Post #792 Hi Karen, Here’s Another One!

April 4, 2021 at 1:30 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hi Karen, There’s a couple of things I wanted to tell you about this week, but first let me give an update on the FiL. Just this past week since the last post we have driven the 4.5 hour round trip to the hospital three times for pre-op appointments. It’s exhausting, but at the same time it’s fun. You’re out of the house during the pandemic; you’re seeing some amazing scenery; you’re eating out at safe and nice places; and you’re not home doing chores. Of course, once you get home you’re exhausted because you’ve had zero time to relax you got up at 5am and the overriding tension of the situation goes unrelieved. But, he’s cleared for the operation, and the op is scheduled for later this month with a priority if a slot opens sooner. So, overall, lemonade instead of lemons, and for now, it’s just a waiting game, as is most of life.

We’re in the weird season in between Winter and Spring called “I thought winter was over”. We’ve had some very chilly weather and unseasonal snow storms. It helps with the mud season by keeping the mud frozen, but it always thaws, but it’s not as bad as it could be. Right now, all the farmers in the area are waiting for the ground to thaw out and dry out so they can plant their crops and get the first harvest underway.

We’re in the same boat as the farmers. We want to plant some roses and some bulbs, and some flowers, etc. but we have to wait for the ground to allow a spade to turn it. However, our two trees in the back yard have buds on them, and the bark has turned red to allow new growth. The lilac bush is budding, too, and the whole neighborhood is waiting for that one. It’s huge and when it blooms, it’s spectacular. It sends out a wonderful aroma and everyone wanders by to look at it. We met our yard guy when he asked if he could take some blossoms to his wife. We’ve been doing to furniture upgrades etc, and soon our front porch and our back yard are going to be extensions of the house for us to live in.

Our yard guy is our back yard neighbor and we’ve all become good friends. Our dogs play together a couple of times a week to wear themselves out. He’s volunteered to complete a fence for us so we can let Bear outside to romp around on his own. And he’s volunteered to make a raised bed garden for us. The FiL wants to plant things, and I love having fresh tomatoes and herbs to cook with. We’ve got a gas grill to put together, and a wood fired pizza oven, as well as a charcoal grill and wood fire pit to complete our fun space in the back.

We haven’t made plans for the raised bed garden yet since we don’t know exactly what the space is going to be. However, nature sometimes takes a hand in these things. I was looking for something in our lazy susan pantry under the counter a week ago and found something that made me sit back and laugh:

The first photo is a bag of yellow onions I totally forgot about. I think I had planned a beef and onion roast with them but then changed my mind. Once I was passed the menu item, the ingredients went out of my head and now we have onion sprouts that might taste pretty good, but we can use them to plant and get fresh onions. Not sure if they’ll last that long, but now I now how to get new sprouts and about how long it’ll take. You can do the same thing with garlic. Don’t ask how I know that. The potatoes I knew were there, but didn’t get to them in time. Those can still be used as sprouts, but I doubt that I will.

Karen, another friend of mine made some delicious looking chicken wings and posted a picture on FB recently. We got into a discussion and I told her about some wonderful and crispy wing Partner/Spouse made a few weeks ago. I promised I’d post about it. They’re so simple, I thought you might want to know how to make them. It’s not super healthy since they’re fried, but they taste so good, it’s worth it.

First, you have to get the chicken wings. If you get whole wings, you’ll have to separate them into three pieces: the drumette, the mock thigh, and the dingbat. These are just my terms for them.

There are joints in between each section that you can place your knife blade in. Once it’s settled, give the back of the blade a sharp whack with the flat of your hand and the blade with go right through. Toss the dingbat, and set the dumette and mock thigh in a bowl. Keep count of how many you’re making because you’ll make too much if you’re not careful. You can toss the dingbats, or save them in the freezer for the next time you make chicken soup. We usually toss them.

Once those are done, make the marinade. You’re going to make a fairly large amount, then divide into one third and two thirds. The larger amount with go over the chicken for them to soak in for at least an hour, but the longer the better. Use a half cup of lite soy sauce, a half cup of ponzu lime sauce (or just lime juice if you can’t find the other), a tablespoon of fresh ginger run through a microplane (or chopped very fine if you don’t have a microplane (or buy a jar of ginger paste)), and a teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and fresh ground black pepper. Mix these well until blended. Set aside one third for a drizzling sauce, and put the rest in a gallon sized zip locking bag. Put the chicken pieces in the bag and squeeze the air out and zip shut. Mix the sauce and chicken together to coat completely and place in the fridge. Agitate the bag every half hour. About two hours before cooking remove the chicken from the bag and shake the excess off. Do not pat dry.

Dredge the chicken in plain, unseasoned flour and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet back in the fridge uncovered for two hours. When ready to continue, the flour will look gummy on the chicken. This is supposed to happen.

After two hours, fill a skillet with oil to a level that will cover the chicken to the halfway mark and heat on medium high until it reaches 375. While the skillet is heating, carefully dredge the chicken in the plain flour again and carefully shake it off and set aside. When the oil has reached the correct temperature, place a single layer of chicken in the hot oil being careful of splatters. Cook in batches if necessary. Cook the chicken until brown and crispy, about 7-10 minutes, and turn them over. Cook for the same amount of time then use tongs to remove the chicken to a cooling rack placed on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Check the internal temperature of the chicken to be certain it reads 140 or higher. If it doesn’t, place the baking sheet and chicken in a hot oven until it does. Once all the chicken is cooked, drizzle the reserved marinade over the chicken and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve hot with whatever sides you like. We generally have french fries with this.

The gummy flour dusted with dry flour creates a wonderful crust when it hits the hot oil. The marinade still on the chicken flavors the flour lightly. The crunch of this chicken is amazing and we both get that close-your-eyes moment when we first bite into it.

So, Karen, there’s two fun things for the weekend. Hope you enjoyed this post. Holler if there’s anything else you want to know about it. Take care, share widely if you like, and as always,

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