Friday, February 28, 2014

And it's Friday

Thanks for the well-wishes.

The evening was pretty good, in a quiet way - the big gift I got (from parents) was a set of two brand-new, "good" (Henckels, or a subsidiary) ceramic-coated fry pans to replace the 15 year old "nonstick" one I had been using (and worrying about, because it looked like the coating was getting ready to fail).

The smaller packages were a crocheted hotmat (from my mom) and a couple new pairs of boot socks (I think my dad probably ordered them from Sierra Trading Company; he buys a lot of things from them).

I also got a couple of books (Scottish Knitting, and the most recent compilation of the Moomin comic strips) from a blog-reader - thank you so much.

A couple Ravelry friends bought patterns for me.

So it was pretty good.

I roasted the chicken - I just went very simple, stuck half an onion and a quartered lemon in the cavity, and put some olive oil, "poultry seasoning" and "Florida seasoned pepper" (the last two being salt-free blends from Penzey's - I really, really like Florida seasoned pepper for meat; it seems to bring the flavor out very well). I put it in my big enameled cast-iron Dutch oven and covered it.

The Dutch oven does an excellent job of roasting a chicken. (Well, the chicken might have been a fairly good one to begin with - as I said, it was as close to organic free-range as I can easily obtain locally). I'm thinking it's because the walls of the pot are heavy and thick (so the heat is more even) and the lid fits on tightly - so you don't lose the moisture. (Though I also think the lemon in the cavity is a good idea to help with that).

I made some rice (I find I can eat rice without salt if I put chipotle sauce on it - not traditional, but whatever) and a big spinach salad and I had some of the leftover vinegar-sauced beets I made earlier in the week. (I made those when my sense of smell and taste were both mostly gone, and I was feeling sorry for myself, and I decided to make something that tasted mainly of one of the four "tongue" tastes - I could still taste those, but not anything more complex that required the olfactory sensors. Luckily my sense of smell and taste have come back).

I did have the second creme brulee for dessert. (Next time I am down at the Target and either am planning on heading home right after that, or have a cooler with me, I'm going to get another package or two - they are quite good and are a nice treat. Yeah, it would be cheaper and probably lower fat to make my own baked custard, but that takes over an hour of committed time (mixing it up, and keeping an eye on it while it bakes) whereas these take a few minutes (watching it while it's in the oven) and then the cooling time.)

And now I have leftover chicken. I ate most of a breast and a leg last night (I was pretty hungry; while I was sick I didn't have much of an appetite). I'm thinking I might do creamed chicken with some of it this weekend - that used to be a big favorite of mine and I haven't made it in years. (It's really easy: you make a white sauce, but with some chicken broth in it instead of all milk, and then season it up however you want (often a little white wine or sherry is good in the sauce). And you cut up the chicken (and vegetables if you want, but I really prefer my vegetables on the side) and heat it up in the sauce.)

I might also make another batch of that good chicken-tortilla soup with some of the leftovers. 

I am thinking if I can get myself in gear and get this exam written today, and the exam I give at least partly graded (or my Sunday school lesson written), I am going to go to Sherman or Denison tomorrow, go antiquing, maybe look to see if the newest Simply Knitting is in. And also do some grocery shopping (Yes, it will be the first of the month, but as I said: because Sherman has more grocery stores, it's less insane than the wal-mart here is on the first of the month).

Sunday afternoon the  weather's supposed to turn nasty, so I think I will spend that time knitting or sewing depending on which appeals most to me at the time.

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