Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother’s Day

It was after 6:00 AM when I woke up on Sunday, so I guess I slept in. On the other hand, since it was only 38 degrees outside (and still no damn rain), there was no real reason to get up any earlier.

BTW, there is a Freeze Warning (not Watch) for the entire State of Michigan tonight. I was feeling embarrassed for not having planted yet. Today, I feel smug!

I ran through the usual: coffee, Blog, more coffee and so on. Then I dug out the whole chicken. I rinsed it off, threw away the giblets (sorry, but…) and heavily salted the cavity and the outside. I am using my all-time favorite recipe for roasted chicken from the Alice Water’s cookbook, “The Art of Simple Food.” While I have since learned to disagree with her viewpoints on many levels, she has two or three go-to recipes I think are brilliant.

Anyway, she suggests you salt the bird the day before. However, it was still frozen then, so I was just catching up. I put it back in the fridge after covering it with cling wrap.

I had “Sunday Morning Over Easy” on the radio and the news on TV, so I was experiencing a bit of media overload. When they played “Summertime” by Janis Joplin, I went into the living room to listen. It’s one of my favorites by her.

I had been piling up the mail and finally sorted through it (I never get anything “immediate” and it’s usually only junk mail, so I don’t care). But, there was a postcard, stapled to a bag, saying the Post Office would be collecting non-perishable canned food for the hungry yesterday. They would pick up the bag from the mailbox and then distribute it. Shit! My bad!

I finished the rest of the Sunday morning chores and then shaved and showered. Both the weather and my back have dictated my day’s chores. It’s cold and very windy outside. The sun keeps playing hide-and-seek, but no real rain predicted. I thought briefly about watering the grass seed with my sprinkler, but the wind would blow the water everywhere but where I want it. And, my back is trashed. So, outside is off-limits, today. Which gives me time to do the one chore I have been unable to do (with first the clock and then the yard) for a month or so: CLEAN THE HOUSE!

I really wish I had been able to do this before Jake and Carla came, BTW.

First, I dusted and vacuumed everything. When that was finished, I realized I was hungry and hadn’t eaten breakfast. So, I took a break and made some Campbell’s tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I was out of my go-to grilled cheese sandwich cheese: American slices (they just melt so nice!) So, I used shredded sharp cheddar instead. I put the soup in the mug and took a break, watching a little TV while I ate. It was an excellent meal. Before going back to work, I took the chicken out of the fridge to let it come up to room temperature and fired up the dishwasher.

Then I went back to work and deep-cleaned the downstairs bathroom. I washed it from top to bottom. Then I mopped the downstairs tile floor, after I put the last load of weekend wash in the wash machine.

I swept and mopped the kitchen floor; not with my quick-fix Swiffer WetJet, but with a bucket of hot water, Pine Sol and a sponge mop. Speaking of my back being trashed, it hurt just to vacuum and hurt even more to mop.

Note to Self: You’re too damn old and too damn screwed up to move topsoil! Remember that, next time!!

Trapped until the floor dried, I took a break and watched TV. I switched to the Food Network instead of DIY, so I wouldn’t get myself in any more trouble than I already have…

When the floor and the downstairs bath had dried, I put the clothes in the dryer. Then I deep-cleaned the main bathroom. I scrubbed the tub with cleanser, washed the whole toilet and the sink and then mopped the floor (again, my apologies to Jake and Carla for letting this go so long before you showed up and had to deal with it).

Then I went out and started my Sunday supper. I went outside and got four big sage leaves, two sprigs of Rosemary and a handful of thyme. Inside, I worked the skin loose on the chicken breasts and thighs and stuck in the sage leaves, thick slices of garlic and butter. I put the chicken, breast side up, in my roasting pan on a rack.

I took about half a bag of baby Yukon Gold potatoes, cut each one in half and arranged them around the chicken. I didn’t have any carrots (they only had those "baby carrots" at Kroger’s and I think they are an abomination), so I cut up some celery (not to eat, but just to add flavor) and put them in as well. Finally I put in three small whole peeled onions.

I drizzled olive oil over the veggies, seasoned them with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Then I stripped the leaves off the Rosemary and thyme and scattered them on top as well.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees F. and while I was waiting, I added one can of chicken broth to the pan to help the veggies soften as they roasted. I stuck the roasting pan in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes (so I could check on it). When the timer went off, I decided it wasn’t golden enough, so I let it go 10 minutes more.

Then I took out the pan and carefully turned the chicken over. I stuck it back in the oven and set the timer for another 30 minutes. When that time was up, I pulled the pan and checked the internal temp with my instant read thermometer. Perfect! I covered the pan with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Just before it was time to eat, my daughter Melissa called. She wanted to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day, because in her words, I was “one bad mutha” (think 1980’s, Foxy Brown, etc.).

While we were talking, I put the roasting pan back in the oven and turned the oven on low. We eventually hung up and I took the pan back out. I put the chicken on a platter and carved some of it. I fixed a plate with some breast meat, a leg, some potatoes and an onion. The chicken was moist and flavorful and the potatoes were great.  Everything was excellent!

I went in and watched the movie “Jacob’s Ladder” that I had taped earlier. It was as disturbing now as it was the first time I saw it. Then I switched to the Red Wings game, with no intention of staying up to the end (they were in California so it started at 10:00 PM).

I made it until almost midnight. When I went to bed, it was late in the second period and Detroit was winning 3-1. I swear if they blow this, I will not watch another playoff game this year!



  1. Jake and Carla probably "I really wish I had been able to do this (clean the house) before they came, BTW"

    p.s. Hope you had a great Mother's day.

  2. I'm pretty sure they wished it, too!