Thursday, July 18, 2019

Apollo 11, Laptop, Bowling, Silver, Artichokes,

50 years ago this week, I was on my father's boat in Yugoslavia. On July 17th John (my first husband) and I had to leave to go back to England. We got into the cab and the first thing we were asked was did we have a TV on the boat. No, we didn't. On the cab radio they were broadcasting the moon walk, in English of course, but their local station was overriding it in the local language so we had difficulty hearing it but I remember the excitement we felt. Of course, when we got back to the UK we saw all the pictures on TV. Incredible that it was 50 years ago and nobody has tried to go back. The TV here has been inundated with programmes about going to the moon and one thing someone said at the time, we would put men on Mars before the end of the century. What a disappointment that is. Finally they are building a new rocket to go back to the moon.

Not had a lot of time to do anything with my new laptop yet. It is up and running but I haven't installed any external programmes on it, I am delighted with it though. It is a 14 inch Hewlett Packard Snowflake. Smaller than my previous laptop. I haven't had time to install much on it yet, probably have to work on it over the weekend.

Went bowling this afternoon, I was thrilled to bowl one 158 game which I haven't done since before I went into hospital. I foolishly hoped all three of my games would be the same, no such luck, but my scores weren't that bad. We were apparently bowling against the top team and ended up taking the first and last game from them. Not bad considering the other two members of the team are not all that interested in team standings.

Thursday ladydog is bringing subs for lunch and then we are going to clean silver. There's quite a lot of it, big job. She and Sue offered to "chop carrots" for me and I said doing the silver would be much more helpful LOL. Unfortunately Sue is a working girl so it's just ladydog and me.

Had to go into the grocery store on the way home as I hadn't received a couple of things on my order. The store is a total mess at the moment because they are building this Starbucks. I checked out the Produce Department too and was delighted to find Artichokes, haven't had any for ages, the store just hasn't been getting them. I splurged and bought four. I love those things.

I thought this recipe looked good although using Saffron is an expensive proposition.

Persian Roasted Chicken with Dried Cherry-Saffron Rice

Anoosh Shariat, the executive chef at Park Place on Main in Louisville, Kentucky, likes to use
supertart dried sour cherries in this buttery, exotically fragrant rice dish. But raisins, dates or pecans are also delicious.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp saffron threads, crushed
6 lbs chicken breasts, thighs and legs, with skin, on the bone
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups basmati rice
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup dried sour cherries (4 ounces)
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 cup slivered almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, onion, lemon juice, cumin and half of the saffron. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and turn to coat. Let the chicken stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Drain the chicken, scraping off the onion and saffron and transfer it to a large metal roasting pan. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the rice in a colander and shake out any excess water. In a small bowl, dissolve the remaining saffron in 1 tablespoon of water. Return the rice to the saucepan and stir in the saffron water.

4. In a small skillet, melt the butter with the dried sour cherries and sugar. Spoon one third of the rice into a buttered 2-quart soufflé dish. Top with half of the sour cherries and slivered almonds. Cover with half of the remaining rice and the remaining sour cherries and almonds. Top with a final layer of rice and pour any remaining butter on top. Cover the soufflé dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes (while the chicken is baking), or until the rice is tender, light and fluffy.

5. Preheat the broiler when the rice is done. Broil the chicken, skin side down, for 2 minutes. Turn the chicken and broil until the skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Pour the pan juices into a warm gravy boat. Serve the chicken with the rice, passing the pan juices at the table.

Servings: 6

Source: Food & Wine

Have a great day


  1. I was born in the same year as the moon landing. Those two things together make it quite a stellar year. LOL

    Do you know I have never eaten an artichoke? They look gross and I've always passed. I should buy one and try it.

    1. Certainly stellar for you and your family Liz. That makes me 30 years older than you, horrors.

      Well you have to know how to cook them and to have a good sauce to dip the leaf ends into. If you do get one (some) let me know and I will send you more details.

  2. Hi Jo - it's funny I remember nothing about the moon landing day ... but obviously have heard about it over the years and I'm sure saw it - but ... that day - a complete blank! Good luck with the laptop ... well done for the bowling. Love artichokes and I buy them when I see them ... need to get to Waitrose for that - but go past a few times a month, so can stop off. I don't think they come in til September time ... while roasted Persian chicken sounds just yummy! Cheers and enjoy that silver polishing ... Hilary

    1. How odd HIlary, it was such an event, I'm surprised you don't remember it. Yes, I was pleased with my bowling. Me too, I have been devouring these. Thanks for the good wishes on the silver. You could come and help LOL.

  3. I still remember exactly where I was and who I was with while I watched the walk on the moon. Have DVR'd all the programs to watch this weekend.

    1. Yes, it's one of those events isn't it Denise? I can think of a couple of similar things that I will never forget where I was. Not such happy ones though. Wish I had a DVR.

  4. I was really young, but I do remember the moon landing. 14 years ago on the 17th, we had to put our cat Calvin to sleep. The 18th was Rocko & Spunky's birthday, so there was some joy to come when they showed up on our doorstep over 3 months later.

    1. Rub it in Diane!! Sorry you have such an unpleasant memory as well. But glad the other two showed up. One of the bowlers showed me pix of his cats, Cornish Rex cats, have you ever heard of them, I hadn't.

  5. I was born and raised in Florida and we went to a lot of the lift offs of different rockets over the years because my dad was really into space stuff and sci fi. I loved it, and we did see the lift off of the successful moon mission. I mean we were there on the ground (outside the fences of course) and saw it take off. We watched the landing on TV like everyone else, and I do remember it though I was very young. My dad was sooo happy and I could tell he felt lucky to be alive at a moment like that. I'm loving all the 50th anniversary stuff they're doing right now... Glad you bowled so well! Yay for you! I LOVE artichokes and eat them whenever I can. We just use melted butter or a vinaigrette for our dipping sauces...

    1. Interesting Lisa, I would love to have been there for lift offs, I find it exciting and wish I was young enough to go to the moon. So, lucky you. One of my favourite movies is The Dish, have you ever seen it?

      When I was in France, en famille, I was 15 years old, and for dinner we were served artichokes, they were beautiful, and I didn't like them. Not sure when I changed my mind. I learned to eat them with a vinaigrette and have never tried some of these high falutin' recipes one sees. Now, melted butter on asparagus, yum.