No triviality too banal.

Part the Second: More Cake and The Chicken

So the cake came out and I let it cool and made the frosting.  Melt butter and blend with “natural” cocoa.  Now there’s cocoa powder (think Hershey’s) and there’s Dutch-process cocoa powder (think Droste) and Dutch-process is better for pretty much all purposes.  This is a recipe that asks me to watch cold chunks of butter swim around in a bowl of flour and add turmeric to cake batter so it looks more artificial, so when it calls for “natural” cocoa powder, I know I could look it up to see which is which, but I don’t trust the recipe to know the difference, so I just use what I have.  That turns out to be easy, because I have two glass jars of cocoa powder and they are both labeled “Dutch-process” and it is unlikely that they are both correctly labeled, so I don’t really know what I have after all and I it doesn’t matter because I end up having to use them both.  I took some photos in my badly-lit kitchen.


Not much to see, I know.  Then I added the confectioners’ sugar, and eventually I frosted the damn thing and it came out like this:

Hm.  Bad lighting everywhere, I guess.


My verdict–this was pretty heavy for a cake.  There was a lot of oil in the batter and the cake itself ended up not having much flavor.  I’m not sure I see the value of using so much flavorless canola oil when it would seem that replacing some of all of that with melted butter would have made it taste like something. However, if the goal is to approximate a cake-mix cake, then having it be heavy and oily and not tasting like much of anything might have been exactly what she was aiming for.  The frosting was pretty good, and pretty easy.  That one’s a keeper.


Before we continue on with something that happened on Sunday, let’s do what has happened recently.

  • Um, I sat on my glasses and I could probably bend them back into shape, but I dare not try, so I’m wearing my old ones until I can get to the optician.
  • I got my first Booby Hatch bill.  I’m afraid to open it.
  • I sent my email and got a response.  He’s upset.  There has been a misunderstanding.  Who has misunderstood whom and what has been misunderstood are questions left unpondered and any efforts to fix things are absent.  So he feels bad that I think he’s a jackass, but he’s otherwise OK with things.  I feel bad that there are jackasses out there in the world that cannot be reached, but I’m otherwise OK with things.
  • I made hushpuppies the other night.  They were bland crappy bits of cornbread, deep-fried to a dark brown husk on the outside and raw on the inside.  Out of a batch of 12, only 3 were edible, and those 3 were not delicious.  Thus, my hankering’ for hushpuppies has not been satisfied.  I will have to try again with a better recipe and a fresh bottle of oil.  The apartment still smells like stale canola oil and I know you probably think that canola oil doesn’t smell like anything but if you have an old bottle of it that’s been sitting in your pantry for you can’t remember how long just waiting to be used to deep-fry something, then it is old enough to have a smell that you do not want in your one bedroom apartment.  Although if you still lived in your wonderful house, a funny smell way off yonder at the other end of the house wouldn’t be much of a problem.


Chicken.  So, um I love a stuffed chicken, but not dealing with a chicken carcass and I’ve been trying to come up with a way to rework this so I minimize contact with repulsive chicken guts and end up with moist stuffing that isn’t completely soggy with chicken broth.I know!  I did some more cleaning before I got to this part, although not too much more cleaning as you can tell from the stove instrument plate.  P.S.  Stainless steel appliances are the devil.  Impossible to keep shiny and streak-free.


isn’t completely choked with butter or sodden with chicken broth.  My latest attempt involved three bone-in chicken breasts.  I separated the bulk of the breast from the bone and chicken tender.  If you poke at it with your thumbs, it’ll show you where to put your knife, and you just cut it apart in there.

I put two the the breasts in the freezer to be used for saltimbocca, because saltimbocca was a challenge on a Hell’s Kitchen rerun and the contestant didn’t know what that was and neither do I so Ima give it a try but not with veal-ewww-with chicken.  Then I put the three bone frame/chicken tender combos in the bottom of a baking dish lined with foil and a quadruple layer of cheesecloth.  Then I made the stuffing with whatever leftover bread I had, celery, onion, sage, mushrooms, marjoram, thyme, salt, pepper, and butter, with enough vegetable broth (because that’s what I had open in the fridge) to make every bread cube damp.  Then I piled that on top of the chicken bone frames.  Then I put the third chicken breasts on top of that and folded the cheesecloth over the top and put it all in to bake for about an hour.


I thought all the wrapping would keep the drippings directed into the stuffing and I would be able to lift off what was edible right and leave what was not edible behind in the pan.  That might have worked, except I put the frames inside the cheesecloth.  In the end, there were essentially no drippings left in the pan after I lifted out the bundle of good stuff, so I did not separate the gross dead bird bits from the recognizable food bits and I did not manage to strain off any extra fat.  I did, however, get to pull unravelling cheesecloth threads out of food and, by turning the whole stuffing/frame package over on to a platter and pulling off the cheesecloth, it was pretty easy to lift the yucky bony parts off the eating parts, wrap the garbage in the cheesecloth, and throw it away without a lot of mess, much to Lucy’s dismay.  I don’t think my elaborate wrapping method accomplished anything that baking unwrapped chicken breasts over bread stuffing in a properly sized casserole dish with a snug-fitting lid might have done.   Turned out yummy, though.

As for other leftovers from Sunday, the laundry is only almost finished, the bathroom is only almost cleaned, the gelato base is made but not frozen, the cardigan ruffle is to finished, the salad greens are untouched, and if I’m f

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