“No One Who Cooks, Cooks Alone.”-Laurie Colwin

“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

How true!  This windy, rainy morning, as I sit in my basement typing on my desktop, I can see myself as a young girl in my Bubbie’s (Grandmother’s) kitchen watching her prepare food or helping her. I can see my mom using the meat grinder and helping her prepare chopped liver. We cooks are never alone. Mom, who will be 90 next week, taught me much over the years, she was an excellent cook. From both my mom and bubbie, I learned how to make an excellent dry rub that I use on all meats and poultry; it changes every time, but the basics include paprika, kosher salt, crushed garlic and pepper. In fact, if you just have those 4 ingredients, you’re fine. You can even leave out the garlic and your food will still be delicious. I also learned from the both of them to always, always, season under the skin and years ago I would also place stuffing under the skin. Nowadays, stuffing is made outside of the bird. If I’m in the mood, I place chopped onion and chopped lemon under the skin, I love how lemon tastes after it’s been roasted and has collected the juices of the turkey or chicken. I hope I am not nauseating any vegetarians that may be reading this or perhaps you turned away.

I wish all the bloggers and their families, all over the world, a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving whether you celebrate or not, whether you are American or not, whether you acknowledge the holiday or not. We all give thanks in our own way and with our own words. I enjoy reading your blogs, learning from them and I thank you for visiting mine.

“Hold On

 Hold on to what is good,

Even if it’s a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe,

Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do,

Even if it’s a long way from here.

Hold on to your life,

Even if it’s easier to let go.

Hold on to my hand,

Even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.”

A Pueblo Indian Prayer

“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.


A Positive Suggestion for Each Day of the Week

“It’s strange how the simple things in life go on while we become more difficult.”-Richard Brautigan(My Baby Boomers, Remember Brautigan? I remember buying and loving his Trout Fishing in America in ‘67and The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster in ’68…Gone Too Soon!)

Marvelous Monday:        List one marvelous thing, person, thought

Tasty Tuesday:                  List one tasty food or easy, easy recipe

Wise Wednesday:            List a helpful suggestion in any area of life

Thankful Thursday:        List one thing you are thankful for in any area of life

Film Friday:                       List a fave movie or a line from a fave movie

Simple Saturday:             List a thought…easy…simple…whatever

Societal Sunday:               List something positive for society…what society can

                                                do or change; what we as citizens can do to make

                                                things better

OK…I’ll go first for Thankful Thursday: That’s easy…My hubby and family!

Would love to hear from you each day or whenever…


My husband and I already had our corned beef and cabbage, which was absolutely delicious, as it always is!  This is the first year that we didn’t make it, we bought it already made from our supermarket and I have to say, I don’t think I’ll ever make it again…it wasn’t salty; there was no left-over oily residue on any of the carrots, cabbage or potatoes..simply heavenly!

I love all things Irish: food, music, dance, plays, poetry, movies.  Here is the great Irish singer, Mary Black singing a song that I know from another great singer, Nanci Griffith,  Once In a Very Blue Moon (written by Pat Alger and Eugene Levine).

Speaking of  Nanci Griffith, here she is singing I Would Bring You Ireland (written by Ms Griffith).

Oh…you must also listen to Mary Black and Eleanor McEvoy sing A Woman’s Heart, you’ll want to listen to this over and over again.

An Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand


4 Reasons to Eat Home- Made Chicken Soup

Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)

“Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.”-Ina Garten

 The following 4 reasons were posted by Head Health Nutter on August 31, 2010 on the holistic health blog titled: Live Lighter.

  • Cleansing. “Plenty of fluids” is often advised when you’re ill. A body full of attacking allergens (like a virus) and battling antibodies needs to be flushed in order to get healthy. To that effect, the abundant broth in chicken soup performs aptly.
  • Disinfecting. Chicken soup is generally fairly salty (with lower-sodium versions), so that when it goes down your throat it acts in much the same way as gargling warm salt water. In other words, it removes bacteria in the throat, mouth, and tonsils.
  • Clears sinuses. Much like other warm liquids (for example, tea), it can help to clear the sinuses with steam.
  • Strengthening. The lean protein in chicken and nutrients from added vegetables work to bolster your strength when your body is feeling drained of energy.

My husband was home sick for 2 days: allergies, cold, sinuses. I prepared home- made chicken soup, which is a staple in our home and a comfort food. You can use anything you have in the fridge. Since I didn’t have any parsnip or turnip (which I usually use), this was a very simple, basic soup: chicken wings (yes, I know, they’re fatty, but oh so good), lots of cut up carrots, chopped onion, chopped celery, a peeled and diced potato, fresh parsley and some salt and pepper to taste.  If you use frozen vegetables, then use the Goya Mixed Vegetables, which are the best and throw a handful in. Of course, you can add a little rice or Pennsylvania Dutch noodles.  Chicken soup can be frozen. I make small containers and keep them in my mom’s freezer which she easily defrosts and reheats.  

 I don’t know how the weather is where you are at this moment, but in NY it’s rainy and windy, a great day for home-made chicken soup! Be well!



8 Real Life and Doable Tips for Not Feeling Bored And For Not Depending On Others To Spare You from Boredom

  • Get Chores Done Early so you can…
  • Visit elderly relative or someone you take care of
  • Order books through the public library and read, read, read
  • Develop an interest you can pursue right in your home (Reading? Blogging? Research? Cooking? Music?

I guess I am lucky that I inherited from my 89 year old mom the gift of not feeling bored or the need to be surrounded all the time by people. It’s a blessing. Thank you, Mom!


“I live on good soup, not on fine words.” -Moliere

I hope that whoever visits my blog, clicks onto the menu items at the top of the “Home” page and the menu items within the menu items. This afternoon I made such a delicious, easy Minestrone Soup that I posted it in “About Ilene On Words” and then click onto “People Who Love to Eat…”   Bon Appetit!