11.08.2009

Pretty Bird

This is not really a post about money. This is not even a post about esoteric, abstract longings for a changed life.

This is a post about food. Delicious, perfectly cooked, simple, fulfilling food.

      



Dinner last night: roasted chicken, sauteed kale and sweet potatoes wedges.

When we sat down to orient ourselves toward this financial overhaul, we committed to two things: giving away more money and continuing to eat as locally, seasonably and tastily as possible. The former is our attempt to resist the potentially suffocating self-centeredness of this endeavor. The latter is our attempt to resist the potentially community-destroying, health-destroying, and taste-bud destroying nature of eating poorly.  With the help of some friends (Jamie & Alice & Molly & Heidi & Martha), our resistance is strong.

A roasted chicken is a hymn to simple delights. Our preferred preparation, drawn from Alice Waters and perfected in the anatomy labs of graduate school, requires just a bit of forethought: remove the neck, loosen the skin along the breast and thighs and stuff in a load of chopped thyme and garlic, rub a generous amount of salt and pepper over, under and in the nooks and crannys, and let it sit in a bag in the fridge overnight. With a light glug of oil in a heavy pan just big enough for the bird, roast at 375 for 50ish minutes, flipping the chicken a couple times during its transformation. After shredding the meat we didn't devour and saving it for later, we introduced what was leftover (skin, bones, and all) to a quartered onion, some celery and a couple chopped carrots, covered them in water in our crockpot and let them think about things overnight on low. The strained stock is cooling outside; in a bit, I'll skim it and have a few quarts of delight for a tortilla soup (also ala Alice) on the menu later this week.

As I write this, I am overcome with gratitude. I am thankful for the farmers that raised the chicken, for our friends that produced the veggies, for the privilege that allows us to live like this. Simple food has become a sacrament for me. It is a physical reminder of a very Mysterious thing - the endless blessings that comprise my days. Second only to watching Kedzie unfold into life, and holding Nicole's hand just because I can,  planning, preparing, sharing and enjoying a meal takes my breath away with thanks.


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