Sunday, July 14, 2013


We've been home a couple of months now (92 days and 22 1/2 hours, but who's counting?) and we've been digging ourselves in and rolling around to get the smell all over us. Well, that last part is mostly Dinky, but I expect by now we probably do smell like our house again.

You know about all the projects that are still ongoing... (or stalled, which is driving Pootie bananas). But we've also been doing a lot of this.

And enjoying the Southern summer and this.

And this.

And this.

I've also been getting my Southern Cook on. I've fried chicken, made grits, and drunk my share of bourbon. Damn, it's good to be home.

Of course, I also needed to honor an old Southern tradition (or Northwestern, or Eastern or wherever, because I think this is pretty much the case everywhere) and cook for my neighbor, who had a baby while I was gone. Against my orders.

Dr. Morgan had a lovely time with adorable baby Sutton for a while, but her patients needed her, so she had to go back to work. Since I wasn't here to ease the early parenthood burden with a roasted chicken and a Jell-O fruit salad, I decided it would probably be good to take an opportunity to refill my Southern Karma and cook dinner for her and Jesse her first night back from work. I've only had puppies, but I know how much it sucked to leave one at home and go to work, so I can only imagine it's exponential in the case of a tiny human. Because the babies don't even temper the angst by eating your shoes, peeing on your carpet, and shredding your toilet paper while you're gone. I'm pretty sure it's illegal to leave them in a situation where they might do that. Also, Sutton doesn't have teeth yet.

Since I was feeling all banging screen door iced tea and mint julep-y, I went for a spice-rubbed barbecued chicken thighs, my grandmother's barbecue sauce, slaw, and cheddar biscuits.

The spice rub is really simple. Mix 3 tablespoons of brown sugar with a teaspoon of kosher salt, a teaspoon of paprika, a teaspoon of dried oregano, a teaspoon of garlic powder, two tablespoons of chili powder, and a teaspoon of dried cumin. Then sprinkle that over chicken thighs and roast them on a grill that's around 400 degrees. I do not enjoy cleaning the grill, so I always toss everything on a foil and parchment-lined roasting pan.

I got that all done, simmered my grandmother's sauce, mixed together the slaw and the biscuit dough, then got everything ready to leave next door. (It's great having access to the neighbor's key.)

Then I poured myself a small glass of bourbon, and sat back to enjoy the gardenias.

Then we went out to eat Chinese.

If you'd like to make the chicken for your neighbor, here's the .pdf. And here's the .pdf for the barbecue sauce. Genuine Arkansas.

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