Sunday, June 29, 2008

Stunningly Beautiful Weekend

This last weekend was one of the most beautiful weekends in recent memory. Again, it was clear blue sunny skies with temperatures between 75° and 80° - we even had a very gentle breeze meandering around the back patio.

Bobby and I didn't leave the house once... well, except two trips to the grocery store, one of which I walked, and stopped at Rite Aid and buy a single scoop of mint chip ice cream to eat on the walk back. Mmm.

We also did nothing of importance whatever. It seems that lately we always have things that need to get done, or places or events we need to go to. This weekend? We spent some time Sunday afternoon cleaning the garage and kitchen, and doing a few loads of laundry, but other than that we relaxed, had our meals on the back patio, drank wine, watched Michael Clayton, and played computer games. It was a much needed rest.

For lunch we had some pork tacos. Bobby absolutely loves my shredded pork (my mom informs me that it's not carnitas if it's not fried in lard or something), and since I've had some on hand fairly regularly he has been eating it for lunch almost every day. Still, he doesn't complain when I suggested it for lunch. I just pulled it out of the fridge and warmed it in a pan so that it would crisp up some. I also cooked some red pepper and onion strips in a tiny bit of canola oil, adobo seasoning, salt, and pepper until they had just softened a bit. Some simple white rice with adobo seasoning, and some flour tortilla's warmed on the grill and we had a quick lunch. Lunch al fresca was peaceful and serene.

For dinner I made the dreaded chicken - Bobby was none too pleased with my selection. So I did what needs to be done to make him like anything - lots of garlic. We finally had the green & yellow beans my mom brought me, and we reheated some leftover pasta from yesterday to finish.

Roast Young Chicken
1 young chicken
6 large cloves of garlic, minced or sent through a garlic press
1 tsp. kosher/course salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. herbes de provence
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon, quartered

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Mix the garlic, salt, pepper, herbes de provence, and olive oil together. Pat the chicken dry. Rub the seasoning/oil all over the chicken and inside the cavity. Stuff the lemon slices inside the cavity and close it back up. You are supposed to tie the legs together, but I've never found that necessary. Inster a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh (not touching bone), and pop it in the oven until the thermometer reads 170° (about 1 hour to 1hr 15min).

Pull the chicken out and let rest for 10 minutes or so before carving and serving. Makes for a really juicy chicken.

Beans with Shallots
2 tbsp. butter
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
enough green (& yellow?) beans for 2 people (for me, this is alot), trimmed and snapped into the size you want
kosher/course salt

Melt the butter over medium heat and throw in the shallot and beans. Sprinkle with salt and cover. Stir occasionally and cook to desired tenderness. I like them crisper, so I pull mine out first, then cook them a bit longer for Bobby - he likes them pretty limp.

After dinner, Bobby and I sat down and watched Michael Clayton. Now that we have made it through all three available seasons of lost, we can get back to watching other things... until season 4 is out on DVD of course.

Here's the synopsis from
Michael Clayton (George Clooney) is what is known in the legal world as a "fixer," or in the character's own pejorative version, a "janitor" who cleans up legal messes for VIPs and corporations on behalf of a prestigious New York City law firm. A former litigator, Clayton has found a niche that capitalizes on his legal acumen and shrewd people skills, and yet, after 13 years on the job, finds himself increasingly disgusted with his clientele. The film covers four pivotal days of his life, in which a midlife crisis and a crisis of conscience neatly converge when he is called in to "fix" a situation unfolding in one of his firm's hottest cases. Brilliant lawyer Arthur Edens (another powerhouse performance by Tom Wilkinson), representing a huge agro-chemical corporation being hit by a class action suit, has a bipolar breakdown, compounded by guilt over his defense of a company that is probably in the wrong, but is wealthy enough to buy its innocence either way. The company's CEO (Tilda Swinton) will stop at nothing to keep Edens from sinking the case. Clayton must decide how much of Edens's mad rebellion against the company is sheer mental illness, how much is true, and how much it will cost him to do the right thing. Clooney delivers a rich performance as a hangdog and haunted man who wants to stay on the side of good, but is a little too skilled at moral margin-walking to make that an easy choice in every situation. Swinton glows as a secretly frail Amazon who somehow won't let a tortured conscience prevent her from getting ahead. The final third of the film is as suspenseful as any courtroom drama, without ever resorting to legal-thriller cliches.

It seems they are making their synopses longer, oh well. Bobby thought the movie was "great," I thought it was "good." I particularly enjoyed some of the ranting of Tom Wilkinson's character. I like to hear the rants of people that use words that you don't hear often, like "patina." I know, I'm a dork.

Coupled with a little mango sorbet (for me) and vanilla ice cream with strawberries (for Bobby), it made a nice end to a beautiful weekend.

1 comment:


June 29th! I am so behind on reading up on your blog! Glad to hear your weekends have been "stunningly beautiful"... it hasn't got to hot here yet either thankfully. Let's hope for a mild summer...

Every time you write about your backyard... gardening stuff, bbq-ing stuff... or just relaxing back there stuff... I feel like I'm there with you. Your backyard sounds like a lovely place to be.

I miss you!