Sunday, June 06, 2010

Our weekend and our week ends

We had a lovely, quiet weekend,  staying home nearly the entire time, working on projects around the house. Saturday morning, we planted our flowers for the summer, including a gorgeous Columbine, the state flower of Colorado.

 publicdomainpictures (^)

Every year we've had less and less to purchase and plant, since we try to plant perennials and re-seeding annuals as much as possible. Still, I was surprised that we were able to get by with so little this year - a 9-pack of pink petunias, a pink geranium, the columbine, and 2 portulaca. 

It's been unseasonably hot so far this June, and it may cause me to break down and get a tomato plant. Colorado has odd, unpredictable weather during the day, and tends to have cool nights, which is a bad combination for  tomatoes. Still, hope springs eternal, so I usually end up getting a plant or two, nursing it through the summer, and getting maybe one or two tomatoes total. Sigh. I'll probably never learn. 

Dan spent the weekend doing several things on his "Honey-Do" list. He installed a cat door in the door that leads from the master bath to the hallway. We close our door when we leave the house to keep the dog downstairs, but the kitty tends to manage to trap herself on the wrong side of the door about 50% of the time. This way, as long as the door between our bedroom and the bathroom is open, kitty can come and go as she pleases. 

Dan also fixed the microwave (the turntable had stopped turning); rehung the door on the tool shed with new screws to prevent it from being saggy; and positioned the fans for the summer season. Oh, and he taught the SuperCat to play Tee-ball in advance of her first practice this week. She has a remarkable sense of hand-eye coordination and picked up on batting the ball off the tee right way. Running the bases was a bit harder to explain, but she seemed to be getting it toward the end. 

As for me, I worked on several projects, including de-cluttering the kitchen and organizing some files. I did a bit of writing, and spent about 3 hours doing all of our summer scheduling this afternoon. Everything I can possibly think of is on our shared schedules with reminders, notes, directions, and so on. 

Because the weather has been so cooperative, we ended up grilling on the deck Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. I read about a technique for preparing chicken last week at the Amateur Gourmet called "spatchcocking" (^). I ended up trying it tonight and don't think I'll ever grill or bake a chicken any other way ever again. 

Basically, you excise the spine from the chicken with a super-sharp knife, then push the whole thing flat. That's it. If you're up for it, you can remove the breast bones and ribs from the inside, but you don't have to. The flat chicken is more or less the same thickness all over and will grill or bake quickly and evenly, resulting in all of the meat being very moist. 

 spine removed, laid flat. 
the scissors are to snip around the tail bone

 spine, breast & rib bones removed

Dan grilled ours with a bit of spicy-vinegary barbecue sauce. It cooked very fast and evenly, and was as moist as any chicken I've ever had. 

 leg quarter after cooking

S'mores made with GF Graham crackers

  Dennis looking forward to any 
spare chicken parts
We served the chicken with "Gaga beans", baked beans named after my mother-in-law, who puts relish in her beans. Dan makes "Daddy beans", which have mustard, cider vinegar and liquid smoke. "Mommy beans" (mine) are sweetened with brown sugar, and are spiced with chopped onions and diced garlic. They're all different, but are all yummy. 

We have more than half of the chicken left over from dinner, and it'll form the basis for dinner for the next night or two. 

After dinner, Dan hooked a lighted button to the SuperCat's blouse and she ran and careened in the dark on the lawn, flashing like a lightning bug, darting in and out of the shadows. Before we went in, we made S'mores on the still-warm grill, and talked and laughed. A perfect end to a perfect weekend. 


P.S. We ended up staying home all day Sunday, and so we go into Monday morning and the beginning of Week 2 of the June Food Stamp Challenge (^) with the same figures as yesterday, having spent $110.61, which is 31.87% of the total lowest monthly food stamp allowance ($347.00) for a family the size of ours.

No comments: