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Posts Tagged ‘great cornish game hen recipes’

game-hens

Haven’t been either cooking or writing for the past week.  I’ve been on the road collecting my mother and her roommate for a stay with us in the tall trees. Every time I return to the Bay Area I am again reminded of the crazy drivers prevalent in the area. Twice before I arrived I was nearly hit. Freeways are like destruction derby only I believe destruction derby might have looser rules. Horn honking has become somewhat of a stoplight game. While waiting for the light to change everyone honks at the person next to them or those in front of them, as if in doing so the light will somehow change more quickly. Bizarre.

Stores on the weekends are mob scenes. Pushing and shoving customers cram into cashier lanes and circle parking lots like birds of prey hoping to spot an afternoon meal. One thing I will say for the lack of available parking spaces, it allows you to get your exercise in while hiking the two miles required to get to the front of the store.

Speaking of exercise everyone living there seems to be getting some. Fully geared bicyclists clog the bike lanes along the roads, water bottles poking from back pockets and futuristic helmets pulled on their heads. A seemingly endless line of Spandex reinforced joggers pony tails jiggling through holes in their hats, puff along the sidewalks. Huge sections of the stores are dedicated to sports attire. It appears nobody shows up for a walk or a run without the appropriate clothing in place. This is California one is to remember, and looks definitely are everything. For as good as they look exercising they drop the facade when visiting the market or convenience store, opting instead for pj’s and a pair of clogs. Got to love this state. There truly is something for everyone.

I spent last week searching web sites looking for interesting activities not requiring a lot of walking. When mobility problems are a reality for some of the participants the amount of things to do not involving walking becomes a far more limited playing field. Not wanting to simply go out to eat all time, as I don’t want to have to use the jaws of life to extricate myself from my jeans, other solutions needed to be found.

Everyone visiting our area seems to want to include a trip to the casinos. Before moving to the new house, the city we lived boasted two Indian casinos within the city limits. Passing them every day I rarely stopped in to deposit my money. I’m not saying we never visited, but mainly when company came to call.  Historically, not being one to be given things without a little work involved, I would be equally as lucky standing in the parking lot shredding my bills into confetti. However, I do love Las Vegas, and enjoy Reno. Comparing these two gambling meccas to local casinos is like comparing artichokes and calves liver. Totally different program. Las Vegas is an adult theme park replete with slot machines. Both my mother and Doc love to go to the local fare. The last time we took them I believe Doc invested $5 in the slot machine. When that disappeared, which took about five minutes, he announced he was tapped out. Sigh. Mother is another story entirely. Have to watch her, or she’ll have the house mortgaged and be looking for the pink slip to her car.

Back in my twenties my husband and I took my cousin and his wife, visiting from Alberta, to Las Vegas. Youth being what it is we didn’t think to make reservations at a hotel ahead of time, simply hopping in the car and heading east. On arriving in town we quickly discovered there was an OB/GYN convention in full force and all the major hotel chains were fully booked. Not having brought a speculum with us, we searched for rooms available in the smaller motels along the strip. They were to be found, for a price. Pooling our money we took a room at a small hotel off the main drag eclectically adorned with a large elephant in the courtyard. Hints of the pachyderm’s original pink paint were still evident where it hadn’t peeled through to the white plaster below. A large neon sign blinked on and off all night outside the window, and the bed apparently had been stuffed with machine parts and rocks. A sign pointing down the hall read ICE. 110 in the shade we followed the arrows to a locked freezer laced with cobwebs next to a stack of cracked plastic ice tubs. The air conditioner, admittedly worked, though humming at decimals just below a jet engine. Leaving for dinner we were fairly certain we overheard a prostitute and her “date” making a deal for the evening outside the room next door. I slept on top of the bed with my clothes on. All this luxury for $125 a night.

Little time luckily was spent in our room. We stayed up well into the night pulling the handles on slot machines and handing our money to black jack dealers. All in all it was a profitable night in tinsel town. Not on our side naturally, but the casinos weren’t going to have to close up shop any time soon. Around 3:00 a.m. we ate at an all you can eat all night buffet. Everything in Las Vegas is all night really. Alcohol flows 24/7 and ladies missing half their clothes can be seen handing out drinks to weary looking gamblers barely before the rooster crows.

Once while going across country by car my husband and I found ourselves in Ely, Nevada around 6:00 a.m. Needing coffee to keep our eyelids from drooping we stopped at a large hotel indicating food was served inside. Ely, on Highway 50 touted as the loneliest highway in the U.S., stuck me as a place people went when they didn’t want to be found. I can’t substantiate this with any fact, simply something I felt. Inside we found a long counter inhabited by mainly men. Some were drinking coffee and others enjoying an early morning eye opener. A friendly bunch we bellied up to the bar and had some of the best bacon and eggs with crispy home fries we had along our travels.

So, this week we will be off with the heavy hitters betting our whole $5 on the big win. I’m sure we’ll be comped a room for our troubles.

These little hens were requested by my guests. Always a hit.

Baked Cornish Game Hens

4 Cornish game hens
1 cup melted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
12 mushrooms, dusted and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup melted butter
1 lemon, quartered

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine all ingredients except hens, lemon, and 1/4 cup melted butter in mixing bowl.

Wash hens and clean well. Dry thoroughly Season hens inside and out with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff equally with butter and vegetable mixture. Place 1/4 lemon in each cavity. Spray 13x9x2″ casserole and place hens in breast side up. Drizzle with 1/2 cup melted butter rubbing over hens. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic salt.

Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove cover and brown under broiler.

Serve with wild rice.

Wild Rice

1 Tbsp.  olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over med.heat. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender.

Add broth and wild rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover tightly and cook for 25 minutes.

Stir in the brown rice. Cover and cook for 20 mins. or until the rice is tender.

 

 

 

 

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A friend of mine is dealing with some serious dental issues. On a fixed income and no dental insurance in place, this presents her with a huge financial burden. Even with dental insurance the out-of-pocket cost can be prohibitive. The estimate she was given to get the work necessary came to just under $8,000. Suffering from severe periodontal disease even with the work they could offer no guarantee her teeth could be saved.

I understand the pain involved with dental problems. My ancestors passed on a lot of positive things along the way but strong teeth certainly wouldn’t be included on the list. Most of my life I have fought the good fight to keep my teeth under control, because when they go out of whack the pain can be unbearable.

When speaking to me about the situation she mentioned the sense of shame she felt when in the dental office. The dentist saying she had to do something about her teeth with no empathy for the situation she was in. Unwilling to allow her to make payments for the work as it went along, she was left with no choice but to take out a personal loan at a high interest rate to get the job done.

There isn’t much personalization in health care any more. I see it all the time. Last week I had an appointment scheduled three months ago. At the time of the initial visit I was handed a return appointment card and instructed to come back at the allotted time to be rechecked. Fine. I showed up and signing in sat down in the typically packed waiting room. Three magazines and a Highlights (I like the Hidden Picture Puzzles) later my name was called.

In the examination room my vital signs were checked. The nurse asked the nature of my visit and what my symptoms were. Just out of curiosity shouldn’t they know why I’m there? They asked me to come. It feels to me like inviting someone for dinner. When they arrive at the front door you answer in your pajamas and ask them why they’re there.

Once the information was entered in the computer, I was told to wait for the doctor who was running behind. Since I have been going to this physician that particular statement has never varied. Apparently when you get a 3:15 appointment, it is only a place holder. Four or five other people probably hold the same card.

After 45 minutes the doctor knocked on the door and came in. Shaking my hand she said, “How have the antibiotics been working for you, Emily?” I replied, “Fine, Dr. Hill.” She looked at me and said, “I’m Dr. Mitchell.”. I said, “Oh, I’m Susie and I’m not taking antibiotics, nice to meet you.” After that she just looked annoyed. Ah well.

Again I was asked why I was there. I was beginning to wonder myself. I wanted to say, “Emily’s here because you asked her to the party”, but I didn’t feel like looking around for another doctor. They are few and far between up here and a lot of them aren’t taking new patients. Some of them even interview their patients before accepting them. I’m sure I wouldn’t get the job.

I was discussing this situation with a retired dentist who’s an old family friend. He said when he was in practice they never turned away a patient in pain, but things have changed. Perhaps they need to reread the Hippocratic Oath which reads in part, “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”

From what I hear there is an alarming shortage of medical personnel coming out of our colleges these days. With the increases in malpractice insurance the physicians that are graduating are opting to work for large medical conglomerates who absorb these costs on their behalf.

I don’t know what the answer to the problem is but I certainly clearly see the problem. When you consider an eight mile drive to the hospital in an ambulance was billed out at $2,200.00, it would seem things are out of control.

Anyhow, my rant for the day. Some things just urge me to get out my soap box and climb up on top.

We are smack dab in the middle of the purple circle on the weather map delineating the worst smoke in the area emanating from the King Fire. Yesterday it was nearly impossible to breathe outside. I am ready for a good rain so may begin my yearly rain dance as soon as the smoke dissipates a bit.

These little guys come out so tender and the gravy is out of this world.

Crockpot Orange Rosemary Game Hens For Two

Hens

2 Game hens, washed and dried
2 oranges, sliced
1 onion sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsps. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable broth

Spray 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place sliced onion on bottom. Top with sliced oranges. Make a paste of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, flour and garlic. Rub on hens. Place hens on top of onion and oranges.

Sprinkle hens with dried rosemary, lemon pepper and salt and pepper as desired.

Mix together orange juice and vegetable broth. Add to slow cooker.

Cook on low for 9 hrs. If desired remove from slow cooker and brown under broiler.

Gravy

Pour pan dripping into a medium saucepan through a fine sieve. Keep solids for garnish. Mix together 3 Tbsp. of flour with 3 Tbsp. milk to make paste. Heat drippings over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium and slowly whisk in milk/flour mixture. Whisking constantly bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking over med. low heat until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

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