a few hours in the crockpot on low. And it will be sooo good! The best part of this recipe is that I used just leftover’s from a previous meal. And we literally did not waste a single thing! So we were able to get quite a lot out of one chicken.

Thanks for listening!

Defensive Femininity and the Burning of Bra’s

Okay, somehow along the way you have forgotten how to be feminine. Your tough, you take no crap. Your ready for whatever slime ball gets in your way. So this my friends is how I have been living lately. Not like I have been wanting or say even realizing I have been going this way. But life as it is ‘Comes at you fast’ at least some large company dictator once said. I have still not quite established something. How can one be kind and controlled but not carry a sign that say’s weakness the size of the b-town Mcdonalds billboard for smoothies? Never-mind. . . It seems though its easy to feel vulnerable, and it is also easy to feel defensive. Or wait maybe it is just me, still dealing with the little monster running from ear to ear. Nonetheless, it is true I cannot for the life of me figure out why I have been so ‘tough’ lately. I think its–don’t laugh, could be the absence of sharing all those say girly feelings. Yanno a true sort of heart to heart. Or maybe I have been living in self defense mode. Surviving on self  instead from the one who made me. In all the toughness I been ignoring the pulls I have on being feminine, yet while its need is unyielding. It goes beyond today. Early in childhood I remember a neighbor girl pushing her stroller and her ‘baby’ around almost everyday. Wasn’t once I remember seeing that girl without her doll. Meanwhile, I was being girly by picking dirt out of cracks in the sidewalk. And I still wonder where is that super mother feminine drive. Where was my doll? No dress-up’s at least as I can remember. Closest thing I ever came to was Barbie. But again I took more pleasure in the Barbie car – strapping a leash to the front and dragging it like a boat through the creek. Finally I have provided you a more accurate portrait of me. Sometimes I wish there were more photos of me that maybe I could try to get into the head of that little girl. Just hoping that maybe finding that little girl will somehow make sense out of this now big girl. And maybe I can fix myself in the process. But you or I cannot go back, its came and went. But it is somewhat comforting to realize I have always been this way. I think I have viewed womanhood somehow very wrong. I still don’t know were I got this. To this day I feel the need to defend being a woman. And today I felt like burning all my bra’s. But what is it am I so afraid of? Is being a woman really that bad? In as much as my head says different I am glad I am what I am. And at least I can be super girly and constructive at the same time. I think maybe its a fear I have. Not being smart or useful enough in a mans eyes and not being subdued enough to be a woman. But to be fully do-it-full is exhausting. And being purely emotional, doubly exhausting. I like being in-between. I might  do things maybe a bit different from the rest. And I think doing things different sometimes is necessary. But I am also afraid of people’s reaction. For example, the best picture of being a mother I can muster of myself is a vision of me with a baby strapped around my waist as I pose above a garden with a hoe. Yep, flattering I know. And spending the day teaching our kids life survival lessons on how to gather eggs, milk a cow, and kill a chicken. Yep, that’s my motherly dream. And its real. And I can’t help but think of that neighbor girl. And how different of a mother she’d be. She would be able to teach her children how to dress a baby doll. A true mother teaching her daughter how to be motherly. And I– she would have to shield her children’s eyes from what I would teach my kids. She could pin her girl’s hair with berettes and I would fasten ours with a braid that would not interfere with the hard playing.
Its true some or should I say best memories as a girl was doing non girly things. Cleaning a fish the first time, camping in a tent at my aunts farm, or capturing snakes. One time my cousin and I captured a water moccasin. I was very proud of our capture and though being so I expected everyone else would be thrilled also. But to my dismay, one glance into the bucket and Grandpa’s stern reply was “Get that outside, then kill it” . Luckily I had my uncle John who seen my sadness in killing such a neat creature , when he took me up to the back forty without my grandpa knowing and help me release it. So maybe my sympathy for the snake was showing through. I could be compassionate.! There must be hope for me! But I think each mother has her own traits thats makes them the best mother for their child. Don’t you think? I wouldn’t expect all daughters to all have the same upbringing. Some may be brought up to love pink dresses, and baby dolls. And some may abhor the baby doll and rather have the Tonka truck instead. But I am fine with being either mother. As long as I can teach that girl or boy that what they are is valuable. And that they are just fine. And to encourage them to be beautiful and covered in mud or handsome and cooking. So I think I did more than brief you on the inner working of my mind today. And I think that the best thing I can do for myself is to work on being more feminine and not to spite the bra, the dress, and the emotion. But to actually learn more about myself and to stop making myself the holding ground for my self criticism. There for me are no concrete answers on my negative thoughts towards being girly, but finding out I have these thoughts is one step in the right direction. And even a step forward to heal all wounds. Known or not.

Garden Update and a Musing

Okay I really am having a hard time over how quick the time has been going. After starting a few container plantings less than a week ago.  I thought I would have loads of time to get all my containers planted. But with my soil and seeds waiting at the ready I could not find any more of the dish tub containers I needed. But after trips at the warehouse of a store and eyeing the shelf, it finally restocked and I excitedly and greedily ravished several. Just in the nick of time sayed my interior voice. So after unbearable delay I started.

First in went some light organic potting mix, this stuff is light and fluffy– I also added  organic compost, some organic fertilizer, and then lastly topped it of with some more of the organic fluffy potting mix. Here you can see the granular organic fertilizer just before I mixed it up. So far this mix seems to be working well for all the previously planted containers. Although something happened along the way to the radishes. Half of them well, expired. I might of over watered them, as the soil never dried out that I could tell. Or you could say as I like to call it  ‘ Loved them to theyre death ‘ But…

And here you can see the finished result. I have them all sitting on my back deck. Farthest back I have them placed on a bench. Then I used a few bricks and a piece of scrap wood to elevate the second row. So far I like this setup pretty well. Although I think a more permanent solution would be to setup a couple of frames for steps from Lowes, then attach it to the railing–then just make a slight vocal of ‘Ta-da’ when finished. But here is my non-permanent solution.

While musing over containers for this kind of gardening I found a rather great idea for say a strawberry patch or what have you. Just remember sappy is the best word to describe me lately. As I was venturing around my back yard looking for a black 5-gallon bucket to plant my new raspberry’s in ( I never did find the 5-gallon bucket ) I accidentally fell upon an idea that could work rather well. Behold the best movable and cheap gardening idea! A ‘concrete mixing tub’. Last I checked you could buy these babys from lowes for around $15 dollars. The tub and a few holes drilled through the bottom –you’d have yourself a redneck garden planted. Seems to me like the perfect match! But if your ill over its looks just scratch this idea and stick to those pretty cedar boxes you buy in the catalogs. Or Just build one yourself the old-fashioned way.

Oh and just in case you were curious my other garden is doing well. The sweet corn is growing exceptionally well. And the tomatoes have buds finally so the tell-tale signs for food are coming. Here is just a peek.

Enjoy your weekend!