Category Archives: Food

Back in the kitchen…

Last night I decided to rehabilitate the decidedly disappointing chicken from Friday night (“Not all kitchen experiments turn out well“) using ingredients we happened to have on hand.

So while we had an artichoke cooking, I stripped most of the remaining meat off the chicken, and set it aside.

Then I checked the refrigerator, and pulled out some watercress that didn’t fit into the salad on Saturday night, a red onion, garlic, anchovies, olive oil.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

When the water for the pasta was near to boiling, I started cooking.

I first chopped the onion and dropped it into my favorite cast iron frying pan, with some olive oil, of course. Then added the pasta to the boiling water, set the timer for 9 minutes. I added the garlic to the frying pan, and followed with the chicken, stirring to keep it from burning. Then the chopped watercress stems, followed by the leafy parts. Most of a bunch of basil. Oh, did I mention the hot peppers? Then anchovies, and a bit more olive oil from the anchovy can. It all came together well, and right own schedule.

I really wasn’t sure about the watercress-pasta-garlic combo, but the tastes actually all worked well together.

A bit of Italian cheese grated over the top, washed down with a glass of Shiraz, and that nice plump artichoke on the side.

I’ll have the leftovers of this leftover meal for lunch today.

The chicken, Part 2

Not all kitchen adventures turn out well

Not successfulI have to admit that not all of my kitchen adventures are successful. Last night I thought I had a winner. But, unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the “not successful” ones. That’s a cut below the “less than successful” efforts.

It started with a fresh, non-GMO chicken on sale at Whole Foods. That sounded good. Seizing on the opportunity, I added salt and pepper inside and out, then stuffed it will fresh lemon, garlic, and rosemary. Then I set it in a pan on a bed of vegetables, including onions, fennel, carrots, red potatoes, and celery, a bit of thyme sprinkled in as well. Baked at high heat for almost 90 minutes. It all looked beautiful. But unfortunately it was strikingly bland. Blah, even. The chicken was nice and moist, but not flavorful. That was a surprise. And since the flavor was missing, it couldn’t trickle down over the vegetables as I expected it to.

I wasn’t a happy camper after finishing eating. You can linger over your successes, but cut your losses short. So I was the first to get up from the table and start clearing and cleaning. So it goes.

We took them for granted….

I got this brief email from an old friend in Kahala. We’ve been friends since our days at Kahala Elementary School.

He dropped a bag with a few mangoes for us over the weekend. We were in Kaaawa, but he left them by the front door. When I emailed to thank him, I mentioned our meager mango crop this year. We only got a handful of mangoes from one tree, none from the other.

This was his reply:

This was a weird mango year. Tree full of blossoms and not a single honey bee. Used to be that you could hear the buzzing, but this year nothing. So smaller crop.

I called the bee hotline and was informed that the wild hives have been eradicated. Guess we took wild bees for granted.

Yes, we certainly did.

Pizza night!

On a recent evening…homemade pizza.

Okay, I admit that the pizza crust was a store-bought shortcut. It was whole wheat, thin-crust, two per package from our neighborhood Whole Foods.

Then I made a tomato sauce from canned tomatoes. Toppings included low fat turkey pepperoni, a crumbled reduced fat Italian sausage, mushrooms, garlic, black olives, red sweet pepper, and hot red pepper flakes. Paired with a green salad with avocado and cherry tomatoes, and the red wine of the night (I don’t recall which one). Served on a vintage Vernon Kiln plate in Monterey pattern, hand painted under glaze.

Not close to perfect, but a pretty good meal on short notice.

Thin-crust pizza

Feline Friday: From soup to cats

Duke at the tableI made a chicken soup from the carcass and bones left over from dinner at our friends’ home last weekend, and Duke invited himself onto the table. He’s much more polite than Romeo, who will try to intercept bites of food between table and mouth. Duke, on the other hand, will wait patiently to see whether he’s offered any snacks.

By coincidence, Betty Shimabukuro did a nice little story about stretching out a chicken into nearly a week’s worth of meals (“1 chicken, 4 meals“).

I’ve written several times about this same trick. The first example I found in a quick search dates back to April 2008.

I came back to the subject in an October 2015 post, and again in February of this year.

Besides the cat, our chicken soup was accompanied by artichokes (which have been beautiful and relatively inexpensive recently), a plate of olives, hot bread, and a red wine. I threw a bunch of things into the soup, including onion, garlic, hot red peppers, kale, spinach, leftover rice, celery and carrots, bay leaves, some salt. It looks like we’ll get two dinners out of the soup, and at least one additional serving, probably for a lunch.

–> See the rest of this week’s Friday Felines (lots of good photos this week)!