the non-mentioning of the chicken named Sunflower
We sit down to eat, Dan and I deciding to neither announce nor deny that we are eating our chicken, Sunflower, for dinner. Rose pokes around in her burrito and asks, dumfounded, ”what’s this - chicken?” (which is a significant clue because (1) we never buy chicken and (2) last weekend Rose assisted Dan in removing the slippery viscera from the body cavity of our coon-killed chicken).
We confirm, with weird, tacked-on smiles, that yes, this is chicken, and then we eat our burritos, nobody bringing up Sunflower’s name, as if she were some estranged, unmentionable relative.
And I’ll be darned, that was the best chicken I’ve ever eaten. But I don’t want to talk about it anymore. In fact, now that I’m making vats of chicken stock from the bones and fowly whatnot, I mentioned to Dan how all that nice yellow fat floating around the soup pot was going to make such flavorful stock. “Oh yeah, I roasted the potatoes in some of that yellow fat tonight,” he said, talking about the french fries we had just eaten, which was the kind of thing I was glad to know about after the eating.
With all the forests of broccoli ripening at once around here we made Catherine Newman’s “crack broccoli,” which took up 2 heads. Next up, cream of broccoli soup with all that fatty yellow chicken stock that we aren’t talking about.
Thumbs up on the “crack broccoli,” also known as “oven roasted broccoli” in case you were serving it to the in-laws.
And not to be all, “look at my apricots, again” but it’s a crazy apricot year here at 6512 feet and you know I’m not too shy to show up at strangers’ doors with my cute and hungry kids asking after that apricot tree groaning under the weight of fruit in their front yard. Our friend Chris closed on a sweet little house in our neighborhood yesterday and Dan and I have been trying to be all casual about the apricot tree in his side yard, instead of, you know, showing up on moving day with buckets.
Because apricots bloom so early, it’s always iffy if they’ll get pollinated before a frost – the last apricot year was 2009, so we’re a little bit ecstatic. Dan and Rose picked these today.
We’ve been making peach sauce (which is a sauce that aspires to be jam but without the bother of pectin and sugar), and also freezing and drying those cheery little orbs. I’m thinking breakfast for the next week will be apricot crisp.
Setting apricots on drying racks and waiting for Adidas to come back in style. We dry fruit either in our greenhouse or even quicker outside under the sun. Also, there are now approximately 243 apricot pits in our yard.
Dan is done digging the root cellar. Done digging. We’ve all been peering down there shaking our heads like, how did he do this? I honestly don’t know…with a shovel?
Now that the root cellar is dug, Dan and Jojo will be pouring a footer and building rock walls.
Here is the rock that only took 53 wheelbarrow trips to move from the driveway to our back yard.
Col getting in on the planning session with Dan and Jojo.
A picture of Jojo for his sweetie, Emily.
One of the many things I love about Jojo is that he cares deeply about food. Sometimes when I visit he shows me what’s inside his stand-up freezer because we’re both into that sort of thing. Dan said that when they broke for lunch, Jojo lugged a cooler upstairs with homemade kimchi, (backyard) chicken enchiladas, 3 kinds of vegetables, and a jar of sprouts. The first thing Jojo said when he showed up this morning was, “I’m so glad you guys didn’t miss the apricots when you were in Alaska!” I mean a vacation to the wildest state in the U.S. is cool and all, but phew, you’re good with the apricots.
Incidentally, this was the meal Jojo brought for my birthday camping party:
Just a little curried goat soup at 9,800 feet.
My friend Laura (who owns this lovely store in Denver) visited yesterday with her 5 month old baby Owen, who is the smiliest baby I ever met.
I got to hold him and squeeze his thighs and kiss his forehead and be reminded of what a blessing babies are. It had been so long since either of my peeps were such tiny, squishy things, I felt like I was holding some rare and mystical creature. And then I started to worry, did I hold my babies enough? Did I cherish their babyhood enough? Was I trying to get too many things done while they were busy growing into 7-year olds?
Whenever I worry about not having been present enough for some past stage of their childhood, I soon remember that I have the luckiness to begin again, now. Because at ages 5 and 7, Col and Rose are still rare and mystical creatures who need to be held and cherished and occasionally nibbled on.
*Also, the house next door to us is available for rent. Wouldn’t it be so cool if you and your super fun kids moved in?