Happy Spring! Just thought I’d drop in and give a quick hello! Been busy, but haven’t forgotten about everyone out in the blogosphere. Instead of creating new content to stop by with, thought I’d share one of the articles I … Read more
While I will happily admit that this has not normally been (much of) a food blog, today I’m going to talk a bunch about food.
I have been gluten free for about a year and half now. That has helped me feel better. There have been a couple of times I have been on more of a paleo eating plan and found that I felt even better. So, this January I very quietly did a Whole30. I lost ten pounds.
I thought that was pretty cool.
For the most part now I am abstaining from grains (there have been a few slices of gluten free toast and some wild rice in the chicken soup, so less than two meals per week have some grain) and dairy (again mostly – dabbled with cheese, that ended badly – butter seems to be ok though). As long as I stay clear of the chocolate I can keep the refined sugars to a minimum – not as easy to do for me at the moment though.
Because I wouldn’t mind loosing another ten pounds, I figure I’ll stick with what’s working for me.
The best part of the Whole30 for me was how it got me thinking about food differently. I feel as though I am thinking about and planning meals better. Flavors matter more. I keep having these sensations in my mouth. So much taste. It is not about how much I can stuff into my face and how full I can feel. Trust me, I still feel full. But instead of a third helping of noodles, I’m hovering over the dish of roasted vegetables all but licking it clean.
I’m also trying more new (for me to prepare) dishes. The other day I made a pork tenderloin dish my sister in law recommended. It was the first time I made a pork tenderloin. I loved it. Tonight I roasted a chicken for my first time. I have done turkeys before, no idea why I hadn’t tried a smaller bird. Silly me. Again, loved it.
Now instead of scouring the internet looking for ‘legal’ sweets to try to bake, I’m excited when I find a recipe for good protein and veggies that promises lots of flavor.
I thought I’d share what I think is the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. Well, how to make it anyhow. I don’t think you want the one I made now. It’s kind of a bony bird now – next stop soup!
I started with this recipe. Why that recipe? Because it seemed cool to have to butterfly my chicken. Ok, I had to test out my kitchen sheers. They did the job. And, I didn’t want to find string to truss the bird. The way my thinking runs, I would’ve just gone and grabbed some baling twine and I’m afraid it would have melted with the roasting. So, a spineless bird was required.
What did I change though? I simplified things, I think. I greased a 9×13 pyrex baking dish pretty liberally with butter – because I was too cheap to use the rest of my store bought ghee and too lazy to clarify any butter today. Then I threw in one red onion sliced into about 16 wedges. I added a couple of coarsely chopped carrots and celery stalks as well as two sweet potatoes sliced/chopped to match the sizes of the other veggies. I sprinkled the veggies with salt and pepper. The chicken I sprinkled very liberally with salt, some pepper and herbes de provence. I also smooshed about three pats of butter on each side of the chicken breast, under the skin.
Why herbes de provence? I bought a jar of it one of my last trips through Costco. It has lavender in it. Lavender smells so good, how could it not taste good? Oh and there is fennel and savory in it. And thyme and basil. Fennel is one of my favorite herbs to pair with sweet tastes, like applesauce. You would not believe how yummy the carrots were that picked up the fennel taste. At any rate, you need to own some herbes de provence. Because it has lavender in it.
Back to the cooking demo…
The chicken and veggies spent a little over an hour in a 425 degree oven – because my oven tends to run hot. About half way through I turned the pan the other way and stirred the veggies around to coat them in the juices more evenly.
Such a simple meal and absolutely heavenly. The guy seemed to like it. Although he didn’t get many of the veggies. But, he would of had to fight me for those. Especially were they got so caramelized crunchy yummy. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Oh, give me a moment.
He did say the chicken was good. When I told him I might have to make this once a week he didn’t cringe. That’s the true measure, right?
As usual I didn’t measure out my seasonings or spices – it looked about right when I did it and came out of the oven just perfect. While I was doing my afternoon chores outside I would catch whiffs of it baking – it smelled divine.
I wonder if it would be overkill to do one again tomorrow?
I’m often a scrooge of sorts come Valentine’s day. Do we really need a commercially promoted day to fess up (in often sickeningly saccharin sweet ways – bleh) to our love?
Ok, I’ll admit…. once in a while I need an external nudge to see the good in those around me. Just a quick call for a different perspective and to appreciate those we love for the reasons why we love them. But, really – pink and hearts and flowers and chocolate? Well I’m alright with the chocolate. You can keep the frilly froo-froo crap though.
At any rate – lotsa love to all of you out there, whether I know you or not.
Here’s a picture of my Valentine…
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After nearly a year of waiting… and my complete and utter failure to do baby watch updates. Here he is at a few hours old. I’m pretty sure he will be palomino like his mom. I think. His mane and … Read more
“I’m not dead yet. I feel happy!!!”
That concludes your movie pop-quiz of tonight’s post. FWIW, it’s been so long since I’ve watched that one, I am not certain if it is an accurate quote or not. Any guesses?
So this is the point where I should probably update everyone on all the stuff that’s been going on and why I’ve been very absent from the blogging scene. Yeah well, maybe another day.
Suffice it to say, I’ve missed you all. I’ve missed the semi-regular almost disciplined approach to recording some of my activities. Mostly, I feel like a schmuck that I let this almost completely drop off my radar. If nothing else, it’s cheap therapy.
For now, I’m going to share a photo. I took it the other day. It is of one of the kittens. Yes, I still have five cats.
With that, I’m off to edit more photos. With luck, I will return to my semi-regular randomized schedule with absolutely no rhyme or reason to my topics of posting.
I tried to do a standard reblog through WordPress… somehow it seems not to have taken. So we’ll try just a plain old link back… This is a well written post addressing something I’ve had to deal with from a … Read more
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In an effort to get myself cruising with this blog again, I’m going to repost something I originally wrote for Horse Nation. Even though it has only been about six months since I wrote this, it was fun to revisit … Read more
Ok, I’m very delinquent in giving this update. I apologize.
The day after my post about finding the little hawkling I went ahead and took him to the wildlife sanctuary/rehab place.
You ever just know something isn’t right? That’s how it was with Horus. After 24 hours of my care (such as it was) it just seemed to me he was going the wrong direction. My 24 hour count went from when I first saw him at 10:00 in the morning to the next morning. Something wasn’t right. He was quieter. Not really attempting to eat.
So we went for a drive.
Once we got to the wildlife rescue they fed him a chicken liver which they told me he promptly scarfed down. Good job for having an appetite still. I left the place thinking good thoughts for the little guy.
The next day I got the following e-mail:
Once again, thank you for taking the time to rescue the red-tailed hawk chick and bring him to Safe Haven. Unfortunately he did not survive the night. In the late afternoon he began vomiting, a sign of dehydration. We administered oral fluids immediately and once more in the evening. For a chick his age and size, once dehydration sets in it is very hard to recover them. We are sorry that we could not have done more.
Safe Haven Rescue Zoo
Pretty much broke. my. heart.
So I played the shoulda, coulda, woulda game for a bit. If I had taken him in the day I found him, would it have gone better for him? Was there something wrong with him in the first place that caused him to fall out of the nest? The gal that took him at the rescue thought he might have had an injury to his left wing and foot. Most likely from his 20-foot plus fall. But maybe from something else? Was tuna the wrong thing to feed him?
After beating myself up for all the things that I might have done differently plus a few things that were beyond my control, I let out a big sigh of resignation. My bottom line: I did what I could, what I thought was best. I don’t know if my actions helped or not. Maybe it all just prolonged the inevitable.
Which brings me to a deeper thought. We are all on a road to our inevitable demise. What matters in our journey? Who matters in our journey? To me that latter question is the more important one.
Back to the hawks though. There are still two fledgling hawks in the nest. They are definitely not Red Wings. No idea where that concept came from.
It seems the hawks will go on. Just like the rest of us.
This morning as I was running late getting to an appointment, I noticed a fledgling chicken between the driveway and Karat’s pen. Oddly enough, I thought there was only one chick close to that size – and it was a black one that one of the Banty hens had hatched out around Memorial Day.
This one is decidedly grayish with brown feathers coming in. Sharpish looking claws and a curvy beak. This ain’t no chicken. Definitely a hawk.
There is a hawk nest in the tree next to the chicken house in the front yard. I could only figure that this ball of fluff with talons was one of the fledgling hawks from that nest.
Running late as I was – I figured I would leave things to fate. If it was around when I got back home then I’d worry about it. If not, well life can be a bit tough sometimes.
When I got home I didn’t see the guy around. I had started calling the little one Horus, just to my self. Not seeing him around I figured was my luck for naming him. I checked around where I had seen him and checked in on the chickens – no sign of the little hawk.
I went inside to cool off. It’s been running just at triple digits here. The chickens were being noisy and there was a definite not chicken noise coming from the front yard. Thinking it was just the other fledglings calling from the nest I went back outside to double check. Ok, in truth I was still hopeful that the little raptor was around still.
Sure enough, he was in the hen house. Not sure what to do I put a call in to a wildlife rescue/sanctuary in the next valley over. I’m still waiting to hear back from them. I asked the guy what he knows about hawks – he said it’s illegal to keep them. Sigh.
Birds of Prey have fascinated me for a long time. Hawks in particular – the northwest has beautiful Red-Tailed Hawks. One place that I lived in for a few years bordered a wetlands area with resident Bald Eagles – who would routinely soar across the water towards the kitchen window and up over the house. I still haven’t figured out what kind of hawks we have here in the Great Basin- they are smaller brownish things. Whatever they are, they seem well suited to the desert.
I was pretty impressed that he had found his way to the hen house. Honestly, I can’t be sure it was his doing and not one of the hen’s getting a mothering instinct going. (Completely unlike what I have going on right now, ahem.)
Since I haven’t heard anything from anyone that might know any better I figured he needed food and chicken scratch wasn’t going to do it for this carnivorous fledgling. Tuna anyone? It works for the cats. In fact I suspect he would probably really enjoy the cat food too.
I donned a leather glove – a singleton, lefty – to attempt to feed him. He took a few nibbles of tuna from my fingers. At that point I was very happy with my glove choice. Then after a bit he just went for the can of tuna.
Now, he’s in a box with his can of tuna and a towel. I was worried that the roosters may take a disliking to him. Last time I checked on him he was napping. I’m trying to figure out any loopholes to having a hawk. Semantics may play a big part here. If I don’t lock him up or ‘keep’ him in any way, yet he lingers around because he likes what feed happens to be around, does that count as having him?
In all seriousness I am hoping that the wildlife place calls back with some help – preferably a contact well versed with raptors and their care.
Meanwhile, I’m cooing at him.
I spoke with Linda at the wildlife rescue. Her first question was if he could be put back in the nest. Actually, that was her second question (the real first being if there was a nest around). The answer to putting him back in the nest was a definite no. The nest is at least 20 feet up in a cottonwood tree that sways ever so nicely in a gentle breeze. Unless someone has a cherry-picker nearby.
Next, she wondered if the mommy-hawk was still around. I had heard her just before the phone call so that was a yes. She suggested moving the fledgling to a spot where the mother bird could get to him and take care of his feeding. It sounds like tuna is not a complete meal for the birds (at least not without bones and organs). Hopefully I have Horus in a spot now where his mother can feed him an appropriate diet.
If it seems that the mom-hawk isn’t doing that for whatever reason, they do take care of hawks at this sanctuary/rescue and will come pick him up.
All I can say is that when he looks at me, it is completely different from when one of the chickens look at me. Big, dark, piercing, unflinching, unfrightened eyes.
So, I have a dilemma. A problem of sorts.
You know the kittens that are here? The two boys are both grayish striped things. Nearly identical.
You see, they look a lot alike. In fact if they are not next to each other, I’m only about 25% sure which one I’m looking at. Given that my actual odds should be 50%, I’m thinking this is pretty bad.
Want to try a few more with me?
To make things simpler for myself – and to ease any identity crises these kittens may have from me not being able to tell them apart from each other – I have decided to call them both Darryl.
However, to keep things so they sound proper, Smudge will have be Larry.
So that we have:
Or to put it another way:
Smudge is cool enough to pull this all off. At least I see her that way. Plus as an added bonus, I know these kittens are all way smarter than the characters of the same names from the “Newhart” show.