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An Afternoon in the Kitchen

Vegans beware!! Meat photos below!

In lieu of mowing the lawn just now, I'm blogging. Would I prefer to be mowing? Yes, and no. Yes because we are going to Daytona Beach in the morning for the weekend, (anniversary celebration), and the lawn needs cutting. No, because I like to write. So why am I blogging? Well, our mower has been giving us fits, well, make that me, as in starting the darn thing. Bruce got home from Miami a little after 3, however, he needed to do a few things before we could mow. Meanwhile, I ran a little errand and when I returned I said, "honey, we need to get out there, it looks like rain." Talk about a prophecy!

Mowing commenced, and I was sailing along, and then it began raining. No big deal really, it felt good to cool off. But, and that's a big but, we didn't bargain for the wind. So, before long, it was not just a mild wetting I was receiving, it was a MONSOON! Bruce came by with the edger, making a cut the mower sign, and so I did. Finally, an hour later, the driving rain quit, leaving 1.2 inches in my brand new rain gauge which hasn't been getting much action lately. Now it has. I'm waiting for the grass to dry out a bit before finishing the next two sections, well, make that three. With a corner lot, your yard is divided into sections. In ours, there are five. You do the math on what I've already mowed.

Yesterday, at this time I was in the kitchen preparing all manner of food.  My trip to Freshfield Farms was for fruits, vegetables, and meat. My plan was to freeze some of the fruit for winter. Have you done this before? I have with success, particularly blueberries.
This time around I used my pizza pan from Williams Sonoma with the holes in the bottom to expedite the freezing process. In just a few hours they were frozen enough to pack into a freezer bag for pancakes, muffins, and perhaps lemon pound cake later in the year.

Have you heard of freestone peaches? Three workers at Freshfield Farms had not. When I asked if the featured peaches were freestone, they looked at me like I was crazy. If you already know what that means, skip down a bit. If not, it means that when you cut a peach, or any stone fruit for that matter, the fruit comes away cleanly, meaning you don't waste what clings to the stone. Anyway, after the manager cut one open, we discovered they were indeed freestone with bonus points for no fuzziness on the skin. I HATE fuzzy peach skin. So, instead of all the tips I read on the internet, I simply cut them into slices, and froze them as well.
I know for some folks this is an impossibility because of size constraints, but others might find the information useful. Just before falling asleep, I remembered they were in the freezer as seen above, and went to bag them up. Peaches in November!!

While the freezing was going on, I decided to make fried chicken, one of Bruce's favorites. Looking for my Bon Ton recipe, (which proved elusive), I came across another one from Raleigh, North Carolina, found in an old Southern Living magazine. So, I marinated the chicken pieces with cider vinegar and salt water. That was going fine until I noticed I needed 1 tablespoon of season salt for the flour. What the heck is seasoned salt? I figured I couldn't really decide if I liked the recipe if I didn't follow it, so I turned to Google. Turns out there were loads of recipes for seasoned salt; I used one from a blog that I can no longer find. Good thing I wrote it down....
on the cute pad given to me by my daughter-in-law Michelle. Loads of ingredients, one of which I did not have. Dried parsley. Who uses dry parsley when fresh is so widely available? Corrine does! The finished product.
Looks pretty much like my counter top doesn't it? :)

So now for the flour mixture to coat the chicken:
Next step-- the frying. Seasoned cooks know that food talks to you when it is done. Take cake for instance. You can actually hear a different sound when it is done. Bread, you knock on for a hollow sound. Same with fried chicken. When you first put the pieces into the hot oil, it is loud as heck.
Then, depending on what pieces you are frying, after twenty minutes or so, the fat quiets down and you know your chicken is done without even seeing if it is brown.
For dinner I had one of the pieces ,and it was mighty fine. Is it the best I've ever made? I'm not sure about that, but it is the best looking!
While I was spending the afternoon and evening in the kitchen, I went ahead and put a rub on a small piece of brisket, a meat I've never really mastered. Today I the put it in a cake pan with bar-b-que sauce and water, covered it with plastic wrap and foil, and baked it for four hours at 250 degrees. This much I know already, it is tender as can be. What it will taste like is ytbd. I'm going to find out soon enough because the rain has stopped, Bruce has taken over the mowing, cole slaw is made, along with yellow rice, and I'm heading out to turn on the grill to put a little fire to it. We're having watermelon and biscuits to go along with it so it should be a yummy meal. Or maybe not.
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