Fried Chicken & Lentils

Everyday Life with Jodie and Susan

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France, Our Second Best Friend

You know England is our best friend, but there was that one time we got in a huge fight because they were totally trying to be the boss of us, so we suddenly got a lot closer to our second best friend, who gave us a huge statue for our front yard of a lady holding an old-fashioned flashlight, but later on we settled our differences and went back to being best friends with our first best friend and all was right with the world…for a while.

Just a few years ago, a few of us around here got super mad at our second best friend because they wouldn’t “support” us when we were going through “a hard time,” and by hard time, I mean having a war with some other people who weren’t even on our friend list.  People wouldn’t drink anything from France or owned by a French company, but I was like “Great!  More for me!”

After yesterday’s post, I got to thinking what a little Francophile I was in sixth grade.  I developed a heavy crush on France during that summer because I was exposed to classes in French, which made me think I’d be parlez-vous-ing Francais in just a couple weeks, and I got to eat chocolate mousse, sealing my love of all things French forever, or until I learned  that mousse had raw egg whites in it.  There weren’t too many French citizens roaming around western Kentucky back in the 1980’s, so I was free to delight in the imaginary French experience I was having.  When I was 19, I got to fulfill my life’s dream by going to Paris, France, which I found ridiculously expensive, having just come from one of the cheapest places to live in America.  Yes, they had the Eiffel Tower and it was great, but I had to pay $4 for ice cream!

So, I was surprised to have a French experience in the American southwest a couple of years ago.  At every tourist destination, there were tons of international tourists, which was fine.  I mean, yay, come and spend your money here (see previous post).  But, at one hotel when I was eating breakfast, a French-speaking man, who could have been Canadian as my friend pointed out, told me to move out of my chair to another table “becauzzze you air one and we air four.”

As mentioned, I am from western Kentucky, which is the south, and you would no more inconvenience someone by asking them to move out of their chair than you would to ask them to hold your bomb so you could light the fuse.  In western Kentucky, ten people might hover around waiting for a single person to move from a table for ten, but they would never say something because that would be RUDE.  You can sit in front of the green light on your cel phone with a line of cars behind you all the way to the next town and no one will even so much as honk the horn to tell you to get a move on there because that would be RUDE.  So, I was taken aback by his demand that I get up in the middle of my breakfast and make way for his group.  I grumbled to myself, but I didn’t say anything to his face because that would be RUDE.  But I thought it.  And, that, my friends, is the real reason France is not our first best friend.  That and the language thing.


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Traditional Thanksgiving Potato Chips

I am making broccoli casserole, so I went out and bought a carton of sour cream, butter, and a big bag potato chips two days before Thanksgiving. Then I ate the whole first bag yesterday and had to go out and get another bag.  I was able to save this bag (despite someone else’s suggestion that we just go ahead and eat those as well and then buy yet another bag) and get the casserole together.  But, what do you know?  I didn’t actually need the whole bag after all, so I have been eating all the leftover chips.   This is turning out to be a great holiday.


Thanksgiving Tips

1.  Listen to NPR shows.  They have a lot of guests on there arguing about new ways to make turkey.

2.  Read cooking magazines.  Lots of ideas for different sides dishes, cooking times, day-before prep, etc.

3.  Watch TV-plenty of cooking shows featuring real chefs.

4.  This is the most important.  Make the exact same dishes you make the exact same way you do every year.  You won’t accidentally mess anything up because you know exactly how to do it and everyone likes the same old foods, anyway. Nobody wants pine nuts or Mediterranean flavors or Asian-inspired ingredients in their dressing, for Lord’s sake.

You’re welcome.

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High-Flying Cakes

When I was a kid, my mom would buy boxes of cake mix and since I was an indiscriminate reader, I would read the back of the boxes including the high altitude cooking directions and I was surprised.  I thought about it, but I never could figure out why people in airplanes would need to be baking cakes, anyway.

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I Was Just On the Radio (Maybe)

I got to ask a question on America’s Test Kitchen radio show and I was trying to ask if I could make a plug for, but the person thought I was asking could I put America’s Test Kitchen on my blog.  I was so nervous I just let it go and asked about my beans splitting, but (I was so nervous) I couldn’t really listen to the reply except it has something to do with salt, vinegar, ovens, and a bunch of stuff I don’t know.  Then the host called me Rachel and said “Thanks for calling and goodbye.”

This is where I’ll be (maybe)  if you ever want to hear my unfunny voice asking a question nervously and sort of being weird and rude (from nervousness).
Sorry I let you down, Susan.  Maybe I can re-ask my bean question on some other show, like Car Talk or some news show on Fox or something.

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WD Cooks

WD (remember my husband?) is away working and has to cook for himself right now.  I gave him some simple recipes, which he told me he simply substituted.  He was making stir-fry and it turned into what he called “more of a soup,” which is a pretty astounding change of an entree if you ask me. Good luck, WD.