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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

I can cook?

Holy shit! Not to be a braggart or anything, but it turns out that I can cook. It is nearly 11PM and I just walked Cathy and Jill out the door–we’ve been eating, laughing, and food coma-ing since about 8PM. I told them both 7:30 and panicked when I realized that nothing would be cooked at 7:30, but with a night game at Wrigley and traffic being what it is, I was safe. Both arrived within 5 minutes of each other close to 8PM.

At 8PM, I had challah in the oven, the chicken, roasting potatoes. Yum. I was terrified there wouldn’t be enough good, but there was just enough. I have a tiny bit of chicken left and some salad, otherwise I am wiped out. Whew.

So…

Challah–which is now something I have down pat. I can knead the dough one night, put it away, grab it from the fridge, nuke it for a minute, knead it, braid it, and bake it. I am a pretty good challah baker. If a jewish girl is going to have one skill–I think that baking challah from scratch is a good one for me to have.

The Chicken. I took a little two pound kosher bird from Trader Joes, loosened the skin. Stuffed the cavity full of peeled lemons and put lemon slives and rosemary between the meat and the skin (probably could have used more rosemary. Poured olive oil on it, salt, pepper, thyme, and the holy hysop (only holy because it comes from Israel, not blessed or anything, more a marketing gimmick.) and let it set overnight. Baked it for an hour (and some change) at 355ish. It was moist, some pieces had some zing, It was out of this world. And we turned out to be perfect chicken eaters together–I wanted the drumsticks, Jill ate the wings, and Cathy ate the breasts. And now I have some scraps left for dinner tomorrow! Yeah!

The Potatoes. I bought a little bag of new potatos and quartered them. I had a moment of inspiration and remembered some potatoes my Mom made towards the end of high school. I put them in a bowl, added olive oil, salt, pepper, hysop, and garlic. Stirred it all together and roasted them along side of the chicken.

On the bottom shelf the challah was baking away. So I pulled everything warm from the oven–have you had fresh, hot challah with your salad? To DIE for. Maybe not to die for, but it is really fucking nice. Fresh, yummy challah.

Jill tried to teach me how to carve a chicken, but it turns out I’m lacking some important tools–like decent knives and a cutting board with a place to collect the juice. I said, “I registered for all that.” I do have a fantastic set of Kitchen Aid utensils, my silverware, and wine glasses–but no super duper knives. I’m sure I’ll get married some day and someone will take pity and give me good knives.

So the verdict? A+.

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