Friday, June 19, 2009

Chicken and a Question

The question is at the end. Let's get to dinner last night, which is the important thing, right?

So, I know you'll all be shocked when I tell you it never stopped raining for more than 15 minutes yesterday, and the temperature peaked at 63 degrees. Man, this is a great April; too bad it's late June. And, of course, we turned off the furnaces on May 10, then had to turn them back on for a week, but turned them off on Memorial Day. This is absurd! It's not Alaska, after all! Anyway, I digress, again. Last night I decided to roast chickens - warm the kitchen and smell great in the process. Garlic, basil and lemon - what a combo!


2 Oven stuffer roasters, about 5 pounds each
(for 10 people)
2 big handfuls brown sugar
1 small handful salt
1 tbsp minced garlic (about)
water to cover

1 stick butter
1 tbsp basil
1 tsp garlic powder

1 lemon

Put the brown sugar, salt and garlic in a big stockpot, stuff the chickens in, drumstick ends up, and cover in cold water. Refrigerate and let soak for as long as you desire. (I believe fancy cookists call this brining - I just called it a way to thaw frozen chickens and impart some flavor).

When it's time to cook, melt the butter with the basil and garlic powder. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice in with the melted butter. Arrange the chickens in the roasting pan and pour the butter mixture over them. Roast at 400F for 15 minutes to brown the skin and seal in the juices, then reduce the heat to 350 and keep cooking until they're done. Skim the fat from the pan drippings to make a nice gravy. You might need a bit of salt in the gravy (I did), but the lemon imparts a wonderful flavor.
Yes, that's how I cook if I'm not thinking about it. Toss in a handful of this or that and cook until done. My kids do not wonder why I can never lay out a precise dinner timetable, because I've always stated that perfection just happens - not often here, but if it ever does, I won't be rushing it. Anyway, I served this with rice and green beans almondine. A warm dinner was had by all.

And now, my question: I need help.

A friend's son is getting married at a lake cottage in Connecticut (don't be impressed, it's 100 years old and the size of my kitchen; they're bringing in porta-pots to handle the crowd) at 2PM on the 4th of July. I need to make a new dress (hubby says I don't, but he's just a silly man). I need to know which of these two options would be more appropriate:

I see this as a princess seamed sun dress maybe with a deep ruffle at the hem, and maybe white piping. Being a floral negates the dark color, right?
This would have to be an empire waisted sun dress, because the fabric is sort of crinkle pleated. But it's a shiny, sort of silky fabric. Too much for an outdoor wedding?

Cast votes, please! Everybody! Help me figure out what to do!


SissySees said...

Oh, I feel your pain in making this decision. Firstly, dark colors ARE perfectly fine these days. I was encouraged to buy a crimson (gasp!) dress to wear to a May wedding at my (Catholic) college chapel. (Um, no, I didn't wear red. In fact, the wedding was downsized and I was rather uninvited, but that's another story.)

Anyhoo, that being said, I think you'll be more comfortable in the first print, and given the setting you described, I'd honestly wear a dress in a similar color myself.

For the record, I almost ALWAYS buy a new dress for ANY wedding I attend, just because it seems like the girly thing to do.

Breezy Point Mom said...

I vote for the navy blue and cream floral fabric. (at least that is the way the colors come across my screen).

Paula said...

First, your roasted chickens look terrific. I like how you brined them. Did you have to rearrange your fridge shelves to make them fit? :-) With that lemon, garlic, and basil, this has a Mediterranean flair to it!

Regarding your dress, hmmm. Both fabrics are lovely. Which one feels more comfortable against your skin? Also, if it ends up being cold that day, which fabric matches better with your wrap or sweater? Perhaps you need 2 new dresses and then we could see them on you and give you final feedback! I'm no help at all, am I. I guess if I had to choose, I would choose the darker fabric as it would compliment your fair skin and gorgeous hair. Plus, it would look terrific with your pearls.

Tatersmama said...

The first one is a winner! A princess seamed sundress in that fabric would look beautiful on you, with your coloring and all! I take it that it's a garden wedding? Go for bright and summery. ;-)

Just don't forget to post photos when you're done... okay?

Tee said...

wow, I can almost taste that chicken....I like the second fabric best, but since it's an outdoor wedding, I'd go with the floral. The piping will make it look more elegant and polished.

Unknown said...

I say go with the floral. The other fabric looks too formal for an outdoor wedding. Add pipping and the ruffle if you want but wear the floral. you know you want to and red shoes! g

Pam said...

What a perfect meal for a cool and rainy day...nothing says comfort food like roasted chicken.

I think the dark floral would be more appropriate for this type of wedding. The second dress/fabric may outshine the bride, and no one should look nicer than the bride on her big day.

Miriam in KS said...

The "hand" of the fabric as viewed on screen suggests that the navy would be a dream to sew and wear. Much more so than the second fabric. I also think that the navy floral will allow you to shine rather than just the dress. Understated and elegant, yet just right for a July 4 wedding out-of-doors.

(I'm married to a redhead and have a redheaded MIL. Both have your complexion so this opinion is based on experience with them and similar fabrics! Plus my verification word is "fantski" which surely is "fantastic"in some language or slang! Okay, so that one is a stretch.)

Whichever one you choose, you definitely need a new dress for any event if you so desire. Best of luck with the sewing and enjoy the journey.

The chicken looks delicious. I think I will replicate that dish one day soon for my brood.

Patricia said...

Your chicken looks great and I am glad you posted it. I often come here for recipes/dinner inspiration.

As for the dress, I agree with everyone else so far and say go for the floral. The other fabric is too formal for porta potties anyway.

♥peachkins♥ said...

I love lemon and basil.I bet they taste wonderful mixed together.

Susan said...

A definite nod to the floral. I think it would look superb on you and very appropriate for the occasion.

Mickle in NZ said...

Before even looking at the other comments I thought the lovely floral with the blue background.

Yes agree with others "commenters" - the colour will so look great with your fair skin and glorious hair.

I also think would be an easier fabric to sew (way less fraying to start with), and to add a "cover" to, be it a jacket or loose wrap, should the day become a little chilly.

(Grammer and sentence structure here dreadful! I think I need to attend Marjie's home school)

I do feel you may look kind of lacking colour with the second fabric.

Super welldone with the roasted chickens.

And, dear Marjie, you so, so deserve a new dress for this occasion. Now, get those older "children" at home cooking etc.. so you are free to sew for yourself, yes, just for you.

care and huggles, Michelle

(Zebbycat at his food bowls for a late night tummy top up)

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Marjie,
First time here. Popped in from your interview with "duckie."

Those chickens of yours look simply delicious. A few years back, I had the most memorable grilled chicken at an Amish Country Quilt auction in PA. Not much of a chicken aficionado, I inquired about the recipe. One of the elder Amish ladies whispered in my ear; "soak them in salt dear." I've been "brining" ever since although I personally call it "soaking the chicken in salt:)" I can't wait to add your array of ingredients to my soaking solution. I know it's going to be GREAT!

Thanks so much for sharing. Your interview was truly inspiring...

P.S. I'd go with the first one too. Oh how I wish I could sew. I vow to learn one day! Did Duckie tell you about the online picnic we're having at my blog. We're playing the Picnic Game. I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing... Miranda is "bringing" Apple Pie!

imjacobsmom said...

Good Morning, Your chicken looks yummy, I've never brined - but I'm going to now! I vote for the first fabric, I think that would be cute for the July 4th wedding. I guess they'll never forget their anniversary date! Hope the sun is shining today. I was freezing when I went to bed last night. I almost got up to put socks on my feet - in June! ~ Robyn

buffalodick said...

The first one. Make it low cut. That's what you get for asking Me!

Annette said...

Hi Marjie,
I vote for the blue floral labric too. Ruffles would really add to it.
Chicken looks great! I like to brine too...brined a pork roast, with ribs, and was told it was the best roast ever eaten. You're right, it's the brine. Try rosemary with your chicken too. Yum!

pam said...

I'm late reading blogs, so you've probably already decided, but I also vote for the dark floral print! Though if you decide not to use it, feel free to send it on my way!

Claire S. said...

Just catching up with my reading, so I'm late to this party...I was 'just' wondering how your dress was coming along...I know it's been on your mind for quite some time now.
I like the floral too, seems like you've got a unanimous vote !

The chicken looks great - you cook like my Mom did, a handful of this, a pinch of that. Getting a recipe out of her was torture :-)

Penny said...

I vote for the floral too. Looks cottagy if you know what I mean. Chicken looks great too.

noble pig said...

Yes the floral...go for it. Outdoors it will fit perfectly for the afternoon!

dancing kitchen said...

The dark colored floral.

Anonymous said...

Hello Marjie,

Really enjoy reading your blog. I love the way you do your cooking and display the pictures and recipes. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

Regarding, the fabric for the wedding, I like the blue floral fabric, particularly for an outside wedding. Good luck with your decision.

Sabina x (Australia)

Maggie said...

I vote for the floral. i love two tone florals rather than all kinds of colors. The piping will be a classy touch. And , by the way, I love all of your recipes!

monica said...

I go with the crowd, the blue floral would be great for a summer wedding. The other fabric is beautiful as well, and I'm sure in your hands the dress would look great which ever fabric you choose!