Welcome (raw chicken and a little about me)

Tonight I did something I have never, ever, done before. I cut up a whole raw chicken into its component parts, cooked some, froze some, and made a chicken stock.

I should point out that I am 29. I have been married for 7 years. I have a 3-year-old son. Cooking is not my thing. Raw chicken is definitely not my thing; I have a salmonella spidey-sense that is like that TV commercial for kitchen cleaner where germs are represented as red dots that cover your entire kitchen. I track the progress of the chicken and remember everything it touched and clean down thoroughly afterwards (or follow my husband around and then have a panic attack when he *gasp* leaves the dirty chicken-covered chopping board in the sink).

Needless to say, I am not the likeliest person to be making anything with chicken. But I am 29, I am a mother, and more importantly, my live-in chef *ahem*, husband, has started working relatively-late nights, so I can either order take-away every night (expensive), eat ready meals (expensive and nasty), or learn to cook.

Anyone who knows me will know that this is a relatively big deal. I am not a great cook. I can cook, obviously, I can make pasta, thai curry, oven food, chilli, and various other things that are edible, if not delicious. But my experience of cooking has been of being in turn, confused, flustered, irritated, and more than once, in tears. So yeah, I cut up a chicken and I am very pleased with myself. [On a side note, I bought a whole chicken a couple of months ago. I think it was for a curry or something and as I wanted free-range, I bought a whole one rather than pay 11 quid or whatever for free-range chicken breasts. I hacked the thing to pieces and threw most of it away. And I jumped around the kitchen shrieking like a lunatic when I realized that the thin rubbery white things that were so difficult to cut through were *shudder* veins].

I have recently taught myself to knit, and to sew (on a hand-crank manual sewing machine I got off Freecycle.org) and I figured it’s high time I taught myself to cook.

This blog is about my (attempts at) cooking and baking. I will list recipes I use (or invent) and whether I, my husband, and/or my son liked it [side note: my son is three; he is a picky eater… a very picky eater. Things he won’t eat: potatoes of any kind: chips, roast, mashed, waffles, smiley potato faces aimed at picky kids, etc.; rice; mince beef; any meat that is not sausages, ham, roast chicken, or lamb korma – yes, this means he will not eat chicken korma, sliced chicken in sandwiches, or roast lamb with gravy; fruit or vegetables of any kind that are in any way recognizable as fruit or vegetables].

I will also share my craft projects and my forays into craft beer. My husband is a home-brewer. He plans to start his own business in the future, and I figured it was about time I tried some of the craft beer he raves about. Apparently it is important to share your partner’s interests… though I went to the Great American Beer Festival last year with him in Denver, Colorado (we used to live in the States) and my favourite beer there was Coors. So yeah… maybe I can train my palette in time to be an active partner in my partner’s brew-pub business.

Tonight’s beer is Innis & Gunn, Oak Aged Beer. I actually like this one. It tastes really nice. [I have got to get better at describing the flavours as yeah, it tastes nice…]

Important facts to know about me if you’re going to read this blog: I am British, married to an American. I lived in the U.S. for 7 years and our son was born in the U.S. but we moved back to the UK when our son was 2 years old. We currently live in a little English seaside town with an (undeserved) bad reputation. I am of the opinion that “modern life is rubbish.” I have a love-hate relationship with modern technology, I wish we could get rid of our TV yet I watch it every night, and Facebook makes me sad inside yet I am a prolific poster. The state of the world in general makes me despair, yet I have decided that I can’t fix it, I can only do my bit.

Welcome.