Just before the jackasses in pickup trucks showed up to terrorize the beaches. I fucking hate how there are still places they allow people to drive right on the sand – it’s dangerous and disrespectful, both environmentally and to people trying to have a quiet day at the beach away from all that kind of thing. Ugh. But it was 75, a full 30 degrees cooler than it was in PDX, which was awesome.
This week’s mantra. We have made the commitment to start off on the journey to buy a piece of dirt and so I’ve applied for a HELOC since I have a ton of equity, and that way I don’t make any payments until land is actually found – and I got in at 2.99% for the first year which is pretty sweet!
This week’s focus – pickles from our exploding cucumber trellis (these ones are one of my all time favorites – lemon pickles with bay, allspice berries and garlic) and a pretty decient first batch of heirloom tomatoes, including Abu Rawan (they came with our drip irrigation kit we installed last year and are delish!), New Yorker (okay to mix in with stuff, nothing extraordinary), and the delicious multicolor & ridge-y Costoluto Genovesa. My favorite San Marzanos are coming along slowly, with its cousin the Orange Banana being my new favorite. Hopefully it will be a good year for marinara ’cause mama needs many many more quarts of it this time around!
So this may sound crazy since I am 43 years of age, but I’ve honestly never made REAL fried chicken before. I’ve always bought skinless chicken and rolled it in stuff, which as we all know is bullshit compared to the real thing. So when I got this Cast Iron Skillet Classics magazine at Freddy’s a couple weeks ago, I thought I’d finally do it…particularly since my husband’s employer had organic fryers for $2.99/lb before his 20% discount. So I did it – bought and cut up a whole chicken, soaked it in a combination of organic buttermilk, my homemade hot sauce (made with our homegrown Scotch Bonnet/Habanero/Serrano peppers – click on this link for how we do it), and salt, then dredged it in Wondra & regular flour (I googled Wondra substitutes and found if you mix 1/2 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch and sift your flour 3X, it’s the same thing – yay for the internet, y’all) and a couple teaspoons of white pepper, then took it out to the backyard (the kitchen is way too hot to cook in with the forecast of 95 today in our continuing heat wave, so I plug in a portable burner out there that I originally got for canning), and had my husband do the frying (I am not good around spattering oil) and – DAMN! So crazy good. My arteries aren’t thanking me for the amount of oil involved, but for just one moment, I’m pleased as punch.