Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lady of Leisure

Yes, that's right; I am a lady of leisure.  Work doesn't start until the 26th, and so, in theory, for the next two weeks I'll be visiting museums, strolling around London's parks, and lunching with all my other not-otherwise-occupied friends.  I have to admit with shame, though, that I did none of these things today.  I was too lazy to leave the house except to go grocery shopping.  I was productive, domestically, but my leisurely time is not beginning well - I am bored, bored, bored.  I want to start work!  I want to wake up in the morning with Things To Do and I want to get up and do them.

Ah, well, soon enough, I guess.

Some of my day has been spent getting ready for tonight's dinner party.  We're having a few friends over for a low-key gathering - I've been shopping and cleaning the house in preparation.  The menu: Ina's Vegetable Tian and a simple roast chicken.  (Whole chickens scared the hell out of me, by the way, until I discovered how easy they are to make.  Now I find every excuse possible to cook them!)  Dessert will be cheese and fruit.  (Interesting note: Americans have cheese before dinner, generally, and Europeans have it after.  I'm adapting.)

Some of my day has also been spent, obviously, drooling over dinnerwear online.  My mother and sister (hello, family!) and I have a thing for Royal Copenhagen china.  I usually go for blue and white and floraly, but I think Jon's more modern sensibilities are wearing off on me - the pattern I kept coming back to this afternoon in my online wanderings was Wedgwood's Amherst.  Love the subtlety of the art deco design.  Plus, it's minimalist enough that you don't have to worry about the food clashing with the pattern!  (Wait, am I the only one who worries about that?)
In case the idea of making a roast chicken scares you, too, let me share with you how I'll be doing it tonight so you can see how easy it is:

Roast Chicken
(serves, hopefully, six)

1 2kg chicken
1 large bunch of thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 head of garlic, minced (forgot to buy pre-minced garlic, which means my garlic will be more chopped than minced, but what can you do?)

Preheat the oven to 425*f/220*c.  Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry.  Rub liberally with butter.  Squeeze some butter between the skin and the meat of the chicken.  There is no such thing as too much butter!  Also, if you're feeling daring, slide some sprigs of thyme between the skin and the meat of the chicken.  Salt and pepper the chicken, inside and out.  Stuff the chicken with the thyme and the garlic and the lemon.  Place each piece of onion in a corner of the roasting pan.  Place the chicken in the pan breast down, which allows all the juices to gather in the breast as it cooks.  Roast the chicken for an hour and a half, or until the juices run clear.  Cover with aluminum foil and let sit for ten minutes, then carve, serve, and enjoy!

(Note #284756: Tesco carries so many different options for whole chickens it's scary.  They've got three different labels called Value, Finest, and Organic, and then within each label are at least two different kinds of whole chickens.  Value alone has small, medium, and large chickens, as well as a specific roasting chicken.  It's dizzying!)


  1. 1. you're a nerd! wedgwood's amherst, really?!

    2. I love that as I read the first paragraph I immediately thought "Betsy! Tell me how to make a whole chicken!" and then scrolled down and saw you were one step ahead of me :)

    xoxo C

  2. I am a lazy lady of leisure, myself! I don't start my new job til the 26th, too. But, like you, I had big ideas for how I was going to use my time wisely and mostly I have been sleeping in til 1pm and it's been a struggle just to get out of pajamas. Oh well, rest is good too! Enjoy!

  3. I think that's the china that my parents have!
    I'm glad you're enjoying your free time :)

  4. Two things:

    Firstly, I love you think about food clashing with the plate design.

    Secondly, after reading "There is no such thing as too much butter"...I immediately thought about the health police coming to drag you away for distributing such dangerous propaganda!

    Sounds delicious though.

  5. Camilla - Yes. It is true.

    Amanda - I can't sleep that late! I wish I could. Damn bodyclock.

    Christine - Let's go china-shopping together :)

    Adam - Duh. Also, come back to London!

  6. Deal! Also, at pub trivia last night (just a few hours after commenting on this post), one of the questions was about a British china designer. Sadly, I couldn't think of the name Spode! Strange coincidence though! PS, I LOVE Vera Wang china--have you ogled that yet today? LOVE YOU.

  7. Betsy-loo you're never allowed to delete this post - I know it's simple but when I'm in a roast-chicken panic I seriously google "betsytransatlantically chicken" plus a bunch of !!!! and cusswords and thank heavens, this still shows up. So... NO. DELETING. EVER. MKAY?!


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