Today is Tuesday

and I didn’t go to work! and I’m on holidays! so I’m abandoning capitals and abusing exclamation points!

1. Mum is back

I got all teary in the anticipation of her arrival as we stood at the arrivals gate at the airport waiting for her. The boys just ran to her and we both teared up. GOD I’m such a sap for that sort of stuff.

2. She bought me a very funky ring:

The picture is dark, this is the hundreth attempt, deal with it. Anyway, it has topaz, amethyst and citrine stones, and I’m smitten. It feels heavy on my hand and makes me feel far less frumpy than I have been feeling for the last month.

She also bought me a catoushe (sp?) with Chef and my names on it in hieroglyphics (sp?) – meaning we will never be apart. More tears.

3. Today’s theme song has moved on (or back? or maybe sideways) from Star Wars to that of Bonanza. Maybe wathcing Calamity Jane today wasn’t such a good idea.

4. The foodies amongst us have been having much discussion on shredded granny pants. It’s all Joke’s fault and Bec for indulging him (and taunting the rest of us with something that just looks DIVINELY delicious). Anyway, J also referred to his roast chicken recipe, which quite frankly indicates what an international man of mystery he is. Maybe chickens are different in the States, or ludicrously expensive so worth expending the ludicrous amount of energy Joke does to create the perfect chook. Anyway, it inspired me for Mum’s first dinner home, to do a roast. Behold:

Roast chicken
1 organic chicken
sea salt and frshly cracked pepper
extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, smooshed
1-2 tsp finely grated herbs (whatever you have on hand. Normally I use flat leaf parsley and tarragon or thyme or sage)
1 tsp (or so) finely grated lemon rind
1 tblsp (or so) pinenuts
couple of handfuls of fresh breadcrumbs
water

– preheat the oven to 220C
– rinse the chicken and dry it thoroughly with paper towel

– saute the onion and garlic in a little oil
– add the herbs, pinenuts and lemon, turn off heat
– add breadcrumbs
– drizzle over some water and mix lightly with your hands until it starts to clump but not as some claggy mess.
– stuff into the cavity of the bird.
– I also cut the skin between the drumsticks and the breast and tonight shoved some stuffing in there – it worked an absolute treat.
– drizzle some oil over the bird then rub in seasonings.
– place directly on oven shelf with pan underneath to catch juices.
– Cook for 1 hour or until the juices run clear from the thickest part of the meat – the thigh.

potatoes
carrots
sweet potatoes
pumpkin
– cut into wedges
– parboil for 5 minutes
– put the lid back on and give one good shake – this should moosh the outsides of the veggies
– dump into the pan underneath the chicken (that should be hot (i.e. have it in the oven while it’s preheating).
– Drizzle over a little evoo, sea salt and pepper.
– Cook with the chicken, turn whenever you remember or can be bothered.

1 tblsp plain flour
water
– set the chicken aside to rest, plate the veggies and return to the oven to keep warm
– put the pan over a medium flame and scrape off any bits in the pan
– add the flour and cook until browned
– add the water a bit at a time to avoid lumps – and stir until desired thickness.
– Season

broccoli
peas
cauliflower

Now – the above is a completely moveable feast. Sometimes the stuffing has heaps of herbs, sometimes none. The pinenuts only feature if I have them in the house. Occasionally there’s finely diced mushroom in there somewhere. Sometimes I shove stuffing under the skin of the breast as well as in the cavity and so on and so forth.

On occasion I through in a whole head of garlic (with the top third cut off) and a few onions into the veggies, or some field mushrooms, you name it.

I seem to have lost my gravy-making mojo – I used to be able to whip gravy up lump free, but have lost the knack. So normally I end up dumping it all in a jug, whizzing it with the stick blender, then pouring back into the baking dish to continue to thicken.

Remember, Nigella’s rule here – it doesn’t matter how cold anything gets, so long as the gravy is piping hot.

5. A number of you have started this weird book list in your sidebar, listing books you’re reading or have on your bedside table, or read in a day or consume for breakfast. I find it deeply intimidating. Stop it.

6. In keeping with the discussions on alcohol, this is doing the rounds at the moment and just kills me every time: http://www.flashbeer.com.au/

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