Thursday, May 28, 2020

Judith Huxley's Marinated Olives with Alison Roman's Vinegar Chicken

It was a happy merging!

I wanted to try Alison Roman's Vinegar Chicken with Crushed Olive Dressing that was a most requested New York Times recipe after seeing it here on Ted Kennedy Watson's beautiful blog. Every recipe I've tried of Roman's has been delicious and I knew this one would be, too.

But as I read the recipe I thought of the partial jar in my fridge of Judith Huxley's Marinated Olives with Citrus and Fennel, the olives that my daughter-in-law loves and helps make when she visits. 

All of the ingredients in Huxley's recipe from her wonderful cookbook, Table for Eight, could only enhance Roman's recipe so I stirred them into all the good drippings of the chicken dish, the olives and remaining liquid in the jar.

It was amazing! 

I wanted to share this recipe with you so this week I made up another jar of Judith Huxley's marinated olives so I could take a picture of it. We'll snack on the jar of olives until there's about half left and then I'll once again use the remainder for another recipe of Alison Roman's Vinegar Chicken with Crushed Olive Dressing. 

 You'll need:

1 pound jar of olives, drained and rinsed under water.
     (She calls for calamata but I use these pitted Sicilian olives.)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed.

Rinds of 1 orange and 1 lemon, peeled with a citrus stripper in long, thin strips. (I just zest the lemon and orange but I'm sure the strips would be even better.)

Juice of the lemon and orange.

2 tablespoons of fennel seed. (And I use a little  oregano from Crete that is wonderfully aromatic.)

Pack the drained olives, crushed garlic cloves, strips (or zest) of citrus, and fennel seeds in a pint jar.

Add citrus juice and then fill to the brim with olive oil. Cover, refrigerate, and shake the jar when you think of it. Wait a day or two to use, bringing to room temperature before serving. 

I used this beautiful vintage pink Italian jar marked Abagal's Useful Jar. Isn't it pretty? I badly need a rubber gasket for it. 

 Again, the recipe for the chicken is here. 

And a little extra cooking note--if you ever see this olive oil for sale, snap it up. I sipped this olive oil by the spoonful as well as making salad vinaigrette with it.

RH bought it at Costco around Christmas for about $14 and it was wonderful! Naturally they were out of it when he went back and I found it on Amazon for $40 a bottle. I just can't justify that but we will be watching for it next Christmas. 

And I hope that someone tries Alison Roman's chicken dish. With beef prices soaring, chicken is a good choice now. And I wish I could suggest Judith's Huxley's olive recipe to Alison Roman as it is a match made in heaven with her chicken dish.

Huxley's one and only cookbook was published posthumously. I read it year round as it is organized by the month. She was food columnist for The Washington Post and was married to Matthew Huxley who was an epidemiologist. And Matthew was the son of Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World and screenwriter for 1940s Pride and Prejudice. 

All of that has nothing to do with these recipes but I found it interesting. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

My Bedroom, My Sanctuary

It was only this winter here at Home Hill that I at last loved my bedroom. 

And it all started because I spotted this mid-century silk-embroidered panel in a gorgeous gold wood frame at our local antique shop. It became my early birthday gift and I spent the rest of February and early March pulling the room last.

You see, at our 1920 farmhouse our bedroom had been as cozy English Garden as I could make it.

I loved it back then but here, in my bedroom that was the only room here I did not love, it didn't work. I got rid of the Ralph Lauren cabbage rose bedskirt and sheets and the heavy matelasse spread and rabbits-in-the-garden pictures and began to search vainly for inspiration of what would work.

RH has his own bedroom in a pine paneled room that suits his vintage western art beautifully. We sleep very lightly now. When he moves into my bedroom when we have family staying with us we disturb each other with our frequent trips to the bathroom and are so grateful for our adjoining bedrooms.

 So the choices for decorating my bedroom were all mine but I couldn't hit on anything that made me happy so I kept going more and more minimalist, not a style that suits me at all. 

The first spring here RH tore down the horrible acoustic tile ceiling in my bedroom, the only ceiling like it in the house. He put up bead board and that helped so much. And last year I fell in love with a marvelous dark brown bronze and crystal ceiling light fixture at a high end lighting store and begged for it for my birthday and Mother's Day gift. It was different from anything I'd found and I love it.

A little before that we found a beautiful heavy triple mirror at Goodwill. It said Made in USA and was only $14.99. We grabbed it and RH separated the mirrors for me.

It has a Georgian shell motif in the center and beveled edges.

When I found the silk bird picture in February I knew it would be perfect over the tall birds I've had for ages, marked Japan.

And then I found this really cool bird picture at another antique mall that is made of real bird feathers.

I hung it up and thought I'd have to search the antique shops again for a third bird picture when I remembered I had an old Japanese bird picture in my office. At last I had my complete bird section of my new bedroom art gallery. 

And just in case any family happens to read this, please don't think, "Since Mom likes birds, let's buy her more bird pictures." No, please don't! Three are enough!

I turned my attention next to my reading corner. I found three gold wood frames, two at Goodwill and one at the antique shop, and finally had frames for my three old French pictures. They were just the right contrast hung with two old pictures I already had.

My reading corner is all about comfort for myself and two dachshunds. BreeBree loves to snuggle on an old wool blanket on the hassock.

James Mason just would not hold still in his nest for a good picture but here is one I took on his recent 10th birthday. I love that Google sent me a "Color Pop! treatment of it!

Here's a closeup of the three French pictures and the old piece of embroidery I bought at my neighbor's yard sale almost 50 years ago and had framed.

And a closeup of an old garden picture behind my darling vintage floor lamp that I ripped off all the old fabric.

And there you see my next purchase that made my heart sing, new curtains! After looking online for weeks for vintage curtains, I found these vintage Kaufman hydrangea print cotton jacquard ones on Etsy.

I had meant to take down the valances and use the curtains only but there would have been a gap with several inches of glass showing. I was determined to keep these lovely curtains so the valences stayed. 

For any of you who have read Rosamunde Pilcher's The Shell Seekers, remember how Penelope made her skirts out of old brocade curtains? I think she would have loved these!

Here is a treasured piece in my bedroom that I got at my sister's unique consignment shop in Orlando years ago. Her shop is called Top Drawer if you're ever there, link here! 

It's a 1980s Chapman rose lamp. and I am nuts about it!

Vintage Chapman lamps are much sought after and I found a picture of the original shade online.

Is that not fabulous?

Here's another favorite piece, a vintage sunburst clock I bought on eBay years ago all the way from England. Well worth waiting for.

It hangs over my bed with plenty of blank space around it for me to continue my art gallery someday when I feel safe to be out shopping again, hopefully.

That sweet vintage hanky on my bed was a gift from my two little granddaughters, reminding me of my dear Otis and Milo.

Their pictures hang behind my bedroom door above thrifted books waiting to be read. It still hurts to look at them. I'll miss them always.

On a mirror over my bed table are two notes my father wrote on the back of his business cards as he battled cancer. I've posted about one of them before. The Dewena he writes of is my mother, the first Dewena. 

There is always a stack of current books on my bed table for bedtime reading.

I hope you've enjoyed a tour of my bedroom, even if it might not be anything like what you would choose for your own. This bedroom makes me so happy now, when I wake up in the morning and see it and before I turn out my light at night. To tell you the truth, I almost purr with pleasure. All I need is a saucer of cream to lap up and you'd probably hear me!

Home is like another skin, and if your house reflects you and things that delight you, then it can truly enhance your everyday life.
 Daphne Dunn

The important thing is that it is my sanctuary. We need them in times like these, don't we?

The bedroom follows the cadence of sunset and sunrise, becoming a place of nightly hibernation and rebirth.
 Anthony Lawler, architect and author