“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.” -Laurie Colwin

“You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.” –Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird

I grew up in an Eastern European household with grandparents hailing from Russia and Poland. Lucky for me, my grandparents lived on the 2nd floor of our 2-story home in Brooklyn.  What a joy to be able to cook alongside my Bubbie and my mom, especially for the holidays. I don’t know how my grandmother did it, but she more than managed to prepare sumptuous Passover and Chanukah meals that somehow lowered the volume of hungry grandchildren, silly joking uncles and grumbling stomachs.

For Tasty Tuesday, I thought I’d share a very simple roast chicken recipe for any night of the week:

Oven 375 degrees, Approximately 1 hr and possibly 15 minutes

One small (4lb) Murray’s or Bell & Evans Free Range or any NO antibiotic

/hormone Chicken

Rinse inside and out

Slide finger gently under breast skin for seasoning

Spritz chicken with some olive oil and rub all over and under skin

Squeeze a lemon all over and chop up the lemon

Combine any seasonings that you like: Sea or Kosher Salt, Pepper, Rosemary, Fresh or Garlic Powder, Paprika and rub all over, in cavity, under skin

Chop up parsley and onion combine with the chopped lemon and place under skin and in cavity

Roast on bed of onions so skin doesn’t stick to pan or foil

Roast until the legs move easily. (You can turn chicken over after 45 min. and roast and then turn back over.)

If your children like gravy:

My kids always loved gravy, so…I would pour drippings into a pyrex and freeze a little while and scoop off all the fat and discard. Melt 2Tbs butter in pan. Add 1 and 2/3 Tbs Flour and remove from heat and make a smooth roux. We like to use G. Washington’s Seasoning and Broth found in the Soup Aisle, yes, too much salt, but it does the job. So, add one packet G. Washington to 1 cup of water and slowly pour into roux which is now back on heat and stir, stir, stir until thickened.  Add some of the fat-free drippings to enhance the taste. If you need more gravy, double the recipe.

 

“What So Wild as Words Are?”-Robert Browning, Poet

Where would we be without Roget’s Thesaurus compiled by  Peter Mark Roget?   It was first published April 29th, 1852.  How many times have we looked up synonyms, antonyms as we wrote middle school, high school, college and post graduate papers?   Roget’s Thesaurus has been an invaluable tool and I know I used to have a very worn copy. Now we all look up words on the internet. A new generation may not even know about Roget’s Thesaurus! 

“Roget was an English doctor, writer and inventor, but today is best known for his ‘thesaurus’.  Peter Mark Roget was born on 18 January 1779 in London, the son of a Swiss clergyman. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and graduated in 1798. As a young doctor he published works on tuberculosis and on the effects of nitrous oxide, known as ‘laughing gas’, then used as an anaesthetic.”-BBC

What a marvelous book for “Marvelous Monday!”

Harper Lee is 87 Today!

For Societal Sunday it is so fitting to celebrate Harper Lee’s birthday!  Though she has kept publicly quiet for decades, her book, To Kill a Mockingbird has loudly deplored the ugliness of racism, bias and prejudice throughout the world.

 

“Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone’s disbelief.”-August Wilson, American Playwright

Playwright, August Wilson’s quote is just right for “Simple Saturday” and he proved that his belief in himself outdid anyone’s doubt.Gone too soon from this life, August Wilson lives on in his characters and the insightful, heart-wrenching plays he wrote. He was only 60 years old when he died in 2005 leaving behind timeless words and a timeless body of work such as: Fences(Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award, NY Drama Circle Critics’ Award), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson (Pulitzer Prize), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and other plays. “In his work, Mr. Wilson depicted the struggles of black Americans with uncommon lyrical richness, theatrical density and emotional heft, in plays that gave vivid voices to people on the frayed margins of life: cabdrivers and maids, garbagemen and side men and petty criminals. In bringing to the popular American stage the gritty specifics of the lives of his poor, trouble-plagued and sometimes powerfully embittered black characters, Mr. Wilson also described universal truths about the struggle for dignity, love, security and happiness in the face of often overwhelming obstacles.”-Charles Isherwood, NY Times, 2005

August Wilson would’ve been 68 years old today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film Friday

“Certain things leave you in your life and certain things stay with you. And that’s why we’re all interested in movies- those ones that make you feel, you still think about. Because it gave you such an emotional response, it’s actually part of your emotional make-up, in a way.” –Tim Burton, Burton on Burton

I don’t know why, but for a few days I have been thinking about a movie I saw when I was 12 years old, A Patch of Blue with Sidney Poitier (whom I always had a crush on!),  Shelley Winters and an unknown at the time, Elizabeth Hartman. Writing this post, I learned that Elizabeth Hartman had committed suicide at the young age of 44!  How sad!!!!!   At that time, A Patch of Blue definitely evoked from that 12 year old girl a definite “emotional response” as I watched the ugly racism and prejudice unfold from the great Shelley Winter’s character as her blind daughter develops a relationship with a wonderful man portrayed by Sidney Poitier. Ms Winters won an Oscar for this role.

Just think of the history being made in 1965: The Voting Rights Act, The Selma to Montgomery March led by Dr. King, the murder of Viola Liuzzo by the Ku Klux Klan after the Selma to Montgomery March was over, the assassination of Malcolm X, the Watts Riot in Los Angeles…

GO GOOGLE!!!!! Ella Fitzgerald and Jerry Leiber

Kudos to Google for celebrating the birthday of Ella Fitzgerald!!! I used to love seeing her on Ed Sullivan and other TV shows. What a silky smooth voice, what an interpreter and oh did I love her scat singing!!!!  I can still visualize her singing, “A Tisket, A Tasket,” which, as a kid, I just adored!

Listen to her silky smoothness with her beautiful duet with Louis Armstrong on “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”

It’s Thankful Thursday…again…so Thankful for Music, For Ella, For Louis, For Richie and so many others!

Can’t  let today go by without a great and loving shout-out to a great song, Stand By Me, written by Jerry Leiber (music by Mike Stoller) who was also born today in 1933. He also wrote, “Hound DogandCharlie Brown,” “Come a Little Bit Closer (Remember Jay & the Americans singing that?  Who can forget?), “Spanish Harlem” and many other songs that were part of the soundtrack of the Baby Boomer Generation, MY generation…Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation! (Thank you, WHO!)

 

Leiber & Stoller

The One & Only BARBRA!

 

Because of her singing they all went away feeling moved, feeling comforted, feeling, perhaps, the slightest tremors of faith.”-Ann Patchett, American Writer

Yes, there is only one Barbra Streisand….that voice…that personality….a multitude of talent and a Brooklyn gal!  Happy Birthday, Barbra!

Barbra Streisand has never been one to ever back down on her beliefs: “I am also very proud to be a liberal. Why is that so terrible these days? The liberals were liberators. They fought slavery, fought for women to have the right to vote, fought against Hitler, Stalin, fought to end segregation, fought to end apartheid. Liberals put an end to child labor and they gave us the five day work week! What’s to be ashamed of?”

I know I proposed a few weeks ago that  this is Wise Wednesday, I suggest you put on some Barbra Streisand and let the magic begin. Music reaches the depths of our souls, our emotions and stirs up memories, good, bad, so-so…music makes us FEEL!! So, FEEL my friends as you listen to Barbra sing: