I have two weeks left in Cleveland before I move my stuff home and I’ve started thinking about the “lasts” of things. I pass by Presti’s bakery and count the number of times I will probably go there before I leave (it’s more than you think). I think of all of the places I probably won’t get a chance to visit again: the Botanical Gardens, Indigo Lake, the Beachland Ballroom.
But most importantly, I think about the acquaintances that I won’t see any more. The crossing guard at Adelbert and Euclid who makes everyone feel special. Mona and Mike, the librarians at the med school. The salty mail room lady at the student center who always seems to be on break. ”L,” the security guard at the school gym who still takes down my social security number when I forget my student ID even though we’ve known each other for eight years. The man who works at Algebra Tea House, who has two cute sons and sells inexpensive produce out of Muslim charity. The ladies who work in the admissions office.
I’ve never gotten past small talk with any of these people, but they are the Cleveland landmarks. I’ll probably tear up the last time I walk out of the gym and L tells me he’ll see me next time.
- 10 chicken drumsticks, skin on
- 4 Tb butter, melted in a bowl
- Spice rub: 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cloves or cinnamon (play around with spices that you like, it’s not hugely important)
Preheat oven to 325F. Put the spice rub into a gallon ziplock bag. By hand, coat each drumstick in some of the butter and drop into the bag. Shake the bag, tossing the drumsticks to evenly coat them with the spice mixture. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil that overlaps the edges, and put the drumsticks on top. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on the drumsticks, then use a slightly bigger sheet of foil to create a tent on top. Crimp the two sheets together and put in the oven for 90 minutes. In the meantime:
- 2 Tb canola or vegetable oil
- 1/4 c minced onion
- 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated or minced fine
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced fine
- Juice from one orange (1/4 c; zest before you juice, see below)
- 3/4 c hoisin sauce
- 1 Tb rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tb sambal olek chili garlic paste (or hot sauce if you don’t have it)
- Zest from the orange you juiced
Over medium heat saute the onion in the oil until translucent and browning. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for just a minute. Add the hoisin, orange juice, vinegar, and sambal and lower to a simmer so that it can thicken. Once thickened, turn off the heat and add the zest and stir. When the 90 minutes is up on the chicken, remove the foil tent and use a brush or a spoon to spread the glaze evenly over the chicken. If there’s left over reserve it for after the chicken is done cooking. Put the uncovered chicken back into the oven for 15-30 minutes until the chicken is about ready to fall off the bone. Serve with rice and vegetables.
Remember those old Hasbro commercials about family game night? Everyone is getting along. There’s no yelling, crying or screaming. The competition is only of the “friendly” persuasion. Yeah…that’s not how it works in my family. It may start out that way, but before long I’m sulking in the corner because I’m in last place (I’m a horrible loser), my brother is gloating about his win, my parents are shaking their heads in disbelief at their overgrown babies, and my sister is just trying to get everyone to come back to the table so we can resume the game. There are a few ways to remedy this issue. 1 – Try out a new game no one has ever played before (only works for 1 round before someone “masters it”). 2 – Make loud noises to distract family members while I steal the cards/money/desired pieces (only really improves the situation for me rather than the rest of the family). 3 – Make a lot of food so everyone is busy munching and no one has time to cry/scream/gloat/sulk/etc. One game that is particularly sulk-inducing is poker. Somehow my brother, sister, mother and father all have some talent when it comes to this tricky little game…a talent that I seem to lack. Maybe next time I can distract them with the “perfect poker food“. In the meantime, I’ll stick with my new favorite, not-so-tidy, no-utensil-requiring finger food.
Quick shout-out to my sorority sister, Amanda who provided me with this recipe after my first attempt at a healthy (read: vegetarian) sloppy joe.
Ingredients (makes enough for 8 sandwiches):
- Sloppy Joe Spice: Combine equal parts of the following seasonings – onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes (I made a lot and saved it for next time)
- Sauté the onions and bell peppers in olive oil till soft (5-8 min).
- Add the two tbs of sloppy joe spice, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, and tomato sauce to the sautéed veggies, and mix.
- In a separate pan, brown the turkey.
- Combine the two pans and simmer for 5-7 minutes (or longer if you want it less saucy).
- Serve on a bun and enjoy!