A Chicken Maiden Voyage

I used to bake chicken once in a while, especially when I was single.

I can honestly say I have not made one at home in almost 13 1/2 years. Really. It’s been that long because when rotisserie is reasonable in the supermarket, well, I factor in what it would cost to make it at home and usually get the one from the market.

Our local Acme had oven stuffer roasters on sale so I thought, why not.It’s been a while and I would make it as it gets cooler.Well, although it was fifty degrees today, at twilight…
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…you could see the front moving in.

Fortunately thanks to my interest in following the weather, plus all the surgical scars I have that react to barometric pressure changes, I felt the oven stuffer’s number was up back around 2PM.

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Zush and I walked the neighborhood while Jim took Kasia to a state park beach to run.Hopefully Daddy and daughter will be home for dinner.

Healthy is as healthy doesn’t….

I was off this morning so I had a chance to sleep in a little which was great.

Jim made a fresh vegetable and fruit juice which we had with poached eggs and rye toast, or at least I had the eggs and toast.

We went on the road and took the girls with us for a good hike back at Ponderlodge, the walking/nature area by us, and then went to our annual trek to buy mums. It was a great afternoon except for one thing…we got hungry.We had a coupon from McDonald’s for a free medium soda and fries when you buy a new buttermilk chicken sandwich.

Yup.

We got junk for lunch….

There is always room for a healthy dinner.

That Kind of Day

The good part of a day at work?

When it’s over, of course!

I worked the 10 to 6 shift today and when I got home, well, I was wiped out. We had decided that we’d have sphagetti for dinner, and after I walked the girls, I’d come in and start dinner.

Our neighbor Jerry came to the house while I was walking the girls, and brought ribs he made! They were absolutely fabulous. To top it all, just one kindness like this made me forget one lousy day.

Time to pay it forward.

Tomatoes, tomatoes…

Some cross my path in the office like the ones left in the big basket from the ship’s captain.Then one of my co-workers harvested her cherry tomatoes and brought a big supermarket bag full of tomatoes( albeit cherry ones) in the workroom. We keep watering ours, and the plums, Jerseys, and little cherries are coming in full force.

It’s bittersweet for me, as my Dad loved his tomatoes, and much to my Mom’s chagrin, used to stop at roadside stands to pick some up to take back home. He would cut up a big Jersey tomatoes and slice and cube it and eat it along with scrambled eggs for breakfast.Of course there would be a big slice or two of in his sandwich at lunchtime. He’d have a salad with a ton of tomatoes with his dinner.

Mom was like me: she was a purist.

Although I love a good slice of tomatoes on a tuna salad or a bacon cheeseburger, but Mom and I had our favorite.Fresh white bread with a little mayo and two big slices of tomatoes.

Think that’s on Thursday’s menu for lunch when I am home.

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Neighbors

I am fortunate enough to have some awesome neighbors down here.

I have friends two doors down who have the cutest little guy-his name is Nathan and he is 9 months old. Well Isa and Ivo, his parents, have invited us to dinner tonight and we are really excited.They also invited Zush and Kasia. Zush is a big fan of Nathan’s. when he sits in his little chair with food on his hands, albeit baby food, well, here comes Zush to the rescue.

it’ll be a nice way to ease back into work tomorrow, and we are looking forward to having fun.
It’s nice to have good neighbors!

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Bachelorette Sad Life

No,

I am not talking about the television show.

My Mother-in-law got a ride back to the city by her son, so I came home from work and am spending the night with the fur girls
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Sad when the larder is bare and the is nothing really to make for dinner. The girls kept hoping I’d find something to share with them but there isn’t a bone in the cupboard for Mom nor fur girls .

Somehow, I will get through this, and get myself to bed. I am getting a ride to work at 6:30 am tomorrow morning.That’s not too bad though.

Tomorrow’s my Friday!

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Dinner

We had dinner at our friends’ house tonight.We were going to go out for dinner but stayed in and had just as good a time.

My buddy Juls belongs to a gourmet club, but that’s in another area, in another state.We just hang with our buds, have some good food and great conversation.It is always neat to hang out with friends, and to kick back and have some good times.

I never understood when my brother and sister-in-law out in the midwest said about being with close friends who become your family when you are physically away from your family.Now in this new life chapter titled retirement, I have come to appreciate what the spoke of for many years.

It’s good to have friends…we are blessed to have them.

Friday Night Date

We went out tonight to the local fishing club for dinner with our friends Dottie and Al.They are leaving tomorrow to go to Arizona.

We had seafood for dinner and were so busy having a good time that we didn’t realize the band for Friday night was tuning up!

The group was called “All Tuned Up”, and they were awesome. A female lead singer named Diane and her husband, Gary started the band.They were five all together, and in an age where a lot of musicians use computers to play back up music, there were NONE with this group.Pretty impressive, I thought. They played a great mix of music: from Zac Brown Band, to Megan Trainor,thru 50’s, 60’s and so on, everyone loved their mix.Even the oldest of diehards were bopping along to their cover of Uptown Funk.

It was a fabulous night.Most fun we had in a long time, I would say, with wonderful company.

Life is good.

Feeding One’s Soul

I am Catholic.

I am happy in my new Parish and enjoying the services I attend. I was active in my prior Parish and miss it.The one thing I notice is that where I attended,the “meal” fund-raisers that the Church would put out,were either bazaar food, or pancake breakfasts or something like that.

My homeowner’s association had a pancake breakfast today and it was our turn to work it and that was fine.Hell, it was better than fine: I had 15,000 steps today before 8PM! We went for Mass this afternoon and after that, we crossed the street to the neighboring Methodist Church for dinner!They had a roast beef dinner complete with baked potato, salad,green beans, roll and butter, beverage and desert.They do a dinner every month of the third Saturday of the month and they get a pretty good turn out.They don’t do it during the summer, as there are too many people in the area for them to serve.

In addition to the delicious food, the atmosphere is one where you are encouraged to kick back and relax and talk to who you are with and your neighbors. If you are lonely, it is a nice place to meet folks and talk to them.Food isn’t just for the body:it’s needed for the soul.

A lot of other houses of worship should consider this.People sure could use this these days.

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Kicking it Back

We’re relaxing out here at Undisclosed West today.

My buddy Juls and I went our way for a few hours to hang and the guys did their thing. We got back here and I had the girls out for a spell where everyone was making snow angels: it was all rather cute here at March Mountain.The were walking with me and helped me make my Fit Bit Zip steps. We are waiting to get ourselves together to go out for dinner. It was odd being here with all the snow, only to have temperatures go into the 40’s. At least the girls got to eat all the fresh snow they wanted.

We always have fun while we are out here, and it always seems to go by so fast when we have to leave to go back. Definitely we have to get together a little more!

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Got to get some eggs, bread and milk…

Argh!

The first “retirement” snow.

We are just due to have a small amount here at Undisclosed location, and the city is due to have two to four inches.

I had to laugh because I had the Weather Channel on and if I saw it this forecast while in the city, I’d run out for eggs, bread, milk and toilet paper.

I’m retired now, so what am I going to do?

Go out and get some kidney beans so I can make a crock pot of chili for tomorrow’s dinner.

The times, they are a changin’……..

Going home again

Jim and I had dinner with two of our old friends from our old neighborhood. It was nice to be with them and their fantastic kids: their youngest is my godson Frankie.

Even though we have been off the street for a year and a half, sometimes,well, it’s like you have never left.The only difference is the kids have gotten bigger.We got a wonderful gift from them: they framed two prints of them, one with me, the other with Zush and gave them to us for the new house.We sat and talked and it was so nice. It makes you wish the times could be rolled back to the day.

Then when we left them, we stopped at another neighbor and saw their two girls, who are growing like weeds.Still, we fell into our old chat, and it was great.

I will miss them-good friends are hard to come by.

Kicking Back

We got down here to Undisclosed and are working toward unpacking.

Glassware and things from our marital kitchen are being sanitized in the dish washer, after resting for a year and one half in the cellar of Mom’s house. I have wash to do that can wait until tomorrow, but for tonight, we are out.

The local Moose lodge has our favorite two piece band called, Twelve Strings, and they play fabulous music from the 50’s through today.We’ll grab some dinner and a drink or two and kick back.

Tomorrow is another day.

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Perks of Undisclosed

Jim’s nephew, Tom, is forever announcing one thing to us.

We are so lucky in living so close to the Lobster House restaurant.He feels it is the best restaurant.

We went to dinner tonight and actually went to the coffee shop at the restaurant, and there was a daily special for $9.95, which was stuffed pork roast, mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetables. Not bad. Evidently they have a special every day of the week, and as the waitress was telling us, it was the same food coming out of the same restaurant that takes care of the actual restaurant. It’s something only the locals know about.

Ooops…now you know!

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Powers of Pot Roast

We had gone through pot roast withdrawal for a bit.You know, when it is warmer out, pot roast is not necessarily food on top of your ” must have it now” list.

As it is now mid-October, we here in the Mid-Atlantic states have reached, at least for now, a genuine dip into October weather.When that happens, it was like an automatic reflex:I reach for the crock pot.Having a mom home for most of my life, I grew up with someone who was home and poured love into her meals. As times have changed,I discovered that the I can get the love in a meal via the crock pot.

I put carrots,peeled potatoes, celery and onion in the crock pot and then put the cut up pieces of chuck roast in.I normally cut it up when I know I am having company for dinner.Then, for trying something new, I purchased Campbell’s tavern pot roast sauce. All you had to is open the pocket and put it in the pot.

Cooking the pot roast was easy,as low and slow me a very tender pot roast.It smelled so good, the Zush the invalid come around to be a little bit. It was a hit across the board.

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What’s for Dinner..

..is often an issue for me on Wednesday night when I have my Flip fitness class.

Sometimes I have to work until 5PM, and on other times, only 3:30.My Class starts at 6:15 and the last thing you really need is rushing a meal before the class. I have learned the hard way that it is not the thing to do.It’s hard when, especially like tonight, Jim was hungry, but willing to wait until I came home from class for dinner.

Since I have only the two of us to cook for, I consider myself luckier than a bunch of my buddies who have whole families to feed.Today, for me, was easy though.Jim has spaghetti and meatballs and I have a bowl of cereal.My Mother is probably turning over in her grave watching me eat cereal for dinner, but I have learned the bowl of cereal is light and I tend to sleep better when I am not fighting indigestion at 2 in the morning.

It’s a good solution, and it keeps me from picking on junk through the night. I am glad I finally figured it out!

Hot Date

Since we had no company this weekend, Jim and I decided to take ourselves out to dinner.Last Sunday was our anniversary and we really didn’t have a chance to celebrate ourselves. Tonite was our delayed celebration.

We went to a local eatery here at Undisclosed, and they had a woman singing and a guy on guitar playing for her.The music was nondescript, but what we thought was funny happened halfway through our dinner.

A guy went up to the musicians wearing a holster.I know- I write holster, you read it and go, gun?Nope, he had seven, count them SEVEN different harmonicas in the holster, and evidently he shows up to help the musicians out.I was thankful there was no gun in that holster.It made for some interesting evening.

Below, a shot of holster man….

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Sound of one eye clapping

It’s over.

It’s benign.

Now I am into hour 8 of 72 hours with a patch over my right eye.It has been an interesting time so far. It’s starting to get itching under the patch.I have learned that auto-correct is not all it’s cracked up to be.The words aren’t “dirty”, but they aren’t what I have wanted to write either.

The good part is Jim is, as I know, a great guy. He went and got up Italian wedding soup for dinner and it has hit the spot.I am listening to my body and napping when the spirit moves me or my good eye tires out.I managed to slowly get the girls out, but they are getting the idea that Mom is not up to stuff.

We’ll see how the rest of the weekend fares.

Stay tuned.

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Continuing saga of Jersey Tomatoes

We got to Undisclosed today and found a few more tomatoes ready to offer their lives up for us!
They got to get to that rich tomato color so I knew it was time.We had burgers with lettuce, tomato and onion on them and they were great.

We checked into the progress the organic grow tower was making and we saw some great strides being made by the beans, especially.The tomatoes and peppers are chugging along and the kale is getting there. It has to be the composting, because at out old house, we never composted. You can see the difference in the growth here. Compostman has worked his magic!

The problem now is that people want us to deliver up to the city.Hah. What we grow we are keeping, and then the family will share in the rest. We have to step up our production if we want to bring them back to the city.

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The Pause that refreshes…lol

…and I am not talking about Coca-cola or Pepsi.

I am taking about a night out with Jim at our local watering hall, down here at Undisclosed. It was complete with some dinner and music.

I was feeling a little low, and it was magic. A good group called Twelve String, some vodka and cranberry cocktails with dinner, and I felt far better than I had all week.There is something about good music that is of your time frame, where you can sit with everyone else and join in on the songs.No stress,no pressure, just fun.

Just what the doctor ordered!

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Crash and Burn…the saga continues.

I gave two pints of blood yesterday during the blood drive at the office.

We had gone out to dinner and Jim had ordered himself pizza.

Not me…

There was a filet of sirloin on the menu and my dragging butt, looking for some iron to replace some red blood cells, jumped on it.So here I am, 5 hours later, just awake after a nap where I was sated in red meat.

Fortunately, I have some clothes that I had the foresight to put in the washer before I fell asleep. Now I just have to finish while they are in the drier,so tomorrow, there will be another day, another full schedule. but I will have a little wiggle room.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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Iron Chef Mar

We’re having friends of ours over for dinner tonight. It was my idea, ever before the hip got lousy. So when I was wondering what to cook, I talked to my friend Kat in work.

Kat constantly cooks for her family and extended family.How she does it I’ll never know. I told her that I needed a pretty good recipe and that the amount of time on my feet would have to be minimal.Son of a gun, she gives me this recipe for ” Aunt Suzie’s chicken”. Sure hope it’s good.

The desserts were made last night and are chilling in the refrigerator.I have started a slow cook on parts of the dinner, and will put the entrée in the oven pretty soon.Jim was instrumental in getting the house ready.He’s out with the girls now, so we all can be ready for our company.

I don’t see myself as an Iron Chef anytime soon, but I am hoping the meal and the company will be memorable.By the way, the only picture I had handy was Jeff Mauro from the Food Network.

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After the fact.

Through the ups and downs of the week, there has been one saving grace: the thought of being here, together as a family, just to relax.

We went out to dinner tonight and came back early to relax and rest. Jim will get the fur girls out for one last walk of the night.I get to hang out on-line for a little while I am doing wash.It would be nice to be out watching Olympics on television: I guess I can maybe try to find something streaming on-line.

We are just going to exhale and enjoy our weekend: hope you get to do the same.

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Running on Empty

It was a long day today.The only break I had ? I managed to catch the early express train home and that was an unexpected surprise,

The trick was, after I came home, to walk the girls, then I came back in to make us a somewhat healthy dinner. After all, I started the day with heat to tweak my metabolism. I went and filet a bone in chicken breast or two.We had a baked sweet potato and mixed vegetables. There has to be some thought to make a “healthy” dinner so I am going to give it a shot.

We’ll see how far this goes.
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