Tuesday, September 20, 2005


My life has been a whirlwind of activity lately and I haven't had a chance to blog. I'm finally finished battling it out with the Westlake raccoons. The homeowners are back from Italy and I am off to another petsitting job. This time, it's for a friend whose house I am totally at home in...from snuggling on her big comfy chair in front of the t.v. to digging in the fridge for dinner makings. Her pets are suspicious and keep sitting in front of the door waiting for Corrie to come home. I've assured them that she'll be home safe and sound on Wednesday. They are obviously concerned that they'll be stuck with me for life. I'm trying not to let my feelings be hurt. I'll have a week off at home until I start a two week stint housesitting for another friend, whose furry kids are easy peasy to take care of and like me enough to not worry when their mom is coming home. During that week at home I'll be cleaning my apartment, doing laundry and sorting through old clothing that needs to either be thrown out or donated. Fun times.

I have been chasing a childhood treat to no avail. When I was in elementary and junior high school in Monroe & West Monroe, Louisiana, our schools sold snacks at recess and/or concession break. One of those snacks was a red popsicle. This popsicle wasn't like the Popsicle brand kind that was grooved so you could break it in two. It was a straight, smooth cylindar of red frozen goodness on a stick. It came in a white wrapper and was, I'm certain, sold in bulk to the schools from some food supply company. I'm on a search in Austin to find this red popsicle. I've been to HEB and Randall's. Now I'll be looking at Albertson's and Fiesta. I won't be deterred until I've either found them or exhausted the possibility of finding them.

One treat I have been enjoying isn't an edible one. Corrie left Aveda products for me to use while I'm staying at her place. I love Aveda, although most of the time will opt for a less pricey brand of hair care products. I've enjoyed them so much this week that I've made a vow to buy some for my house. I remember the first time I had heard of Aveda. More than a decade ago, I was visiting my sister, who had moved to St. Louis, a much larger city than Austin. At the time, my sister was a bit of a wild one, living it up in the company of her two gay roomies. (Eric & Paul are both hotties, so I always enjoyed the indoor scenery when I visited.) Kim hugged me hello and I noticed how good her hair smelled. She was happy to tell me about her Aveda shampoo and conditioner, although now I can't remember which one she used. I thought it was such a hip, big city thing to use a shampoo that cost more than most of my meals at the time. I think it's time to splurge on myself and buy Aveda hair care products and some really, really good skin care items, too. Why not?

While I'm on the subject of pampering myself, I'll mention that I have regained my will to cook. I made a succulent roast chicken using an organic, free range roaster...my first time paying more in an attempt to see if it really did make a difference. I salted & peppered the cavity, stuffing it with fresh Hatch green chili, onion and slices of garlic along with a bit of butter. I stuffed butter, onion slices and garlic under the skin of the breast before using a bit of EVOO on the bird and liberally seasoning with my holy trinity (sea salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic powder) and some onion powder. Then into the oven it went, for 15 minutes at 475º and then another hour at 350º. When it came out of the oven I was busy preparing steamed broccoli and baked polenta rounds topped with cheddar cheese. It was fabulous! The chicken was perfect, as was the rest of the meal down to the fresh sliced pineapple and green seedless grapes for dessert. Yum!

Now I just have to decide what to make for supper tonight. Suggestions?


Juliabohemian said...

The popsicle is called a "big stick" and you should be able to find them at the grocery store. We have them here too.

Kaya said...

I've always been fond of "big sticks". Unfortunately, my search here in Austin is proving fruitless so far. Our two largest grocery store chains haven't had them. I'm hitting the smaller chain stores next. And then maybe the few mom and pop stores in existence...and then the convenience stores until I find them or accept defeat.

Juliabohemian said...

try looking for an ice cream supply company -where the ice cream trucks get their stuff. I'd send you some, but they'd melt.

TwinKim said...

How do you make your polenta rounds? Do you use the polenta that comes in the package like cookie dough? The chicken sounds really good! I'm hungry just thinking about your meal. Good luck on the red popsicles. I had a craving for those when I was pregnant but couldn't find them anywhere in MO.

Kaya said...

I do use the polenta "chubs" that look like cookie dough rolls. This one was an organic polenta flavored with garlic and basil. I sliced them into thick rounds and placed them on a greased cookie sheet (used olive oil spray). I baked them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes then flipped them, baked for 5 more, topped them with shredded cheese (you can use cheddar, mozzarella, whatever) and took them out when it was melted. Mmmmmm!

I've made my own polenta before, which can be nice, since you can freeze slices for later use. I used polenta meal from Whole Foods or Central Market, can't remember which, and flavored it myself with chopped bits of sundried tomato, garlic and basil. I like the creamy version, too, but haven't made it at home yet.