Sprouting Feathers

 

I’m known for my cooking. How I wish that were not so.

I burn things, forget half the ingredients, forget what I added then put them in again. It’s right there in my books, on my blog, and in the memories of everyone who knows me.

And now nobody trusts my cooking.

Take Marilyn.

“Do come for lunch”, I say.

“Oh, great,” she says.  “You choose the restaurant.”

What’s the point in visiting a person at home if you’re going to go out for lunch? But I was so glad to see Marilyn, I didn’t fight.

Then there’s Elaine.

“You make the tea,” she said. “But I’ve read your book. So I’ll bring something for us to eat.”

Then Jane took sick.

“I could make you a roast chicken”, I phoned Jane and said, not revealing the thing was already roasting in the oven. 

But Jane declined immediately. “I have pneumonia,” she said. “Don’t want you to get it.”

“I didn’t know you could catch pneumonia from someone else,” I argued.

“Well, with your luck, you just might,” she replied.

So there’s a roast chicken sitting in my fridge. Or lying on its back, as roast chickens are wont to do. In a freezer bag. Surrounded by lovely roast potatoes.

But the real reason I’m not pushing the chicken is because, since I’d have to deliver it whole, I’m unsure how it tastes.

“How ‘bout I bring her half of the chicken we roasted for ourselves?” I suggested to my husband. “We know it turned out well.”

“You can’t bring half a chicken!” he replied. “It’s like giving someone your leftovers.”

~~

What to do?

Muriel to the rescue.

My friend Muriel is in her 80’s, her husband Michael in his 90’s. Michael’s been ill and in hospital. Muriel, meanwhile, needs all the help she can get. She spends almost every day at the hospital, returning home exhausted.

What could I do? Well, I’d considered giving her a roast chicken too, but then I started to worry – what if I’d over-seasoned it? Worse, if Muriel got sick anytime in the next 10 years, I’ll know it was my chicken that did it.

Then Muriel called to say Michael’s health was improving. I was so happy, I offered both roast chicken and butternut squash soup. My soup – pureed butternut squash, made with apples and onions – always turns out well. I said so.

“I’d be glad for the soup, Cynthia. Thank you, dear.”

Thank God. Thank Muriel. 

So today I brought soup for Muriel. Then for Jane and Allen.

I’d planned to leave it at Jane’s door, run away, then phone to say, “Check your front door!” But she opened the door  just as I was about to do so, thanked me, and said they’d be glad to have my soup.

Hooray!  I’ve finally become one of those women who bring food for their friends.

Meantime, my poor husband claims he’s sprouting feathers.

“Chicken again?” he groans.

Yes, dear. Until that roast chicken is all done.

Advertisements

58 Comments

Filed under A Good Home, Cooking, Food

58 responses to “Sprouting Feathers

  1. A fun and clever ride through the wacky world of Cynthia’s cooking and commentary; when the feathers come home to roost. XD

  2. Laughing……I wish you could come to The Holler! I’ll feed you if you prefer.

  3. I would welcome your soup or your roast chicken. After all, even if hubbie is sprouting feathers, he’s still crowing, which is always a good sign of household food safety. Croaking; not so good. 😀

  4. I’d take the squash soup. Yum! And probably the chicken, too. I bet it’s been good, hasn’t it?

  5. Roast chicken is always a good thing. Soup, salad, broth, even the dogs love it! Do you need a chicken salad recipe? You will need to bake Foccacia for sandwiches……

  6. This is so funny and just shows sometimes you’re just known for the wrong reasons! Yeah to the soup! 😀😀

  7. If you ask me, your friends are all chicken 🙂

  8. How sad that nobody wanted your roast chicken after all the trouble you went to. That’s the trouble with a blog, your reputation goes before you. And I bet it was delicious. You can’ t really go wrong with roast chicken unless you don’ t cook it long enough and give people salmonella. I suppose you might worry a bit about that if you already have pneumonia.

  9. Why do I suspect this self-deprecating humor is just that? It sounds like you can cook just fine–I wouldn’t know where to begin, making squash soup!

    • Sometimes, self-deprecating humour is well-placed. Especially when it comes to my cooking! I do have a few dishes that I make very well, but I have no intelligence as a cook, and even less confidence these days. Still, I keep trying.

  10. What a fun post, Cynthia. I’m not much of a cook, but I can make a mean batch of chili in the crock pot.

  11. I like it when anyone cooks for me!

  12. I bet that roast chicken tasted scrumptious and the soup sensational.
    Love your humor, Cynthia. 🙂 ❤ 😛

  13. Kev

    Lol. I could eat roast chicken every day 😀

  14. It all sounds delicious to me. The chicken, the soup, the writing.

  15. I’ll bet you’re a better cook than you think you are.
    How about beef stew? That’s so easy I learned how to make it when I was about twelve years old.

  16. One should never turn down home cooked food. I love squash soup but have never made it. Your husband must have liked it if he had it more than once. You are probably a great cook and so kind to share with your friends. You have not lost your sense of humor!

    • Oh, my squash soup always turns out well. I will have to share the recipe soon on my blog. It also freezes well. I am not a great cook or even a good one, but I have a few dishes that I do well.

  17. What a mean lot your friends are 😉 I am so pleased that you eventually found customers for your lovely food! I am grateful to anyone who cooks for me.

  18. Oh dear, I do recall your quirky cooking style from your books Cynthia, but still I’m sure I wouldn’t refuse a meal – it would be full of love if not flavour 🙂

  19. Chicken can always be disguised in soup. They will never know! 🙂

    I do make your chick pea, sweet potato and onion dinners on occasion. I did modify it a bit, and it also contains kale or beet greens now for additional flavor and color as well as nutrition. That was a great recipe!

  20. REID.GE@GMAIL.COM

    Hi:
    Uncle Eddie from LONDON. ENGLAND. Read your excellent report on that POOR Defenceles Chicken!!
    Do what I do, Always leave the FEATHERS ON when Baking Chicken, then when you offer it to your friends they can say “WHAT A LOVELY BIRD THIS IS” Then they will know they must add their seasoning, and you will not have to worry if you did season it too much, or not at all. This Salmon Yella. [Yellow salmon]..Is it some sort of seasoning you put in the Chicken? ????????????????. Ha, ha
    Love to all
    Ed

    • Haha…. the truth is that I was scared of salmonella – so I overcooked the second chicken! But I don’t believe you cook the chicken with its feathers. I believe a lot of things, but not that!

      • REID.GE@GMAIL.COM

        MY DEAR CYNTHIA
        YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE SIZE OF ENGLISH CHICKENS, THEY ARE LIKE “SMALL OSTRICHES”, WELL LARGE OSTRICHES.
        FIRST, YOU PUT THE OVEN IN THE CHICKEN, SO YOU COOK THE CHICKEN “INSIDE OUT” THEN YOU PUT THE CHICKEN INTO THE OVEN,” OUTSIDE IN” THEN YOU PUT THE CUT-UP ONION, GARLIC, SKELLION, PEMENTO THYME, [ SOMETIME IF YOU ARE IN A HURRY, JUST PUT YOUR WATCH, OR A CLOCK IN THE CHICKEN, SAVES TIME,ha, ha., bloody foreigners cant take a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
        AND AS YOU KNOW THAT WHEN ONION GETS INTO YOUR EYES, YOU START TO CRY LIKE HELL. SO MY DEARS, CAN YOU KNOW HOW THAT CHICKEN FEELS, WHEN YOU ARE PUSHING ALL THOSE THINGS YOU CALL SEASONING UP ITS.========= WHERE DO YOU PUSH UP ALL THOSE THINGS INTO THE CHICKENS??????????????
        IT MUST BE PAINFUL FOR THE “POOR THING” JUST THINKING ABOUT IT, MAKES WATER COMES TO MY EYES. THIS CHICKEN THING, CAN YOU PLEASE COOK LAMB OR SOMETHING, AS THIS COULD GO ON FOR A LONG TIME AND YOU KNOW YOUR UNCLE EDDIE, MOTOR MOUTH, ACTUALLY MOTOR FINGERS, HE NEVER STOPS.
        BLESS

      • Naughty person you — I had no idea you were so fond of chickens. I am indeed a bloody foreigner to you Brit, but I get the joke! And I promise — I shall have to cook lamb or something before you start crying again…. meantime, I leave you to your ostriches.

  21. You are wonderful, Cynthia. If I was in trouble and a friend cooked a chicken (however it turned out) and brought it round they would welcome many times over!

  22. Oh, How I can relate. I have changed all our eating habits the past year. This means I am learning to cook ALL over again. I cook for healthy living. Everyone knows now so all my food is an experiment:-) They stop by and I am always saying, “taste this” tell me what you think???? they are always polite and say, well, add this or “yuck” or that is good. I get a lot more “yuck” or “well, it needs more this” than I do ” I love it”. I do on occasion after many months of trial and error, am learning.My husband finally now eats my veggie rolls ( kale, celery, chicken and tempay and other veggies) after about 8 yrs. LOL. he likes them now. It took him being concerned for his health and now he likes more of what I cook:-),
    I have yet to make sweets taste good that have no sugar! I leave that to my friends. I bring nuts or something they recognize!

  23. 😀 You could make chicken soup…. 🙂

  24. LOL, I feel the same way about chicken. it’s either that or fins, can’t be sure. I love that your friends wanted your soup. Keep it up girl!!!

  25. Lol. At least you didn’t roast a pig:).

  26. Lol we can’t be great at everything Cynthia. But I’d take the squash soup too. In fact, it sounds similar to my recipe. 🙂

  27. My neighbours – back in more affluent times – gave us meals endlessly. Typical Andalucían food, ie bean slop (once they’d discovered we were veg), and we liked it. Who wouldn’t? We offered them curry once. Oh. No. The palate in our pueblo is very bland, and hot spicy Indian did not do it.

    They give us calabaja (?) anyway it’s squash. So, not a fan of it. I find it tasteless and textureless. Adelina used to do a nice sauté but it was actually quite spicy, cumin and chilli I think. I could never replicate it, and as I don’t buy/grow squash, it wasn’t important. I prefer courgette. Courgette soup is good 🙂

    I have a friend who thinks she can cook. On one occasion, she waltzed off into the bathroom with her boyfriend, and airily said: ‘sort the hollandaise, I know you can do it’. When she got married, it was always a relief when her husband was cooking if we went for dinner.

    I can’t imagine not being a proficient cook so I feel for you. But … I have never roasted a chicken in my life, nor have I cooked roast beef, nor Yorkshire pudding. 🙂 so, you have the edge on me with the chicken.

  28. Laurie Graves

    Both sound lovely! Too bad I live so far away 😉

  29. ha ha ha ha…..poor Hamlin. My children can relate as chicken is always my go to when I have limited time or poor planning for our dinner. They groan and respond the same way!

  30. Thank heavens that all of my friends are so much better cooks than me that I never have to offer. And they all have well-stocked freezers. 🙂 What a kind soul you are! Wishing you much joy this festive season. (and roast pork for your husband 🙂 )

  31. You gave me a real chuckle. I know that you have mentioned your cooking skills before…I think you will become famous for your soup. 😀

  32. Wonderful! I bet your chicken is lovely 😉

  33. You crack me up with your tales of your cooking. I just can never believe it’s as bad as you say, but I do enjoy reading about it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s