A good woman's chicken

I had dinner last night with a bunch of people who are waaaay smarter than I am.
Well, this is a lie. I actually ate dinner, the first time, with my family. A pulled pork sandwich and a bottle of Budweiser, which was absolutely delicious and absolutely grounding.
Later on, I ate dinner (yet again) with my college roommate who went on to earn a few degrees while I got married and had a few children. The purpose of the meal was to introduce the wedding party to each other.
Come tomorrow I will be, for the first time ever, a bridesmaid. For this I am excited beyond belief. The chance to stand up for someone special and be there when she ties the knot and makes the promise is an absolute honor. I've got my toast all ready (stay tuned, I'm sure some sort of column will appear) and my duties of flower carrying and dress bundling all scheduled.
But back to my dinner.
We ate at a fancy restaurant where I felt completely under dressed. "Casual" she said, and apparently small-town Ohio casual and college-town casual are two different things. But alas, that was fine.
We chatted and laughed and I listened for a good portion of the evening at discussion that I couldn't contribute to because a)I am not a college professor and b)there's no news ticker on the bottom of cartoon channels. I dined on a delicious fancy soup-- sherry, onion, and chestnut, with truffeled creme fresh.
I can't tell you the last time, if ever, I've eaten a chestnut, especially in soup form.
But the meal was delightful, and so was the company. Both a little out of the ordinary for this bbq-loving un-collegiate gal.
If there's one thing I can't stress enough to my kids, it's to live in their own skin. Be yourself, and you can never blame yourself for anything. You can take your skin to other places, but don't ever step out of it.
I went to bed that night feeling that my evening was a poetic version of my life. Even though I sat up straight and talked about things I don't normally and ate soup with nuts, I felt confident that tomorrow I would go back to my bbq.
You can take the girl out of the small-town, but you can't take the small-town...

I'd be crazy if I gave away my bbq pulled pork recipe. When it comes to pulled pork, we tend toward the mustard-vinegar sauce, and that's all I'll give you. If you really want it, you'll just have to invite us over for a potluck.
Instead, here's my recipe for "a good woman's chicken," one that I tend to pass out when giving my talk "10 things every good woman should know." The philosophy is that a good woman knows how to roast a chicken. It's as simple as that.

A Good Woman's Chicken
Roasting chicken

Spice mix: 3 tbl paprika, 1 ½ tsp coarse salt, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 ½ tsp dried thyme

Rinse and dry chicken. Rub with olive oil. Sprinkle spice mix all over chicken, covering completely. Bake uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes. Then cover (or tent with foil) and bake until thermometer in thigh reads 165°. Serve with strained juices and a smile.


Guess what I was making for dinner while you were eating soup with chestnuts?
Roasted chicken.
I would be your bridesmaid in a small Ohio town any day, hoping you all will suffer me talking up fish tacos.
Tara Bass said…
Great story. I think eating chesnuts in soup night after night could get boring after a while, but I could never get tired of BBQ...could eat that every night and be completely satisfied.
As the mother of two girls, if I can teach them to be comfortable in their own skin and nothing else, I will consider that a success. Will keep reading.

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