I’ve made it my habit not to go into malls and super stores after Thanksgiving. However, work required a couple of necessary adventures into the morass this Christmas Season.
I began to observe what I must surmise is a cultural phenomenon to Appalachia? I observe small groups of Walmartians clustered around bubba trucks and camouflaged 4 wheelers, in the mall parking lots, seemingly drinking and having what would have to be defined as tailgate parties for lack of a better term. Strangely this is at all hours of the day and night.
Is this a new means of free recreation in the South? It does now explain why the parking lots look like a land fill off the Long Island Expressway each morning.
I guess they are like coyotes…run off of their old gathering places in the wood and dale by progress and overdevelopment. It is rather like coming upon a pack of coyote when you first see them….a bit startling and curious. It is amazing how our local culture has changed these many years. Our world of chaos gets curiouser and curiouser.
Sweet and Savory Chicken
Oven to 375* Serves 4
1 (4) lb. Roasting Chicken
½ Cup Butter Melted
½ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Stone Ground Mustard
¼ tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Greek Seasoning
½ Lemon Juiced
Place Chicken pieces in a greased baking pan, skin side up. In a small pot on medium heat melt butter with brown sugar, and add seasonings and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and take off the burner. Brush each piece with the sauce. Pour any remaining sauce over the chicken and bake for 70 minutes until golden brown and juices run clear. Baste every 15 minutes with pan drippings.
Well the Crones have moved to their new “Hobbit” Cottages in our respective states, and are back in Action. The holidays took a toll on us… I hope it didn’t you? We are resolved to be feistier and more irreverent than ever…not a New Year Resolution….we don’t make them. We believe in living life to the fullest, as good citizens each day (when dumb asses aren’t challenging the hell out of us) and to forgive their sorry asses in spite of themselves. Sorry I digress…LOL!!!!
We wish each of you joy, light, love, abundance and all good things the New Year has to offer. May the Good Lord bless each and every one and hold you fast in His care.
The Queen Cronista
Post Holiday Soup for those feeling guilty about the holiday gorging. Here is my version of an old Fairy Tale Favorite…..
1 Lg Onion chopped Caramelized
1 Lb. Brussel Sprouts Caramelized
1 Pt. Crimini Mushrooms Sliced sautéed
1 Sm Pkg Baby Carrots
3 Tbs Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Sea Salt and Pepper (each)
1/2 tsp Smoky Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Garlic minced
1 tsp. Dry Basil
1 tsp Rosemary chopped
3 Cups Rotisserie Chicken Diced
2 Qt. Chicken Stock
2 Cups Filtered Water
1 Lg Bay Leaf
In a large skillet sauté all vegetables and mushrooms in the olive oil on medium high heat until brown and softened. Add Spices and stir for 2 minutes. Add diced Chicken and fold into vegetables; cook for an additional minute. Pour Stock, water, and sauté pan into a large soup pot and simmer on medium heat for 2 hours. Serve with your favorite cornbread or garlic crostini.
Snap judgement….Boy I had to take myself to task recently when I snapped judged someone so inaccurately. I’m usually very empathic and my intuition rarely fails me. Boy did it on this one.
I have been in the process of a move and very fragmented. Not listening to my spirit guides as I should. Anyway I met a person, a big burley guy who seemed to be very arrogant and aloof. I failed to do what I would want others to do for me….look at the circumstances…walk in their shoes for a moment.
The fact is he recently moved, changed jobs, changed towns, changed his whole life. He was probably like I’ve been with my recent move….totally out of it and not worth much to anybody. His persona was suffering from analysis paralysis from trying to figure out the new everything.
Three months later he is settled in and truly delightful. A veritable gentle giant. Funny, caring and polite. It was a good reminder that when we snap judge, to make sure our intuition is in tact first. Then tune into that wonderful spirit we are observing. Make sure they are their normal self…during that moment in which we are judging.
Humans these days are so cynical and such judgy Smurfs. We tend to want to be outraged at others first, without knowing, or trying to find out the real story . Don’t be a judgy Smurf…tune in, tap in, turn on your spirit radar and pray you get the right read on people. We owe it to them and ourselves.
Two Quick Appetizers for any party…….
SMOKED SALMON DIP
2 Pkgs 4 oz Smoked Salmon
2 Pkgs 8 OZ. Cream Cheese
½ lg Lemon Juiced
8 Sm Green Onions Diced
½ tsp Hot Sauce (to taste)
Shred Salmon and mash into cream cheese. Add other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
BABA GHANOUSH (Mediterranean Eggplant Dip)
- 2 large eggplant
- 2 tablespoons tahini sauce
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 Kosher Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, or to taste
- 1 pinch dried parsley flakes, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Arrange oven racks so you have one low and one high in the oven.
- Cut the eggplant in half and place into an oiled baking dish.
- Roast in preheated oven on the lower rack until the eggplant is completely shrunken and soft, about 40 minutes. Move dish to higher rack and continue baking until the skin is charred, about 5 minutes more. Let eggplant cool until cool enough to handle.
- Peel and discard skin from eggplant. Put eggplant into a bowl; add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir until ingredients are evenly mixed. Drizzle olive oil over the baba ghanoush and garnish with parsley.
It is Christmas, the sky is blue, the weather amazing for this time of year in the mountains of Appalachia. But it seems that even though we’ve had Christmas since July people seem to more tired, sad, and generally NOT in the Christmas spirit this year.
Now we have terrorist threats harkening our shores and a general malaise spread over the land like “The Nothing” in some fairy tale movie. It’s consuming the land, and overall taking the meaning out of this former glorious time of year. I know lights are up all over but are they nothing more than a competition to show our growing need for excess each year?
Stop, take a breath, focus and see what you are truly emoting this year. Take a moment to give a big hug to loved ones including our furry families. Put love into every ingredient of every dish you prepare. Let your eye twinkle, or tear, or both when you truly listen to the words of the traditional Christmas Carols this year.
Make sure you remember the reason for the Season and may all of your Christmases be bright.
The Queen Cronista
1 (8 oz. ) Container of Sour Cream
1 (8 oz.) Cream Cheese softened
1 Package Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
1 Bag Frozen Spinach (liquid drained)
1 Can Water Chestnuts (diced)
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/2 tsp. Hot Sauce (to taste)
1 Med. Tomato Seeded & Diced (optional)
1 Lg Bread Bowl hollowed
Mix well and place in hollowed bread bowl. Serve with pita chips, crostini or corn chips.
Both Crones have been busy moving here at the holidays. I know, we are supposed to be wise crones…what’s with that?
Well sometimes life gives you challenges and doesn’t send the memo. Just know that. You punt and move on. We are back with a vengeance and ready to tackle the daily task of respectful irreverence; that is if we survive the massive stupidity of the holiday shoppers and traffic. Even in a small town it is excessively stupid this year…..OR IS IT JUST ME?
Stay tuned for more recipes, pearls of wisdom, and holiday fun. Blessings to all for the Christmas Season and all the Joy and Wonder it brings. The Crones love you.
The Queen Cronista