Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pet Peeves: Episode 1 - Kitchen Counters

Okay, these pet peeve entries may not make a lickasense (Southern term) to anyone, but I have to purge this stuff from my overtaxed brain

I'll be the first to admit that I'm filled to my eyeballs in pet peeves, so I thought I'd vent a little at a time, I mean share some of them periodically with you.

Today my focus is on kitchen counters. As an admitted neat freak, I have a thing about how kitchen counters, and everything else, should look. Kitchen counters should look like no one ever cooks there. As I dragged myself into the kitchen this morning for coffee (one of many addictions), I glanced at my counters and realized that I have only one functional item on my counters--my trusty coffeemaker. All other items on the counter are simply there for the "cute" factor and I rather like it that way. I decided I wanted toast, plain, square, cheap, thin-sliced white bread toast with butter (I indulge every now an again with this childhood memory). Of course the toaster isn't on the counter, it isn't even IN THE KITCHEN!! It's upstairs in my quasi butler's pantry. I didn't feel like going up to get it so I used the broiler. As I toasted my bread, I thought of all the items I use in the kitchen that aren't housed in the kitchen and the list is long, long, long.

Here's a partial list: my beloved Kitchen-Aid mixer, blender, food processor (large and mini chopper), waffle irons (all 4), deep fryer, bread maker, ice cream maker, the ice cream maker attachment for the Kitchen-Aid, the meat grinder attachment for the Kitchen-Aid, various bundt pans, round and square cake pans, cupcake pans, pie pans, tart pans, egg trays for deviled eggs, serving bowls and platters, cookbooks, even my little blow torch. I decided not to bore you with the complete list, so I'll stop here, but you get the idea.

I sat drinking my coffee, eating my toast and multitasking with the Sunday paper and syncing/synching my iPod, I wondered if my aversion to things on the counters made me a weirdo in some sort of way. Well, if it does, so be it...I'll readily accept my weirdo title.

Thanks for listening and please feel free to share your pet peeves.

Sheila Denise

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Favorite Chicken Salad

This is my favorite version of chicken salad, loaded with Granny Smith apples, currants, red grapes and pecans. Sweet, tart, crunchy, creamy and delicious!

For some time now, my Aunt Maxine's chicken salad was the standard by with all others were judged. As one of my cooking idols (okay she's one of my all around idols), I'm always trying to make dishes that taste almost as good a hers. I had a desire for chicken salad and I usually plan a trip to Macon to visit her (after mentioning how much I'd love to have some chicken salad) to quench my desire. This time, I decided I'd give Aunt Maxine a break, so I used her recipe to make what I consider to be one of my tastiest, easiest creations. Although my chicken salad is delicious, it can never replace Aunt Maxine's version--in this case it's about much, much more than the chicken salad--it's the love she puts into it and the time we share while enjoying it.

Sheila Denise