Wednesday, January 26, 2011

thoughts on being domestic.

two posts in one day?  don't get used to it.
But, here's the thing, I've been thinking a lot about HOW to be domestic, and new ways that I can TRY to be more domestic---deep stuff, I'm sure.  I'd like to share while the kids are sleeping.  Here it goes...

image taken from some cooking website.  how's that for citation? hA!!

1. De-boning a chicken STINKS!  It's gross and I hated the experience.  It made me feel really sad inside for the chicken.  We're not huge meat eaters over here.  But, when we do eat meat, it's typically chicken.  And, when I buy chicken, I normally wait for the frozen chicken breasts to go on sale and stock pile it in my deep freezer.  I know it can be a lot less expensive to buy the whole chicken, but, I'm lazy as it is---don't add more steps for me to get the dinner on the table.  :)  I'm sounding like a spoiled brat.  As my neighbors say, "Lo Siento" (translation: I'm sorry).   I am what I am.

Back to my day, de-boning a chicken is awful.  It almost made me want to go back to being a vegetarian.  Oh, you didn't know I was a vegetarian?  Yes.  Yes, I was.  Back in the summer after high school.  We went on a long bus trip to visit our Church's historical sites (ever heard of the pioneers? yeah, lots of them were members of our church)---anyway, it was a 3 week tour.  We hit almost every truck stop between Utah and New York (and back again).  So, here's what happened:
We were at the truck stop.  I didn't want to get out and find another pre-packaged snack to eat.  So, I was leaning up against the bus window waiting for the others to get back on our way.  All of a sudden a big truck pulls up carrying a ton of stacked metal grates.  I was intrigued.  What was IN all those grates?
Then my heart sunk.
A billion live chickens.  All stacked up in the grates.
It was awful. It was horrible.
Right then, I decided I was going to be a vegetarian.

And it lasted for all of---maybe one day?  If that? 
I am what I am (she writes for the second time).   And, apparently, I'm a meat eater.  I don't like to think about where it came from.  As they say, "Ignorance is bliss."  Forever and ever, Amen.

So, back to chickens and meat in general.  I have a question---how do you solve THE RAW MEAT DILEMMA?  It's nice to have meat thaw before I cook it, but it makes such a mess.  I feel like the whole kitchen is contaminated when I do that.  The bowl it was thawing in is contaminated.  The knife I used to slice and dice is contaminated.  The cutting board is contaminated.  The scrubbing brush I used to clean it has touched the salmonella---I feel like it's a toxic laboratory.  So, lately, I've been putting the TOTALLY FROZEN meat in the frying pan and turning it on medium-low.  Once it thaws, then I go ahead and turn up the heat, using my spatula as my make-shift knife as I go.  Weird?  yes.  But, so much easier, it seems.

What are your tricks?  how do you do it?  I hear of things like "marinades" and the like, but am afraid to go back to the salmonella lab again.  H.E.L.P.

2. Baking bread.  Never do I feel more happy about my domestic skills than while I'm kneading dough for bread.  Just sayin'.  There's something that happens to me---it's like I'm connected with all my ancestors.  (Maybe I'm talking about ancestors b/c we've been on a MULAN kick at this household.  "Ancestors, hear my plea!  Help me not to make a fool of me...")  Speaking of Mulan, here is our make-shift Mulan outfit.  I felt really proud coming up with it.

Anyway, here's the fruit of my labors.  Be SO impressed.  A special thanks to my friend, Brooksie, who made this for me right after I'd given birth to Calvin.  I'd been dreaming about it for months, and finally got the recipe from her.  It's a good one.  And the kids love it too.

Presenting Brooksie's Amazing Cinnamon Swirled Healthy Amazing Sweet Potatoed Bread (and yes, I did just make up that title).

yes, it was THAT delicious.
some of the ingredients used.  This is a *healthy bread and I feel like a granola while making it.  And, yes, those are CINNAMON CHIPS!  AMAZING!  Sold in your baking aisle, by the regular choc. chips.  You can thank Brooksie later.
yes, you do use SWEET POTATOES in this recipe.  Or, maybe in your home you call them CAMOTE CORTADO.  Either way, it's delicious.  All you do is rinse the syrup off, mash up, and dump in the bowl!  Amazing!  Much better than peeling, boiling, and THEN mashing.
The secret is the WHITE whole wheat.  It only looks like regular WHITE bread!  It's really GOOD FOR YOU.  So it's okay to eat a whole mini loaf by yourself.  Oh, wait.
Here they are in my new mini loaf pans.  And, no, mine never rise really well.  I think I'm lame in the YEAST department.

The pretty side.
The monster side.  Oops.
let's focus on the beauty of this one.
 Good times in the kitchen.  Good times.

::: Matilda is in love with this little pink chap-stick.  She is getting a little chappy these days, so I said this can be her special chap-stick.  She is in love.  Let's watch her apply it while Cal plays with blocks (because you obviously have NOTHING better to do.  You are, after all, reading my blog).

turning the dial to get more coverage.
"mom, are you catching this? here I go."
yep, good rub together.
oh, calvin.
no, m'am. we don't put it on our cheeks!
that's better.

There you have it.  A real play-by-play with Tillie's chap-stick.
Proof that sometimes things I cook turn out lovely (at least on one side).
And, questions about raw meat.

If that's not a domestic post, I don't know what is?!


Amanda Jane said...

I'm so happy you found my blog! I LOVE blogs and am adding yours to my Google Reader right now. Plus you seem to already have links to everyone I knows blogs (let the stalking begin...)
Glad all is well with you guys and your kids are beautiful.

Amanda Jane said...

Oh and I also have issues with raw meat, especially chicken, I just put it in a crock pot frozen and season it. That way it is tender and non-time consuming and I never have to deal with any of the icky juices.

The Tengelsens said...


I am so glad to know someone else out there has issues with raw chicken. I am all about frozen. I usually go from frozen to boiled to whatever else I need to do. Another option: The Mr. He is always great to do the nasty chicken chopping for me! Sometimes, I will get a ton of chicken, trim the fat off, and then freeze it in baggies. That way, I only have to deal with it once every few months. What do I know though, we don't eat too much meat around here either.

cbo said...

Hi Melissa!
I had hoped to see you on Sunday when I was visiting but I did see your cute little guy--and Aaron too.
You need to share Brooksie's recipe--that bread looks awesome!

Ginnie said...

That bread looks to die for! I will be making that for sure.
PS- Thanks so much for stopping by my crazy little blog :)

Tim and Melissa said...

Mmmm...that bread looks so good! I'd eat a whole loaf just as it came out of the oven while it is all warm and yummy! Someday maybe I'll attempt making bread.

As for chicken, I feel the same way. I end up sending my scrub brush through the dishwasher with everything else. One reason I like the crockpot or baked chicken. I just put it in frozen and don't worry about it. Good luck!

Becker said...

Here's what I often do with chicken: If you have a Foreman grill, you can throw those suckers right on the grill and they'll be done in two shakes. OR, I also will just put the frozen breasts in a pot and boil it until it's cooked. Then I cut up the cooked chicken--not so bad in the contamination department.

erin said...

Oh Melissa, that bread looks sooo delicious! Good work!

I get your meat dilema too. I hate dealing with raw stuff. Like Melissa J, I just throw a lot of chicken in the crockpot these days. Throw it in while frozen and 3 hrs later, wha la :)

adam wood said...

Quite a lotta
Roman terra cotta
Livin' lava from the flanks of Etna
Ride a dromedary
See the Temple tumble and the Red Sea part.

McNamara's band
The fattest lady in the land
A pickled prehistoric hand
A strand of Pocahontas' hair
Crow and Sioux
Who're going to
Be showing you
Some rowing through
A model of the rapids on the Delaware.

Clever caterpillas
Reproductions of the Cyclops' ret'na
Crystal blowing
Automatic sewing
Venus on a shell and other works of art.

Educated fleas
A tribe of Aborigines
Two ladies joined across the knees
A Mona Lisa made of ice
We've gotten in
Forgotten spots
A cotton gin
A night with Lot in Sodom
Better see that twice!

One iguana
Snakes and other fauna
Got no bearded lady but we're get'na
When you duck out
Take another buck out
Run around the block and see a
Run around the block and see a
Run around the block and see a
new show start.

BETH said...

What chicken doesn't come breaded and in small cubes?
Just kidding. Chicken grosses me out, the skin in particular, all bumpy and nubby from being plucked. Any who luckily I have a child who is allergic to chicken. Crazy, I know so we do not partake very often at our house.
I prefer deskinned meat anyway.

elements: overexposed said...

1. I love that you are domestic and wish I was too...but my wishes are not so great that I will actually attempt it.
2. Adorable kiddos
3. I called you regarding your email (I can talk faster than I can write :)...think I left the message on your home phone. Just letting you know, in case you don't check your home phone very often.


Jordan and Jandee said...

your bread seriously looks amazing. can't wait to try it. Oh yes and I think we've talked about canning chicken right? I wouldn't have believed I would like it, but it is sooo handy to have around for whenever a recipe calls for shredded chicken and its only one day of contamination for lots and lots of meals.

Kali said...

So costco sells boneless skinnless chicken breasts that are individually packaged. Well like 2 come in a pkg making an equivalent of about 1 lb. (which is usually what most recipes ask for) It is prob more expensive this way but 1. I am not paying for all parts of a whole chicken that I don't eat. 2. IT IS SO WORTH IT! BEcause it is individually pkged I am able to freeze it and then take one pkg out at a time to thaw and the juice stays in the pkg when thawed. And lately I have been making a lot of meals with shredded chicken it seems so I just plop the entire contents of the package into the boiling water and let it cook that way before I shred. Don't even have to cut or contaminate anything. I usually rinse the plastic out before I throw it away just so it doesn't stink before I can take the trash out. Anyways, these chicken breasts make my life SO easy.

BETH said...

So I had to comment about your comment on my blog.
I am glad that Tillie remembers Gracie! I love 2 yr. old minds.
So the dentist thingy.
I actually got a call from an office the day we were driving to Florida and I actually am practicing. Well sitting around for the health dept. is a more accurate term. I would give you more details but most cannot be posted for general public viewing.

Where is the new material? When can you post pictures.

Crazy that it snowed. It is like 75 here.



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