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An Autumn Roast Chicken

Wine & Dine Wednesday brings a Sunday supper roast chicken we dined on at WestWard last week-end. What made it an Autumn chicken were the root vegetables that make the meal extra hearty. This is a one pan meal that could not be simpler and it is incredibly satisfying. Both in cooking it as well as eating it!

Oven to 400 while you get things ready. Peel the carrots and parsnip. I left the carrots whole and cut up the parsnip as it was quite large. The potatoes were quite small so I left them whole. Cut up 2 sweet onions. Cut in half rutabagas. Put the onions in the middle as the chicken will rest on top of those. Salt, pepper and olive oil liberally the whole lot. Use a 4 to 5 pound whole chicken. Give it a quick rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Make sure cavity is empty. Insert a halved garlic and 2 quartered lemons inside the cavity. Put the chicken breast side up on top of onions. Now pour olive oil over top of chicken and massage the oil over the entire bird. This helps considerably in overall browning. Then salt and pepper the heck out of it. Chicken can be pretty tasteless so seasoning it well really helps bring out all the natural flavors. Then top all with rosemary sprigs. That is it! Into that hot oven it goes. At the half hour mark turn the pan around so the bird is now in the opposite direction. This helps with even cooking. Move veg around gently so all browns evenly. At the hour mark insert a thermometer into the chicken. We are going for 160 to 165. If not there, check again in 15 minutes. Once at that internal temperature, turn the oven off, take the chicken out to rest on a platter and cover with aluminum foil to sit for 10 minutes. Discard rosemary stems. Your home should smell pretty divine by this point. The vegetables & potatoes can stay in the oven that is off but still warm to keep things warm. Carve up chicken. Plate up. Enjoy!



 

 

Holding On To Summer

On Monday out on the island, we did everything possible to enjoy supper outside. The eve before it was pouring rain and we enjoyed our Sunday supper inside with a fire roaring. This last week of Summer has been anything but here in our little corner of the PNW. But any ray of sunshine has us scrambling to get outside. This is pretty comical actually. I snapped this table of blue with the potted scented geraniums taking center stage. I went it to start cooking while the lightest misty rain flew by, hardly upsetting the table setting in the least. Right as we sat to enjoy the meal the sun was setting. Just glorious. As we were taking our last bites we felt the drops begin. As we quickly finished we disassembled the table lickity split, laughing along the way, determined to savor every last bit of the season.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 218

For this our official last week of Summer, grab every chance you can to dine alfresco. Be it a table outside at a restaurant, a picnic blanket on the beach, or a napkin folded over your lap on a park bench–take that opportunity to enjoy a meal with the sun or the moon.



 

 

A Table For Two, West Coast Version

We are drawn to water and dining outside. Last week it was at the long picnic table across from the pond, last night it was at the zinc topped table on the deck looking out to Colvos Passage. This time of year we grab any chance we can to dine alfresco. It was interesting as someone posted on social media how lovely that we still set the table when it is just the two of us. Oh my yes, we must honor the meal! Always. I even set the table when we have a quick breakfast of oatmeal. A lovely napkin, flowers, a few objects–they all elevate the experience. Even if it is the simplest of meals. Truly can’t recommend it enough. On the menu, catfish that I topped with warm chèvre & olives. Bailey snoozing away on her pillow next to us. By the time we had supper the boat traffic had slowed to just a few so the water was quite calm. The red geraniums dictated the theme for the table. As a purist, this by no means was the end of Summer. We still have three weeks of it left and we are going to enjoy every drop of it.

Sending many safe thoughts to any of my readers in the path of hurricane Dorian. We are thinking of you…



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 216

With tomatoes at their most plentiful and glorious, serve and enjoy them as often as you can. A simple vessel of salt next to a bowl of the beauties and you are all set for a healthy snack or an easy app if serving guests.



 

 

A Drinks Tray

This Wine & Dine Wednesday is about assembling a drinks tray. This one is for outside dining, but works pretty much the same when the party/gathering is inside too. Entertaining can and should be tons of fun. But it can be quite a bit of work, as well, and I think that is what stops or hinders folks from doing it. A drinks tray makes things waaaaaay easier. At WestWard, the tray sits right on the bench next to the dining table and by the chairs where we sit when guests first arrive. It is also next to the staircase that leads to the beach, making it easy to make a libation for your beach walk. I add whatever the offerings are for the day. Negronis and Aperol spritz were on the menu for above, as well as sparking water and club soda. Our friend Bill drinks Bourbon and 7UP so that assortment was on the tray too. Plus we always include G&T fixings, as they speak of Summer. Add a bucket of ice, glasses and citrus needed for the drinks. Not in the photo but added later a sharp knife to cut the citrus and a spoon to stir. By having it right where the gathering is taking place you are not constantly running into the kitchen or bar area to mix drinks. Plus it makes it easy for guests to make their own if they would like when you get busy putting together the meal. A drinks tray speaks of a party! Your guests will feel cared for and it makes things so much easier for the host.



 

 

Sunday Supper Friendships

Friendship was a salve this past Sunday. We were all in a bit of a fog but breaking bread with longtime dearest friends was on the menu. The Market dahlias always adding happiness. The sound of the waves the music for the day. A big pan of paella by Mister Sive on the grill the meal. With 3 dogs each sleeping on their pillows as we chatted the day away. Giving thanks for our cherished friendship.



 

 

The First August {Flower Friday}

Zinnias always remind me of August. Warm to hot sunny days and vibrant to washed out colors like the sun has bleached them out a bit. Divine and happy in every way. All sorts of signs of Summer peaking and I want us all to revel in it. From the geraniums producing sweet flowers, to the celery at the farmers market that is too pretty to pass us and rivals any bouquet, to the dahlias that have so much stage presence that just a few blooms will light up a room. Oh and I forgot to post a few weeks ago the blooming jasmine outside our window in town, so today is the day. You can also see how much it has grown inside the window too. The apartment has smelled heavenly for quite some time. I wish you all a lovely first weekend in August Flower Friday in your part of the globe.



 

 

Sunday Supper and Dancing Dahlias

The white dahlias looked too good to pass up at the Market, so they set the theme for the Sunday supper table last week-end. They danced down the middle of the table in low clear drinking glasses. I cut the stems super short so the heads sat right on the rim. It can make a simple bundle of blooms much more significant. To me they become the focal point of the table. If they were massed together in a vase in the middle, they would be less prominent. These beauties needed to sing! Or dance! Or maybe both. Then it was about pulling a bunch of blue things to pull the table together.



 

 

A Super Easy App Board

We are of the mindset that entertaining does not, actually in our case ‘should not’ be stressful or complicated. I think that is what stops folks from creating a gathering or hosting a dinner. Our Sunday suppers out on the island are case in point. They come at the end of a busy, long week. Yet, we love, no make that capital LOVE, having friends and family out. So we try super hard not to overdue and stress ourselves out. Hence, a super easy appetizer board for when guest first arrive. They have had a ferry ride as well as it being in the middle of the day, so we know they are hungry. Start time is always 2. It is not really a lunch, but it is plenty before supper. We like to sit and chat with a cocktail when everyone first arrives. The app board makes it easy to nosh as stories are told. The above what I whipped up on Sunday. Radishes cut to lots of sizes along with Irish butter and French sea salt. A triple-creme cheese next to crackers and sliced seeded baguette. Then a personal favorite I learned from the chef at Prune in NYC, Gabrielle Hamilton. I have enjoyed this there so many times. Crack open a tin of sardines, nestle a mound of Triscuits next to it, as well as a jar of Dijon and a dish of cornichons. The combo is incredibly satisfying. This board was enjoyed and pretty darn near empty by the time a little beach walk was on the agenda. Bowls of cherries or small tomatoes or olives is also easy to add. As well as a piece of smoked salmon or slices of salami. It really is much more about “composing” rather than cooking. I guarantee, no one will care. Cheers to relaxing entertaining!