Thursday, November 3, 2011

Can't be silent

Ravings: I have really tried to avoid online debates about politics, but I think I have to go there. Rather than a biased impassioned diatribe, I will just present some facts.

 As you can see, when comparing teachers to social workers base salaries, teacher fare far better. It’s also important to note that the Ohio social worker base salary is based on all types of social workers, including those working in the state system who make more on average than those working for non-profits. I couldn’t find state data on mental health social workers, but nationally they make $37,210; significantly less than the field in general. This difference increases even more when you look at overall compensation, and then becomes a vast divide when you compare number of hours worked. I have long been calling foul on the whole poor teachers cry because as a social worker, I can assure you they don’t have it that bad. We work more hours for less pay and in much worse working conditions!

Cravings: Since it’s been 2 days since I’ve posted and I only have one dinner to share, which includes some left over shredded chicken, I’ve decided to share the original chicken recipe to make up for last night’s dinner of take out sub sandwiches. This is what happens when I come home exhausted and ask Jason to be in charge of dinner! I know he can cook. I saw it once. He made this amazing Valentine’s Day dinner when we were still dating. I even have a picture to prove it!

I have no idea how to re-create this culinary motivation in him!

Back in Oct, I made a roasted chicken for Jason’s birthday. I get these chickens from my boss’s kids who raise chickens for 4-H. They are huge! Like Thanksgiving turkey huge. I think they run between 10-12 lbs, so there has to be an occasion to cook one because it takes a small village to eat the whole thing. We had his family over, so this gave me a good reason to pull one out of the freezer. First I had to clean it, much like you do the Thanksgiving turkey, including pulling the organs out of the animal’s cavity. (I threw them away, before you ask. I’m just not to the point of using the organ meat!) Then I put the chicken into an oven bag, which is sitting in a roasting pan. To that, I added a half a stick of butter, cut into a few pieces, 2 oranges, 2 limes, and 2 lemons, all cut into a few pieces. Then add some salt and pepper and a few sprigs of rosemary, lemon thyme (I have this growing in my garden, but you can use regular thyme), and sage. I then added about ¾ cup of chicken stock and tied up the bag. I cooked it on about 350 for 4-5 hours. (Time is based on size of bird!)It literally fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pan. I can’t recall what I served it with. Sorry. But there was plenty left over, which I picked off the bone and put into a freezer bag.

Tuesday night, I used the leftover chicken by just throwing it in a pot with a jar of BBQ sauce and some sweated onions. I added a bit of water by cleaning out the sauce jar with water and adding it to the chicken, just so it was a little thinner. I let it warm up on low while I prepared everything else. I then cut up some cauliflower, put it in a broiler proof pan (I have some Pampered Chef stoneware I use), and added a handful of sun dried tomatoes, a bit of olive oil, and a tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and put that in the broiler for about 20 minutes. I then rough chopped, taking out the stems, the rest of the kale and warmed some olive oil on the stove. Right before we were ready to eat, I fried the kale in the olive oil until it was crispy. Top with salt when it’s removed from the oil and still warm. I also added in a steam in bag of green beans because I didn’t feel like there was enough food. For desert (which I don’t often make, but have been trying to do more to add fruit into our dinners), I cut up some strawberries, added about a tablespoon each of brown sugar and spiced rum (This isn’t cooked so don’t serve this to children!) and let it sit while we ate dinner. I simply served the strawberries on some vanilla yogurt, but it was delicious!

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