Archive for September, 2010

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Simply Saturday Snapshot

Forgive this rambling post this morning.  I have about 50 things going at once and my brain is scrambled.  I am working on my etsy shoppe, cleaning house, working a little outside to get ready to mow when it is dry enough, destashing fabric piles, laundry…what else??? OH I am determined to finish at least two quilt blocks sometime today.  Thankfully I won’t have to cook supper – leftover chicken tetrazzini sounds pretty good.

We had our almost-weekly-when-Jerry- is-gone hen party last night.  B & C are a mother and daughter that are so dear to my heart I consider them kin.  C is a sister I never had and B is quite possibly my clone!  Our minds work so much alike it is frightening at times.  I would not suggest making us mad at the same time ;)

The wonderful thing about this pair is they are people that I have to in no way put on any other face than the one I was born with.  I can completely be myself, no matter my mood.  We can talk about absolutely anything and do!  I talk about things with them that I don’t talk about with anyone other than family…and not all family ;)   Anyhoodle, we had chicken tetrazzini, garlic bread, carrots, corn and lemon icebox pie.  Pretty good supper but honestly, when we all sit down and the jaws start flappin’ we could be eating packing peanuts and no one would be the wiser.  I need these women.  True blue friends. So when the 5 of us get together, me, C, B, Hannah and Rachel…WATCH OUT WORLD!

I hope you all arent too disappointed in this very short post but I really do have to get busy!  Hopefully I can make a little announcement tomorrow about my etsy shoppe. There will be paper goods, baking supplies,fabric,  containers…who knows! Here’s a little peek:berrybaskets


Foodie Friday – First Meal Redux

Thirty-three years ago today I married the love of my life.  My high school sweetheart.  And as it turned out, my better half.  Jerry if you read this (and I know you do) I love you.  It’s been an amazing 33 years. Two happy old geezers…


In honor of the first meal I cooked for my new husband, who came from a family of amazing cooks, I give you my recipe for fried chicken.  Wow…that first meal.  It was a doozy.  Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and canned green beans.  Three of his favorite foods.  The chicken was cold in the middle, I didn’t put any butter or milk in the potatoes, I just mashed them.  The beans were good, though ;)

Well, I have improved my chicken frying skills over the years.  We don’t have it often but when we do everyone enjoys it.

Start out with either a whole fryer you cut up yourself or with your family’s favorite chicken pieces -  wash and dry them. Salt and pepper to taste. Let me say, I have yet to get chicken too salty. It needs salt on the chicken and in the flour you dredge in.


Next dredge your chicken pieces in flour (all purpose) seasoned with your choice of spices – I used just salt and pepper. But you can use garlic powder, cayenne…whatever is your taste.


Then dip the floured chicken pieces into seasoned buttermilk. Again seasoned to your taste.


Then BACK into the flour for a second coating. This process is what keeps your crust on your chicken. The first dredging helps it all adhere to the meat.


In the meantime you should have your skillet filled 1/2 full with oil – DO NOT USE olive oil as it will burn before it gets hot enough to fry the chicken. I personally use canola oil. When your oil is hot enough (ideally kept at 375) start carefully dropping pieces of your chicken in the hot oil. Depending on the size of your skillet and your batch of chicken to be fried, you could be in this stage a while. Never put too many pieces in at a time. Your chicken pieces should not touch each other. They need room to cook on all sides. It is best to let the chicken cook on one side until golden brown and then turn once. This will give you even browning and help your chicken cook all the way to the bone. I suggest you cook the pieces that take longest first ~ thighs, legs and large breast pieces. I cant give you a time, because it will vary depending on size of pieces, how large your skillet is…lots of things. Just watch it closely.


As your pieces get done, place them on brown paper on a cookie sheet to drain. Paper towels will stick to your crust. After you have all your chicken fried and while you are preparing the rest of your meal, place your chicken on a clean piece of brown paper (a clean paper bag will do) on a clean cookie sheet, cover loosely with heavy duty foil and place in a 300 degree oven until 15 -20 minutes before ready to serve. Then turn the oven off and leave it to stay warm until the meal is ready. This baking is important to set your crust, assure the bigger pieces are done to the bone (nothing I hate worse than undercooked poultry!)and will stay warm for your meal. Refrigerate leftover chicken for chicken salad (sans the crust), or just to eat as a cold lunch. Leftover fried chicken is not great warmed in my opinion. May just be my quirkiness but I think it tastes of feathers. Not that I actually have ever eaten a feather intentionally, but that is what I think of.

Chicken Gravy

Take out one cup of your oil from where you fried the chicken and put it in a clean skillet. Add 1/3-1/2 cup flour and make a roux from this. A roux is just oil and flour mixed and browned…not too brown, not too light. NEVER stop stiring…I use a metal whisk. Cook to the color of say…a new copper penny???…does that make sense? Just do not get it too brown and remember even if you take it off the heat, it will still be cooking in that hot skillet. So…you are to the brown perfection, add one can chicken broth. Slowly! Continue stirring. Add 1/3 cup diced onion, and a clove or two of minced garlic. Continue cooking and stirring until the onion is soft. Salt and pepper and set off the heat. You will have to reheat, probably adding more liquid (water is fine) just before serving.

So there you have it!  Have a great weekend everyone.  I will have to wait to celebrate my anniversary for a couple of weeks.  As always it will be worth the wait.


Thoughtful Thursday – Feminism. Friend or Foe?

For some reason the last couple of days I have thought a lot about being a woman.  The unbelievable balancing act we all perform on a daily basis.  The times we are completely off balance.  Sometime falling flat on our faces, only to find ourselves at the top of the heap the next minute. Several conversations I have been a part of have turned to the very broad subject of women.  I have discussed everything from how hard women who are successful have to scratch and claw and live down their success to what a price a woman pays for such successes.

Don’t beat me up too bad for my views on this subject.  I talk myself in and out of things all the time!  I am very VERY capable of arguing both sides of many arguments.  Not that I am arguing but I tend to be a debater even in my own head!

I doubt there has ever been a man who has had to ask himself if he could juggle work and family.  Not to say their role is easier.  It is just different.  Women and men are as different as night and day.  Therefore how we react, what we want, how we get what we want, and how others accept us is different as well.

My husband and I have a healthy respect for the roles each of us plays in our marriage.  I have seen his job (from a good distance) and I want no part other than to support him.  And he says the same of mine.  Though I don’t think that is true really.  I don’t really do anything that he can’t do and some times better than I.  Honestly we make one heck of a force to be reckoned with.


I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.  ~Anaïs Nin

At times I have felt somewhat inferior to my husband.  But I can honestly say I have never felt inferior to men in general.  And believe me, my husband has never made me to feel inferior.  Anytime I have been in that horrible place, it has been my own doing.  Likely some sort of “hysterics” as some like to refer to our moody, hormonal crankiness.  In fact Jerry treats me quite the opposite.  It seems sometimes he honestly believes I can do anything I set out to do.  Not always true but that is one of the many things I love about him.  He has always treated me as his equal – or more.

Much of my thoughts on women and roles in family, work and society have been the result of far too much time spent watching seasons 1-3 of Mad Men.  After an episode tonight I just blurted out “We had to burn our bras.   They gave us no other choice.” Of course I meant it figuratively.  I pay too much for my bras to set fire to them ;)

How quickly it was forgotten the role women played in the successful outcome of our armed forces during WWII.  Rosie the Riveter is an Icon – based on real women, who stepped up to a task and accomplished things that frankly seem to have been forgotten by many. Women not only had to hold down the fort, but they had to provide the ammunition.


I suppose being raised by very liberal parents,  it was even more absurd to me that we had to fight to vote, to work, to be educated, to have dominion over our bodies and very likely the reason I have no regrets for my choice to be a wife and mother instead of another profession. I have never felt like I had to apologize or feel inferior because I am less educated than some and my payment “for services rendered” doesn’t come in the form of a check.  But the payment far exceeds anything I could have hoped for, had I known what to hope for.  I always believed I could do and be anything I set my mind to.  And I am happy to report I have been successful so far.  There have been rough patches, disappointments, hardships – but whose life hasn’t had those things and more?  Yet, I always knew I was doing what I was meant to do.

Alas, times have changed.  Some good changes, some not good.  Women still get paid 70 cents on the $1 for the same job as a man. That might never change. Women still have to run as “the woman candidate” instead of just “the candidate”.  Science/Medicine/the pharmaceutical industry have spent untold money and man hours on “THE little blue pill” and we still have to have fundraisers for breast cancer research.  Why? I have my theories, but won’t subject you to them today.

So as we walk the tightrope that our lives become sometimes, and teeter on the brink of one disaster or another, it is ever so difficult to meet the demand of the situation and still remain feminine.  What would be seen in a man as strong in the face of adversity, likely would be seen as overbearing or aggressive in a woman.  Double standards will always exist I suppose.

What can we do?  Support each other.  That’s one thing we CAN do.  Women could see their commonality rather than their differences.  Women, of all people, should be able to see past color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, politics.  We have the capacity to influence so many.  We are strong.  We are capable.  We, so many times, hold the future in our arms.  It is an awesome responsibility to be a woman in the free world.  It is also an amazing privilege.  In all that responsibility and privilege comes an obligation to all other women.  Support women owned businesses, read women authors, educate ourselves about women in history and the sacrifices they made.  Study the plight of women who don’t know freedom from oppression and fear of harm.  And if you can, get involved. Teach yourself about how other women, in other parts of the world live. Then teach others.

And whatever we do, be true to ourselves.  Be proud. Respect ourselves and raise our daughters to be the same.

There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.  ~Madeleine K. Albright

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