Ahhh. The sun finally came out late this afternoon. I had been reading and working on some projects when I decided the rest of the day would be spent BAKING. And no, I’m not a baker, not really, not yet. So, I drove to the store with an ingredients list for a herb infused baked chicken, tomato, onion and cheese galette and blackberry, goat cheese and basil tarts. Sounds wonderful, eh?
I get home and decide to bake the chicken first. I am so excited because I can actually go out to my yard to get the rosemary and some other herb that I have now forgotten the name of. The chicken had been thawing the past day. It was a free range chicken that I got at this really cool butcher shop. Seattle Childrens Hospital employees get a discount there and I had bought it a while back. So cool, right? So, I make the little cuts and stuff the thing with rosemary twigs and the other one that I now can’t remember what it is. I also put in some extra cuts and slide in some garlic. Ooo la la! I have to say that I have not done a lot of baking as of yet in my new place that has the gas oven. I slide the chicken in and it’s got green stuff sticking out everywhere. This food blogger promises this is the BEST chicken EVER. The day is just gorgeous. I pop open a Blue Moon Seasonal Collection Harvest Pumpkin Ale that I just bought when I went to the store. I actually got a 12 pack of assorted varieties. This really tall girl in a black dress with 6 inch heels was promoting Blue Moon at the grocery store. She was kinda like those girls at the State Fair of Texas who stand on those thingies with the hot cars and it goes round and round. Never seen a girl dressed like that in a grocery store before. As a side note, she actually asked me if she could take a picture of us with her giving me the 12 pack of Assorted Blue Moon Brewmaster’s Assorted Sampler. She said she needed to take a pic to “prove she was there”?????? I had dirty hair and no make up, but figured anyone who needed proof that she was there was not going to really care about what I looked like, or the fact that I was there. Now watch the damn pic show up somewhere, like the front page of the Seattle Times when we find out she was a parolee or something.
Now the chicken is baking. Without going into all the boring details, I had to have the oven at 475 which is pretty damn hot, but it is a special way of roasting it and it is supposed to be amazing. So, I am outside reading and drinking my Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale, just relaxing and enjoying the day with the timer on my phone. All of a sudden, there is this LOUD LOUD LOUD noise. I am thinking, “what the ???”. It’s the freaking smoke alarm! It is BLARING!!!! Well, it just so happens I have 11.5 foot ceilings and I see that thing WAAAY up there on the ceiling. The previous owner of the house had told me they had to buy a big ladder from Lowe’s so they could get to the light bulbs, etc. She never mentioned having to mess with the smoke alarm! I have a freaking VW BEETLE now, so have not figured out how I am gonna get a huge ladder to my house. It was on my to do list. But it wasn’t a priority. That thing was blaring for 45 long minutes!!! Yes, I timed it. Thank GOD my neighbors on both sides were not home. Lots of the windows in my house DO NOT OPEN. I turned on the ceiling fan near the kitchen. This is Seattle, people, and there are not ceiling fans all over the place. I also opened the kitchen window. I have double french doors off my family room. I opened one and then somehow pushed the lock so far in the opposite direction of the other one that it will probably never open again. Both ceiling fans in my house are going. One window in the kitchen is open and half of my double french doors is open. I keep on thinking, surely, it will stop.
My cat has run outside. Sparrow, the deaf dog, is just lounging around, oblivious to what is going on. Miss Bee is barking like crazy. So much for my wonderful afternoon. I’m starting to wonder if I will need to sleep outside tonight, maybe it won’t be quite so noisy and smokey in the back yard. Then, I come up with this great idea! There is woman three houses down that I have met just once, in the alley. I’m gonna walk to her house and see if she has a ladder. The second idea is to call this guy, Chris, who has done some yard stuff for me. I have NO IDEA where he lives but I’ve decided maybe I will call him and offer $75 bucks plus obviously pay for the ladder if he will just go to Lowes real quick, buy a ladder, come over, climb way up high and shut the damn thing off.
I’m thinking about my options, wondering if it would be rude as hell to call this yard guy and ask him to stop what he is doing on a Sunday and go get a ladder, come over and turn my damn smoke alarm off. I’m opening and closing my front door as fast as I can, trying to make it be a fan, hoping to get rid of some of the smoke. Also, I’m NOT gonna let this chicken get messed up, so I turn it over, as the recipe says, and continue to bake it. I continue to weigh my options and all of a sudden….SILENCE. It has stopped! I cannot believe it! I was afraid I would have to wait until the battery ran down before it would stop its bleeping. It took 45 minutes for that damn thing to stop. My pets will probably never be the same, except Sparrow, who never knew it happened.
The chicken was fantastic. So was the Blue Moon Belgian White Wheat Ale. I decided I definitely needed to try another variety after all that smoke and noise and worry. Now that things have calmed down, I’m goin back in to make the blueberry handmade pies. The tomato galette will have to wait, I am not up to baking three dishes.
This recipe calls for 400 degrees. Is 400 hot enough to make bad things happen? I’m thinking it was the fat in the chicken. It sure wasn’t the rosemary and other stuff burning. Those were green twigs. After a few minutes of hesitation, I decide to just go for it. Once I got started, I realized I did not have a rolling-pin. Even though I was using refrigerated pie crust dough, it turned out I needed a rolling-pin to kind of connect some of the leftover cut outs together. Oh, no, here we go again, I thought. Another cooking problem. Just about that time I looked over at an unopened wine bottle and voila! an instant rolling-pin. I cut out the little circles, poured some of the blueberry goop on them, covered it up with another little dough circle and did a little crimping and venting. Now it was time for the oven and to my relief and surprise, those little handmade pies came out beautifully with not a whiff of smoke.
I think I’ll buy a ladder before I bake my next chicken.