WND – I can fly twice as high

September 10, 2009

pickled tomatoes

Last week Reading Rainbow broadcast its last show and ended an era.  Long before I knew who Lieutenant Geordi was, or realized that his nifty visor was really just a spray-painted banana clip, I knew who Levar Burton was because he read to me on a regular basis.  Reading Rainbow was not actually one of my favorite PBS shows – I liked 1-2-3 Contact or Mr. Rogers better – but like every other adult of my generation I can sing the opening lyrics of Reading Rainbow and I was horrified when I saw the news.

Books and food were and are the mainstays of my life, and to a lesser extent food in books.  The very first recipe I can remember making was maple snow from the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook, closely followed by apple turnovers from the same book.  And when I say making, I mean my mother made it while I looked on because I in about first grade at the time.  A couple of moves later, I convinced my mother that we needed to make gingerbread men for Christmas because that’s what Jo and Meg and Beth and Amy did.  The recipe I still use for homemade lemonade comes from the Anne of Green Gables cookbook – although the recipe they give for raspberry cordial is probably not what got Anne and Diana tipsy, my mother’s somewhat more lethal recipe involving raspberries marinated in vodka and sugar is probably closer to what they drank.  I can remember my mother pulling out the Winnie-the-Pooh cookbook for soothing honey drinks when I was sick.  And I’m still disappointed that all the food they talk about in Jane Austen novels is significantly less appealing than she makes it sound.

My mother is a librarian and there was no way that I was going to escape my childhood without a thorough indoctrination into the world of books.  She read to me every night until I was in high school, and even then I kind of missed it.  The first thing we did whenever we moved anywhere new was to find the local library.  I didn’t really need Reading Rainbow to convince me to read – usually I had to be convinced to do anything else – but it was always tangible evidence that other people found reading as magical as I did.  After 26 years it seems hard to imagine PBS without Levar Burton telling children . . . .

Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high
Take a look, it’s in a book – Reading Rainbow.

I can go anywhere!
Friends to know and ways to grow – Reading Rainbow.

I can be anything!
Take a look, it’s in a book – Reading Rainbow.

Reading Rainbow, Reading Rainbow, Reading Rainbow, Reading Rainbow!

Pulled Chicken
Lightly Pickled Cucumbers
Cole Slaw

Pulled Chicken
Confession, I wanted to make a different barbeque sauce to go with the pulled chicken this week and so I spent the weekend clicking on links on epicurious and foodtv.com and random food blogs until I found a recipe that sounded amazing – Brown Sugar and Coffee Barbeque Sauce.  Unfortunately what I realized later is that if you add even a little bit of cumin (1 tsp in 32 oz of tomatoes) to tomatoes it will taste like chili no matter how much brown sugar or molasses you add to your pot.  So, I scrapped that and made my usual barbeque sauce at the last minute.  As a result, I am still in search of a new barbeque sauce recipe.

Recipe previously given: “They’re breaking down the hegemonic structure of the heteronormative language system” edition


Lightly Pickled Cucumbers

Recipe previously given:  Farmer’s Market Addiction


I defy anyone to not be entranced by these, and I say this as a child who really did not get why my mother thought that fresh Hanover tomatoes were all that.


Cole Slaw

Recipe previously given:  Fried Chicken Dinner

cole slaw composite


One comment

  1. Diana got drunk on Marilla’s currant wine, not raspberry cordial. Anne just thought she was serving raspberry cordial.

    I like this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated-and I usually use cumin instead of chili powder,

    Sweet and Tangy Oven-Barbecued Chicken

    1 cup ketchup
    2 tablespoons grated onion
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    3 tablespoons molasses
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    3 tablespoons cider vinegar
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 6 to 7 ounces each (with tenderloins), patted dry with paper towels
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil


    1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, about 5 inches from upper heating element; heat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk ketchup, onion, Worcestershire, mustard, molasses, maple syrup, vinegar, chili powder, and cayenne in small bowl; set aside. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

    2. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed, nonreactive, 12-inch ovenproof skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Brown chicken skinned-side down until very light golden, 1 to 2 minutes; using tongs, turn chicken and brown until very light golden on second side, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside. Discard fat in skillet; off heat, add sauce mixture and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet. Simmer sauce over medium heat, stirring frequently with heatproof spatula, until sauce is thick and glossy, and spatula leaves clear trail in sauce, about 4 minutes. Off heat, return chicken to skillet, and turn to coat thickly with sauce; set chicken pieces skinned-side up and spoon extra sauce over each piece to create thick coating. Place skillet in oven and cook until thickest parts of chicken breasts register 130 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 10 to 14 minutes. Set oven to broil and continue to cook until thickest parts of chicken breasts register 160 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to platter and let rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk to combine sauce in skillet and transfer to small bowl. Serve chicken, passing extra sauce separately.

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