I must confess that I paid too much for this lemon juicer. But I fell in love with it. The jadeite glass is a copy of the glassware produced in the 30s and 40s and one I remember my mother using regularly to make orange juice. This past weekend it was perfect for juicing lemons for Lemon Chicken, that I served at the farm.
When I prepare this dish, I recall the re-runs of Everyone Loves Raymond, where Debra makes the recipe on her first date with Raymond, causing him to think she’s a great cook. As it turns out, it’s the only thing she can cook.
I have never seen a recipe for Debra’s Lemon Chicken. This past weekend I used Ina Garten’s recipe, though I gave a serious look at Marcella Hazan’s Roasted Chicken with Lemons, that uses a whole chicken. Ina simply covers the chicken pieces with lemon sauce and oven bakes. I used both breasts and thighs; the thighs with skin-on were far more flavorful than the skinless breasts.
Ideally, the chicken should be served with rice, but my rice eaters are few, so I just roasted four different vegetables.
A Toast to Home Baked Bread
A friend brought two loaves of freshly baked bread to dinner: a round white and a sourdough baguette. It was the handiwork of a former neighbor, Ken Alford, who took up bread baking, first as a hobby, and now, more seriously, as a home business called Worthy Bread. His baked goods are available at the Rolla Farmers’ Market, though I am told he sometimes makes home deliveries.
Before I got the food on the table, my guests had cut into the loaves, slathered the slices with butter, and were enjoying a pre-dinner treat. My bread donor suggested saving some for toast at breakfast. So we did, convincing me that a well-baked loaf works for any meal or snack.
Oh, la, la. . . A French Apple Cake!
Ah, the dessert was the piece de resistance! This French Apple Cake was included among Dorie Greenspan’s favorites in her cookbook, Around My French Table. She named the recipe for the friend Marie-Hélène, who introduced her to the exquisite cake. But Dori never got an exact recipe, since Marie-Hélène never followed a written recipe. Everything was in her head. She cooked au pif—by the nose—as the French would say. Thank heavens, Dorie managed to decipher the cake’s ingredients, rewarding us with this superb tasting cake.
The original recipe was served with a dollop of cinnamon ice cream, but I just sprinkled a bit of cinnamon atop vanilla ice cream. Interestingly, the cake has no cinnamon or nutmeg, but it does have vanilla extract, rum, and four apples, each a different variety. Fun to make; divine to eat.
Thus went the weekend and the ancient ceremony of breaking bread with family and friends.