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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Back in the Saddle

Just back from a day at Athfest, which the Super and the bug and I spent going from bar to bar, having nice cold drinks (I'm really appreciating dry and very red ros├ęs right now) and snacking (nachos at the Globe and then Polish sausage with Comeback Sauce by the 40 Watt). I finally have a way to load pictures onto my computer again, so this will be sort of a catch-up posting, heavy on images.

I got the old hammock hung at the new house, which is good because the bug absolutely loves swinging in it. It's still one of the few sure things that will calm her down in the midst of a crying jag.

I think she was trying to say something when I took this, because her mouth is so deliberately
shaped here. She's been saying things that sound a lot like "Hello" and "Lemon" lately.

Thursday evening the bug and I sat out in the backyard keeping an eye on a rotisserie chicken, which we left going for 3 1/2 hours; it was ready right when the Super got home from work, and he said it smelled "better than anything." It was probably the best chicken I've ever made, and that includes all manner of Cornell grilled chicken and roast spatchcocked chicken with lemons underneath, which until now have been my stock in trade as far as chicken is concerned. As you can see, I put a drip pan underneath, and charcoal on either side. The temperature in the grill read about 220 degrees the whole time, and I kept it pretty steady, although the lid was slightly ajar because I wasn't able to punch out the notches in the side of the lid to make room for the spit attachment, so the temperature probably wasn't quite what the thermometer said it was. Chicken cooked to a whopping 210 degrees at the thigh, and was juicy throughout, almost like confit because it basically just cooked in its own fat.

This was taken toward the end of the cooking. Notice that there really isn't much
fat or juice in the drip pan; the spit rotated at such a speed that the juices simply
dripped along but never off the chicken itself. Brilliant.

One evening this week after the Super got home and took over bug-watching duties I went up the road to the blackberry patch.

Cooper came with me, because Wagner had gotten to come with us the last time. On the way to the berries, we saw a deer in the woods; Cooper chased it frantically, but came back to me when I called him. While I picked berries a few yards into the brambles, he waited patiently, sitting at the side of the road.

I got only enough for a small rustic tart: just pastry dough (light on the shortening, as I didn't have enough for a full batch of dough) folded up around a pile of berries, which I'd mixed with some sugar, a little tapioca, and a few drops of vanilla. It was delicious: tart, sweet, seedy, and the crust was actually pretty good despite its low fat content (I brushed it with egg wash and sprinkled it with sugar before baking).


The Barefoot Baker said...

That little girl is not missing any meals!
The food descriptions cause salivation at cyber distance!

Courtney said...

Mmmmmm. Wow. Will you someday share your secrets for making a pastry crust? I've had no luck. Of course, my first (and last) try was without a rolling pin--I used a glass--might be the root of my trouble.

I can't wait to hear Thalia coo "Hello lemon." She's already a poet.

Karen B said...

Jim and I are salivating. Include pastry recipe and tricks pretty please.

guile said...

nice, comfy place you got here :)..