Part Two: Mountains, and a late dinner with GrandmaPosted: August 23, 2013
I left off, in my last post, with the goal of making my grandmother a meal that would express the sense of gratitude I strive to hold food and family and give her a small taste of happy days past. An ancestral exercise in social meals.
It was delicious and I failed.
Still, Let us roast a chicken for grandma… all day.
- One Riverdog Chicken (3.87 lbs)
- 3 Purple medium potatoes cubed
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 1/4 cup whole almonds
- 3 carrots diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- Olive oil as needed
- Salt and Pepper to taste (go for salty)
- Fresh/dried herbs as available/needed
- Coat bird generously with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- mince garlic, chop onion.
- In a large pan or cast iron sauté onion and garlic with oil on medium heat until onions are translucent
- Add chopped potatoes, carrots, and more oil, cover and simmer on low to medium heat until veggies are softly and stabable with a fork.
- Add diced apple and almonds for a quick two minute sauté finisher.
- Stuff bird. Seal with pins or twine. Save any access stuffing fringe for later.
- Roast bird at 250 degrees for 4 hours, coating with the dripping fat or more olive oil every 30 minute if possible, or whenever you can its no biggie.
- Roast at 400 for 30 min to crisp skin
- Remove bird, let cool! and remove stuffing with big spoon
- Bake stuffing (and extra in fridge) for another 10 minutes in the oven while the bird rests.
- Grab a drumstick say a cheers to health, kin, and happiness
As previously stated, it was delicious. The moistest bird I have ever managed. Next time I would add some fresh rosemary and thyme to the stuffing and rub down. It would have helped the contrast to the satisfyingly salt bird.
Flavors bounce of each other that way.
But back to the point. Was my Grandmother comforted by this attempt at comfort food, who knows?
My grandmother is 85, arthritic, and wheel chair bound.
The women whose kitchen my kid butt sat in eagerly a waiting kind offerings of gooey beaters.
That women is hovering somewhere in a fog of cognitive degeneration that unfairly accompanies age. I had hoped my chicken could coax out that younger soul. She at as she did at The Lakeside Inn the night prior, mechanically and without expression or comment.
I had to cut it for her, so it goes.
I am grateful that my grandmother is under the care of a lovely European companion, whom goes the extra mile daily. My grandmother dinner salads reflect that.
I am grateful that the chicken made the house smell like Thanksgiving all day.
I am grateful that my grandma does still smile when I enter the room. If nothing else the meal showed me that my food was not nearly as important as my presence at the table. In the absence of my late grandpa my butt in his old seat was great comfort.
I am grateful that when I leave Tahoe, an equally old basset hound will be by grandma’s side begging leftover chicken dinner from her plate.
“I think cooking is love, don’t you?”
– Julia Childs