Well, It’s been a month, and yes, you may call me Captain Obvious. I don’t know where the time went and I suspect I’ll be posting about Christmas things soon enough. I’m back with the In My Kitchen post this month, hosted by Celia over at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial. What’s this party about? Once a month, I get to post about what’s been going on in our kitchen for the month. I admit I haven’t cooked as much this month as I wanted to, and I’ve been really crappy with my posting. But after going through my pictures, I was kind of surprised to realize that I did do a reasonable amount and managed to tick a few items off of my Food Resolutions List: roasting a chicken and throwing a dinner party!
Dinner Party & Roast Chicken
I’ve always liked the idea of throwing a dinner party. Drinks and food and great conversation. With our new place, I thought it would be fun to play cultured adults for a night and host a dinner party. Our friend celebrated her birthday recently, so we decided to do a surprise potluck dinner party.
I volunteered to make roast chicken and roasted veggies. A few days before I started to panic for a number of reasons. Apart from just being a generally panicky person, I planned to make a whole chicken. I thought that I should practice before, so we went out and bought a 3 1/2lb chicken. I made it and it came out pretty well, except that I forgot the twine to tie the legs together. And I cooked it breast side down. Which means that I ended up with a vaguely indecently exposed bird.
It was pretty simple to cook, but I have to say – seeing the whole chicken like that makes envisioning the live chicken much easier – which turned me off. Seeing the ribs and the exposed neck and the wings and the bits of blood – let’s just say that if I did this on a regular basis, I’m pretty sure I’d end up being a full vegetarian.
But back to the topic. A chicken of that size ends up serving about 4 people, and our dinner party would have 10 people. Now, I didn’t want to roast a bigger one on my first try, and I actually couldn’t find a larger chicken anyway. Additionally, my oven isn’t industrial sized nor do I have a roasting pan that will hold 3 chickens at once. So I decided to scale down and make roasted chicken breasts, something I think I’m pretty solid at. But then panic stepped in again! I like chicken to be a little on the drier side, so what if everyone thought it was too dry? What if people started choking and we’d all have to Heimlich ourselves over a chair because all of us were too busy choking to help anyone else (sort of like when oxygen masks fall out in a plane and they advise you to put your mask on before helping anyone else)?
Anyway. I’m pleased to report that the chicken came out pretty well, I think people were happy and nobody choked. That I know of. The dinner party also went very well, we also ended up with fish in cheese cause, garlic parmesan angel hair pasta, coleslaw, potato salad, roasted broccoli & cauliflower, a spinach salad and a cheese plate.
Apart from my neuroses, I could totally see this becoming once a month thing. Although our conversation wasn’t necessarily the adult, world affairs type of chat, it ended up being way more fun because after all, these are your friends, and a conversation about who you’d eat first if you were stranded on an island totally beats anything I could have envisioned.
I also managed to harvest my first zucchini from my garden! I think I harvested too early so while there are other ones in the garden, I’m gonna try and play the waiting game and see how big it gets. Of course the huge grasshopper guarding the larger zucchini had nothing to do with me deciding to leave it….
Of all the resolutions I so ignorantly made in January, this is one that actually happened although I worked at achieving all. It feels good. I had also started growing celery from the discarded base, but it kind of came apart in the water one day so I have learned the lesson of replanting earlier. I also have seen my Edamame growing, and have seen a few small pods, but something keeps destroying my leaves so I’m not sure how much hope I have for it.
Odds & Ends
I also did a bit of baking this month – Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Hazelnut Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes, and Oatcakes. Generally I don’t like to be this unhealthy and consume this much sugar, but I’ve found baking to be a bit soothing this time for some reason.
Another cool thing? I was featured briefly on Kitchen Daily’s Twitter under their #brunchies hashtag (is that redundant?) for my Papaya Chia Blueberry Crumble. It’s an original creation and I’ll post the recipe soon.
I also made vegetable stock. Pretty easy! I will also post the recipe soon and will graduate to chicken stock soon enough. I had thought I added it to my Food Resolution list but turns out I didn’t. Dammit. I’m making reasonable progress on the list though and I’ve started to come up with ideas for my 2015 list. Any suggestions?
So that’s about it. I have a few things planned for September, so wish me luck. See you next month!