Hatching Free Range Ideas

Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

Besotted cherries

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Thank you, Sandy, for giving me the incentive to write this down. This is a new condiment discovery for me. We’re going to use it on a brined, roasted turkey breast tonight. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

Cherries besotted in red wine

1 c. dried cherries
Red wine to cover; soak overnight.
Heat on stove the next day
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
Fresh thyme
Sweet Vermouth
Simmer about 20 minutes.
Put it in your fridge. It’ll keep for about a week. Roast an animal or animal part, saving the pan juice. Add the besotted cherries to the pan juice and heat. You may choose to thicken a bit with corn starch. Or you may choose to add a bit more red wine; the cherries really soak it up. Pour over roasted animal.
Or use it to make Hot Bacon Salad Dressing for a wilted salad. Just add bacon fat and heat up.
So, an update — We brined and raossted a 9  pound turkey breast. I’m not a turkey breast fan ’cause they are always so dry. Not this time!!!
Brine in a nice tasting solution. We used loads of crushed garlic among other things. Brine for 24 hours. Pull out rinse and pat dry.
Put about 3/4 stick butter in pats under the skin. Roast at 325 for about 2.5 hours, basting every 30 minutes or so. Tent it if it starts to get too brown.
Take the pan juices and mix them with a pint of these besotted cherries. Add a little corn starch to thicken. Serve alongside. Wow!!! Best turkey I’ve ever had.

Who’s your Santa Claus?

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I found this during the cleaning out of Mom and Dad’s house. Dad used to draw cartoons on boxes rather than wrapping presents. When he wrapped presents, sometimes he built boxes in the shape of animals, like real animals, like pelicans and dinosaurs. The pelican box hung from the ceiling to be found on Christmas morning, amid cornstalks made from newspaper.

Once he wrapped a check in a wooden box that was held together with 100 screws. It was a big check and he rightfully thought it deserved some opening time. We each opened a screwdriver present first.

He drew this on the back of a box that was recycled from my grandmother, to my mom to us and back. . . for many, many years. It’s from Strawbridge and Clotheirs in Philadelphia, a city Mom remembered quite fondly. I imagine there were many stories there for her but I dont’ know what they were.

And one year, as the box was recycled, Dad drew this picture on it.

Secrets piled up for the few weeks leading up to Christmas. Santa’s workshop, Dad’s garage, was off limits. After Santa Claus was outted, he just became family, still wonderous and surprising.Depending on what was going on and who it was for, certain of us elves were allowed in. One year, when Tim was the elf,  there were two kits created for Christmas, one for me — a do it yourself Cashmere coat in a large box with nothing but the manual and sheep shit. The Cashmere sheep had gotten out. The same year Chris got a coffee table kit — a box with a stump in it and another instruction booklet.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why I make a big deal about Christmas, now you know. And now, I’m off to my kitchen workshop  to coat the ginger truffles, pack the chocolate dipped candied grapefruit peel, jar up the lemon curd made with my very own Meyer lemons and chocolate cover the toffee almonds, recipe courtesy of Mary Sue through David somebody.

Who’s your Santa?

I’m looking forward again. . . to cocktails

In Celebration, How we learn and think on December 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm

I didn’t know it until recently, but on the day Mom died in 2009 my perspective shifted 180 degrees to the past. I felt that if I didn’t immerse myself in her life, I wasn’t honoring who she was.  Dad died in 2010; repeat the performance. However for him, my immersion was to re-experience regret that I hadn’t actively made his last year a better year, that his passing was painful although his life was a joy. Then Mel died in 2011. Repeat, but with slightly different flavors.

I kept one of my favorite photos of each of them on my monitor, where I could see them and remember. Every day. Until yesterday when I replaced it with a photo from the beach trip.

See, we spent Thanksgiving at the beach with friends this year. It wasn’t the first holiday that I hadn’t spent with family but it was the first in a while. And it was obviously the first of many that I won’t spend with family. It was a trip that my family might not have enjoyed much, so it was pretty much for me this time.

Passing through grief into the present is an interesting process. It took much longer and claimed more energy than I was aware of.

This week, it feels okay, no, if feels good, to move forward. The big final forward step is to empty out and sell the family house which is full enough right now of both Mom and Dad’s personalities as to be somewhat shrine like. I’m looking forward to seeing it shrink down to a nice, mid-century modern house, as stuff comes out and it becomes more anonymous.

One of the moving forward steps was to put away the photos of those who were physically present in my life and replace them with a photo of those who are still physically present in my life. The funny hat theme is a connector, however.

So what’s this cocktail thing? I love the way the 30s, 40s and 50s depicted cocktail hour, one hedonistic elegant hour spent entirely in the present in conversation, with fancy drinks with swords and umbrellas served in special glasses used for nothing else. I’ve learned a lot about how to put food together, but cocktails are another thing entirely. It’s a set of flavors and combinations with which I am not yet conversant.

The drink that I’m currently enthralled with is a Blood and Sand, a 1922 cocktail created to launch a movie of the same name, starring Rudolph Valentino and Rita Hayworth.

4 equal parts

  1. Good Scotch
  2. Cherry Herring
  3. Sweet Vermouth
  4. Fresh-squeezed Orange Juice

Shake violently with ice in a shaker. Strain into a coupe glass. (I was thrilled to find that I had 10 of those same glasses in the cupboard, bought cheaply years and years ago and rarely used. Aha!!!)

My present involves wonderful cocktails shared with dear friends in pleasant conversation focused in the present.

Join me?

Graphic recording styles

In drawings, Images, Sketchnoting, Visual Thinking on December 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Great examples of a variety of visual recordings from this year’s conference of the International Forum of Visual Practitioners.

I have to go back and study ’cause I know there are a variety of tricks here that I can use. What did you find?

Oh! And my new printer will print index cards so my very own set of metaphor images is beginning!!!!

Recalled memory

In Uncategorized on December 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm

If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store
Two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole,
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.”

~ Musharish-Ud-Din Sadi

I’d forgotten this little piece but someone’s mention of candles and fresh flowers reminded me. Now you have it too.