As we grow older and hopefully wiser, there’s a whole heap of stuff we should know. Some of it’s practical, hands-on stuff like changing a tire. Then, there are the academic bits and bobs. For instance, it might be a useful to know how the three branches of government work and how to calculate a tip. Finally, there are any number of more philosophical ideas or life lessons that could come in handy. In no particular order …
It’s okay to go ahead and ask. Ask for the job, the promotion or the last piece of pie. Ask the family over for dinner; ask that secret crush to the movies; ask your neighbor for that fabulous recipe. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? The answer will be no. So maybe you’re disappointed. We’re all disappointed from time to time but you’ll have an answer and can move on. Then again, it could be yes. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
A bonafide grownup should be able to roast a chicken. As important, maybe more, is having the grace and confidence to host a dinner party. Few, if any of us, are born unflappable. Dry chicken or obstreperous guest – think of it as a mini lesson in adversity. With each gaffe, we learn more, not just about the task at hand but how to handle unexpected complications, difficulties and embarrassments. Facing mishaps with a smile and grace puts life’s little catastrophes in perspective.
Everything in moderation, including moderation. That first part, don’t overdo it, well, it’s sounds sensible. But come on now, we all need to live a little. Not all the time but, heck it’s okay to let loose once in a while. Dance that extra dance. Laugh a little too loud. Eat the cupcake.
Whether the glass is half-empty or half-full isn’t important. It’s a glass; it’s refillable. Most of us have our gloom and doom moments but life is better for people who embrace optimism. As optimists, we understand that we can’t always predict or guarantee an outcome. However, we are confident that we can control our reactions and determine our next steps. Sure, it can take some time to regain our equilibrium. However, we know there’s almost always another glass in the cupboard.
Tomorrow is another day. While it might not always seem that way, opportunities exist. All you need to do is open your eyes and your heart. A new day offers the chance to review, regroup and take a different direction. Each sunrise reminds us that we have options – to explore a new path, to right a wrong and to make changes for the better.
It’s not all about you. We’ve all seen them – that little group whispering and laughing in the corner. No matter what they are saying; it’s not about you. It’s probably about their weekend plans or a movie we should all see. In the unlikely event they are talking about you; it doesn’t matter. Gossip isn’t about you – it’s about the gossipers. And if they’re admiring your shoes, well, it’s about the shoes. You already know you have excellent taste.
So too, the world does not revolve around you. The sun doesn’t wait until you are ready to stumble out of bed to rise. Your schedule, your preferences, your needs and wants are just that – yours. The rest of us, we’ve got our own lives and we’re doing our best to live them with you but not for you. Your whim is not our command.
That’s all for now and bon appétit!
Lemon Roasted Chicken
A beautifully roasted chicken would be perfect at your next dinner party. Enjoy!
- 1 (about 6 pounds) roasting chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 lemons
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 medium onion, peeled, trimmed and quartered
- 2 sprigs rosemary plus 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
- 2 sprigs thyme plus 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2-1 cup chicken stock or both
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small pieces
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the giblets from the chicken and reserve for another use.
Put the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the chicken’s cavity liberally with salt and pepper. Quarter 1 of the lemons and squeeze the juice over the chicken. Put the lemon pieces, onion, 5 garlic cloves and the rosemary and thyme sprigs into the bird’s cavity. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
Put 2 cups of water in the bottom of the roasting pan. Loosely cover the chicken with foil and slide it into the oven.
Roast the chicken for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees and continue roasting for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for an addition hour or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees. If the water in the bottom of the pan evaporates before the chicken is done, add some more.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, lightly cover with foil and let it rest while you prepare the sauce.
Zest the remaining lemon and juice one half; reserve the other half for another use. Mince the remaining garlic clove.
Set the roasting pan on the stove top on medium-high. Add the wine and stock, whisk in the mustard, minced rosemary, thyme and garlic and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Continue whisking until the sauce comes to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Whisking constantly, add the butter and simmer until the butter melts and the sauce starts to thicken. Whisk in the lemon juice.
To serve: carve the chicken and transfer to a serving platter or individual plates. Add any of the chicken’s juices to the sauce and transfer to a serving bowl.
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Four Years Ago – Applesauce Scones
Five Years Ago – Homemade Bratwurst Bites with Horseradish Mustard
Six Years Ago – Fettuccine with Fresh Corn & Tomatoes
Seven Years Ago – Lemon Rice Cakes with Spinach & Manchego
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Ten Years Ago – Curried Eggplant Soup
Eleven Years Ago – Braised Beef Bourguignon
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!
What’s stuff do you think we all should know? Feel free to share!
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2019