Cooking has always been an affordable and enjoyable outlet for me. It beats drinking or gambling. For some reason, people can’t be mad too long if there’s a good meal in front of them. It’s the one thing my children and husband and I could all agree on: good food! So as I raised my children, I read the "Joy of Cooking" as if it were a page-turning novel. I read and re-read all the techniques for the basics; things as frying, pan-sauteeing, baking, you name it. I learned so much just from that book. It’s a must for any novice or newlywed or nomad. If you can read and know how to navigate the basics of cooking, you’ve got yourself a meal. The next challenge then is the timing and getting it on the table within the same night. So once you’ve gotten those things under your belt, you are ready to cook! Let’s start with something I love: a good roasted chicken.
I butter the outside and drizzle olive oil on the inside of the bird. Then be generous with salt and pepper. Cut a lemon in half and put both halves, the thyme and many garlic pods inside the bird. Roast at 350 degrees for at least an hour and a half. Make it two hours if you have the time. The skin will be perfect! You can add vegetables to the roasting pan and use the juices and other oils as a base for the liquid needed to cook some rice. Whip together a side salad, and you have dinner. I’m taking this meal to a friend who’s taking care of her sick mom soon, and I’m roasting two chickens because it’s great the next day or you can make chicken salad with it.