Saturday, May 23, 2009

wish upon a star

I've been meaning to bring this up for quite a spell: wishbones. One of the meals that sate the horde of boys during the week is a whole chicken, handmade mashed potatoes, peas, and homemade gravy. What I will confess to is buying an already roasted chicken; who's kidding whom? I could buy a whole chicken for nine dollars, take it home, roast it for 75-90 minutes, and feed it to the small people or I could buy one already cooked for the same price. It doesn't take me 90 minutes to do the potatoes, rice them, mash them, nor butter and milk them. Since both boys only want a pile of potatoes covered in peas, a huge chunk of breast, and gravy all over, it's the simplest route. If I bought a chicken then I'll only end up ruining it for them by taking care to add lovely herbs, seasonings, and a bit of this and that. Not worth our trouble. That's my backstory.

At the end of this little weekly feast I always end up picking all the meat from the chicken and storing it for the next day's lunch that is surely chicken, refried bean, and cheese quesadillas. As I'm cleaning the bones I always keep the wishbone for, you know, wish making. As I wash up I clean that little bastard and hang it by the sink for a few days to dry I think of my youth. This little behavior seems perfectly normal for a Midwestern boy but it usually draws strange looks - and commentary - from the liberal, 5'10" New Englander. What child of the corn didn't long to see a wishbone drying on the window sill? What kid wouldn't wait impatiently for the call to duty: "Hey, you two, come here and break this wishbone", as it's taken with great care and handled to small children. Who? It may be the single most American thing I do - think about that for a minute or two. (Actually, I made a loaf of banana bread from three ripe bananas this morning; that's pretty American.)

The Eleven has been in a bit of a reality TV run of late. And by TV, I mean As we await the last season of The Closer to show up on DVD (Tuesday), we've been watching Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and the Dog Whisperer. (Funny enough, Ramsey and Millan use nearly identical techniques.) I love some Gordon Ramsey from a decade ago and watching Kitchen Nightmares last night before bed led to dreams of Gordo showing up and motherfucking my refrigerator - I couldn't even sleep. Let me tell you this right here and right now: that thing is scrubbed and clean as I type. Scrubbed. Clean. Efficient. It IS good enough. I have a whole separate entry on the Whisperer: we've created entire skits around the Work Whisperer, the Cat Whisperer, the Driving Whisperer, the Lawyer Whisperer. You get the idea. Make up your own.

The heat is here in D.C. We've got a long weekend, homemade pizza tonight, the Farmers' Market tomorrow, and a clean refrigerator. What've you got?

Love to all.


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