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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Roasting a Chicken IS Therapy

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Roasting a Chicken IS Therapy

There is a very short connection between your brain and your nose, if you haven't noticed this already. Remember when the smell of bacon and eggs used to rouse you out of bed? Freshly baked cookies remind me of my childhood. Did you know roasting a chicken can bring instant therapy and healing?

This is actually an excerpt from Jacey Eckhardt's book, The Homefront Club, a book written by a military spouse with lots of light hearted stories and advice.

"Having a really wish-we-never-moved-hate-this-stupid place kind of day? Then roast a chicken. I always do. It's better than Prozac for the unsettled soul. And a roasted chicken takes no culinary talent whatsoever. Rinse the bird off. Dig out its entrails. Stuff the cavity with an onion or a cut lemon and some rosemary and thyme. Add a little salt and pepper. Roast at 325 deg for 25 min per lb. Baste. Because as you go about your chores, as you dig away your life, the scent of Roast Chicken Love will fill your house. It smells so promising, so cozy. So darn homey, you can't help but feel your spirits lift. And it's good for at least two meals."

I can't help but agree! I like to get a small bowl and make a mix of salt, pepper, thyme, minced garlic and rosemary and take a wooden spoon handle and slide some of that mix between the skin and the meat of the chicken. Then, I rub the chicken in olive oil before putting it in a preheated oven. Round out the meal with a pot of fresh steamed green beans and a box of instant potatoes (or fresh if you are so inclined). If you don't know how to make gravy, use a chicken gravy packet. If you want to go the extra step and make it from scratch, after the chicken is done (use a meat thermometer to double check; those thermometers that instantly give you temperatures from your roast or chicken via a cord make GREAT gifts for people who have to cook), put the pan drippings in a pot. I then add two teaspoons of chicken granules and 1-3/4 cups water. When that starts to boil, I take 1/4 cup cold water stirred up with 2 TBS flour, and put that in the pot. Stir and mix and bring to a boil...instant homemade gravy!

As far as leftovers, roast chicken makes great chicken salad or I will use the chicken pieces in a rice casserole the next day (any casserole with instant rice and a cream soup mix)! To make the chicken salad, I take all the chicken off the bone, shred it with two forks, add some mayo and chopped up celery, and that's it. It probably doesn't need any other seasonings either, although sometimes I'll put in whatever herb we have growing in the garden. I've never had a batch of anything-other-than-tasty chicken salad!

What do you cook that relaxes you as it cooks or bakes? What smells bring home childhood memories and good times in your house?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I never thought of it that way.

January 14, 2008 at 10:00 PM  

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