Monday, February 18, 2013
Chicken Tossing Guilt
I grew up with stories of a great grandmother in North Dakota who hoarded cheese puffs (if I remember correctly) and once slid a steak off of her plate and into her purse to save for later and I can't help but wonder... is this how it started?
Then I think no, with a little pang of guilt, because any depression era grandma worth her salt wouldn't have been throwing out that carcass!
But I have quarts of homemade broth filling the freezer at the moment and I'm out of jars to make more, and besides, I think I'm set on broth through summer at this point (or at least until the spring semester is over) and if I keep roasting a chicken once a week and dividing up the meat for meals, the supply is going to continue to far exceed what we need. So, the carcass went.
Roasting a chicken is my favorite way to trick my family into thinking I'm a fantastic cook who's slaved for hours in the kitchen. It's so easy. I open the chicken, take out the giblets and neck if they're there, and rinse it inside and out then I set it on the roasting pan and pour a dollop of olive oil over it. Next I sprinkle it with a layer of garlic powder and onion powder and a bit of kosher salt and black pepper, cover it with foil and pop it in the oven at 350 and let it fill the house with it's garlicky chicken goodness. I served it alongside blueberries, which I'd found on sale and baked sweet potato fries (sprinkled with the same toppings and tossed). It's a meal that doesn't trigger any reaction with Patrick and it makes the whole family happy. And there's leftover chicken for at least one more meal (last night it was cranberry chicken cabbage wraps, which were also a hit! And which made it feel kind of like Thanksgiving!).
I've realized, however, more and more of late, as I folded a clean but used zip loc bag and put it back in the drawer, that this recession has changed the way I think on a fundamental level, probably not all that different from the way our depression era relatives changed. I find myself smiling and shaking my head at the many, many frivolous purchases I made back in college when paycheck after paycheck disappeared at the mall. In many ways I laugh at myself now, as I found myself doing over my internal chicken struggle last night and yet... I definitely think more about how I can use things in different ways and stretch them to make them last longer. I find myself reluctant even to throw out small pieces of fabric because just think! With enough of them I could make a quilt!
And I'm enthusiastically planning my garden for this year. I'm planning to go big! And pinterest is helping me get excited about the hard work to come!
What about you? Have the past few years changed the way you look at the world? Am I alone in my chicken tossing guilt?