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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dance of the Naked Chicken and Possum Bread

Just so you know, we don't always take our food so seriously around here.  In fact, sometimes we play with our food, especially when certain people (my sister) are present.  I'm pretty sure it was her idea to dress up the chicken.  Barry smoked it 'as is' in the Big Green Egg.   

And just so you know, the food doesn't always turn out wonderful.  There are many unworthy foods produced in my kitchen.  Witness the possum bread.
 I call this possum bread because that's who ate it.  Them or the coons or coyotes.  Perhaps you can see that it looks dense, almost gooey, not light and airy as pumpkin bread should look.  And I can tell you it didn't taste any better than it looks.  That's what happens when you screw up the recipe.  Actually I seem to have a problem with sweet breads because the last time I made banana bread, it turned into possum bread.  I haven't made it since.

Cooking for your family isn't about turning out professional looking dishes.  It is about love and the desire to do something good for the ones you care for.  Cooking can and should be fun and yes, even relaxing.  If you stop viewing cooking as a chore and try to see that it as an adventure, you will get more enjoyment out of doing it. 

I also believe cooking is about pleasing the cook first.  If the cook likes what he or she prepared,  chances are the family will too.  In other words, don't worry about picky eaters or pleasing everyone.  If someone complains, hand him the apron.

A lovely weekend is ahead.  I'll leave you with a simple side dish I made this week that is too delicious.  The unusual combination of asparagus and butternut squash works well together plus it's loaded with nutrition.

Asparagus and Butternut Squash
1 medium butternut squash
1 bunch fresh asparagus
3 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the squash in half length wise, scoop out the seeds and place in a glass baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave in 2 minute intervals till the squash is just barely fork tender.  Cooking time varies with the size of the squash.  Let cool while you wash and trim the tough ends from the asparagus.  Cut stalks into thirds.  Steam asparagus in microwave till crisp tender, drain.  Peel squash and cut into bite sized pieces.  Melt butter in skillet, add squash and asparagus.  Toss till heated through.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and Parmesan cheese.   

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