Saturday, May 31, 2008

Back in BKLYN

I returned to the B-borough in time for the humidity (or “you-midity” as the natives refer to it), blooming roses, and strawberries. And my tomatoes are doing very nicely, thank you.

While on the Far Away Island, I walked along the beach. At the wrackline, there were rafts of slipper shells, far fewer numbers of jingle shells, and mostly wrecked knobbed and channeled whelks. It was a bright blue cloudless day and somewhere in the high 60s, but the wind, as it so often is there, was vigorous. At times, it felt down-right chilly, and the wind-blown sand savagely pricked my ankles. Nonetheless, my accipitrine eyes picked out two women in bikinis approaching. Were they in the same time/space continuum? They passed and revealed themselves to be English lasses. Barmy. No doubt used to balmy 50-degree summers in Llandudno...

At the family compound: chickadees, goldfinch, grackle, rabbit, robin, mourning dove, catbird, song sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, carpenter bee, honey bee, lady bug, yellow warbler, blue jay, crow, herring gull, downy woodpecker, house sparrow, cardinal, house finch, and the lilacs. Overhead, the crows mobbed the red-hawks, the grackles mobbed the crows, and vultures waited for it all to be sorted out.

Also, I was introduced to the Powershot G9 and felt envy. I drank vodka tonics. I roasted a chicken after heavily salting its surface and letting it sit for 45 minutes. The neck and giblets went into a quick stock, which contributed to a fantastic gravy when mixed with a roux and the rich roast juices and a touch of half and half. This may have been one of the best roast chickens I’ve ever made. Ate it with sweet potatoes and asparagus. Another day I roasted pork loin and made a glaze with red wine and molasses. Never cooked with molasses before. Yum.

5 comments:

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

I would like to hear more about that chicken recipe--special saline? Sounds like something I'd like to try. Funny how the allure of roast chicken increases with every passing year--definitely an "adulthood" thing, at least for this palate!

Thew said...

It's like brining, only less wet. Brining, if you've never done it, means submerging meat into a brine mixture of salt and water (various ratios) for a few hours; you can also introduce flavorings into the brine, which is especially a good thing to do with pork.

Here, I used kosher salt because I had it available and it's easier to handle with the fingers. At home in Cobble Hill, I might also use sea salt. Simply salt the bird liberally inside and out and let it sit for a while: I left it on the counter for about 45 minutes, which also takes off the refrigerator-chill of the meat and means less cooking time.

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Cool! Thanks. Gonna try that. I've never brined--now might be the time.

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

The salting went very well over here. Mixed sea salt, coarse kosher, and a bit of Malden for amusement's sake. Delicious! Thanks for introducing me to the joys of salting.

Thew said...

My pleasure. But so much for me thinking you were living rough in the outback up there. Your salt cellar is well stocked!