Friday, February 15, 2008

Retired and Ready to Cook

Color me cooking this morning. It is 34 degrees in Northern San Diego County and my wife and I are freezing. So I am going to warm up the kitchen. In the six plus years since we came here from Nebraska, our blood has thinned considerably and looking across the patio at frost on the golf course is not a common sight. Therefore, I am going counter the frost with a Sausage and Shimp Jambalaya recipe I grabbed off of a couple of years ago and modified to our tastes. Make it Friday, eat it on the weekend. Yum!

While the rice is cooking I have some split chicken breasts to debone. The split breasts are more versatile than the boneless, skinless breasts and so much cheaper. I drop the bones in a stock pot with the trinity of celery, carrots, and onions, plus a bay leaf, a sliced garlic clove, and a health pour of seasoning salt. Voila, I have replaced the chicken stock I used to cook the rice with a new batch. I save a couple of chicken breasts with the skin on for frying and grilling recipes and the rest is bagged as breasts and tenders for the freezer. Long before we take off for Fri Afternoon Club, I will have turned seven pounds of breasts into stock and ready to be turned into appetizers and several future meals. Not bad for eight bucks.

Back in Nebraska we could get the "Smart Chicken" brand for a reasonable price because the plant was just down the road in Tecumseh, NE. I still say it is the best chicken ever packaged. However, by the time they ship it to San Diego there is nothing reasonable about the price at all. I still grab a package occasionally for a grilling treat or a special recipe (think chicken scallopine), but we usually just wait for Fosters brand chicken breasts to go on sale. Retirement is expensive, you know, so we save where we can.

Yikes, I just discovered that my spellcheck is not working for some reason. Ya'll could be in for a treat. Yes, I was an English teacher in my past life but doesn't necessarily mean I am a good speller, proofreader or typist! I better close before I tarnish my reputation any more.

Keep warm and take care of yourself.