Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spatchcocking your Chicken

Ah HA, I KNEW that would get your attention!

Now that you're here, let me tell you about a new roasting method I tried last night. The technique is called spatchcocking - basically splitting and flattening your bird - that produces perfectly roasted poultry (I used cornish hens) in less time than a whole one. I think the real secret is roasting at a high temperature. (Good thing I have a self-cleaning oven).

All you have to do is put your chicken breastside down on your cutting board and starting at the thigh end, cut along one side of the backbone with chicken shears, then turn the chicken around, and cut along the other side. Flip the chicken over and open it like a book. Press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten. Place on a roasting pan and season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper (and anything else you fancy). I drizzled some olive oil over mine and popped some peeled garlic gloves along side and roasted at 500 degs for about 30 minutes (an instant-read thermometer should read 165 degs when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh).

Here's a link to a how-to video if you're interested. It was truly delish!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


My late Dad, a great artist in his own right -and who taught me to wield a paintbrush before I could hold a pencil- always told me that without angst, the artist could not create. Without angst and a reason to bemoan, we would all be well off, middle class, boring, fashion conscious, media guzzling, consumeristic, uncaring dullards with nothing to complain about at parties.

He was right.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Keep the Memories, Get Rid of the Stuff!

I am finding that I like getting rid of things. I like it even more when my things find new homes with people who will love them. And if the person is someone I love, that’s pretty much perfect.

I have a pretty easy time weeding out clothes, for instance. If I don't like it, don't wear it, whatever - out it goes. I have gotten rid of a few toxic friends but now I’m having trouble finding people I can trust. (Making friends gets so much harder as you get older don’t you think?) One thing I can’t get rid of is my books, especially my cookbooks. And pictures, I can’t get rid of those. Fortunately, we have put most of ours on CD’s and I upload everything to my Flickr and our Costco photo account.

I'm not talking about going minimalist here, I'm just talking about freeing myself so that I can focus on what REALLY matters and making (more) room in my life for the things I love doing the most. Besides, having more 'stuff' doesn't make me a happier person - and in a society driven by consumption, it can be hard to realize this truth.

Monday, April 19, 2010

George Washington is a Felon!

I am crushed! Our own George Washington, some say the literal Father of our Country, owes over $300,000 in overdue library fines. According to the UK Guardian old George checked out two volumes from the New York Society Library in 1789 and never returned them. What kind of example is that? Would it have delayed his crossing the Delaware that much?

I'm so Raven!

Recently got into a discussion about animal spirit guides, or totems (all in fun of course). Come to find out based on all my birth information: whose House the moon was in, what Sign was rising, day and time of birth, my shoe size, etc., according to the Tlingit Indigenous People of the Pacific Northwest Coast, I am a Raven.

It's kinda ironic since I hate to fly (in planes, not on my broom) and generally detest roadkill of any kind. Still, I do feel an eery kinship to the largest songbird in North America. Because of its jet-black color, it is associated with the night and the Earth and has been granted great power - TOWANDA! The Raven teaches the importance of being still and observing quietly until we can see both sides of the light. Must be why I'm such a good birder; I have keen eyesight and more patience than anyone else I know (I'm also a champion Bop-a-Mole player).

The Raven also brings new things, new places, new ideas, and rebirth. Raven helps the worthy, but loves to trick the unsuspecting (BOY, DO I) and is as full of mischief as she is wonderful. Master trickster - I LIKE IT! Raven symbolizes the home of our ancestors, our personal stories and imprinted memories. Raven is distinctly earthy, and feminine (but I do use deodorant). Ravens are prophets, spell-casters, and messengers. Raven offers knowledge of the world to the people for safe keeping. I am infamous for being able to keep a secret. Forever, if need be.

I've got it: create a calm environment, play soothing music, light a fire, grab some chocolate and indulge! I can SO do that.