Thursday, November 01, 2012

Bad Housewife, Episode 8: Foolproof Roast Chicken

"Dinner at Eight"
Every once in a while you throw a dinner party.  You've eaten burgers at barbecues and sat with neighbors at political caucusesAnd anyway you went to that thing at Thingummy's...

So you are giving a dinner party and where's your sequined dress?

You can't invite only old friends to your dinner party.  You need to invite a few lively acquaintances who can chat fascinatingly and make the party go.  Ideally this group would include Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman, and Cornelia Otis Skinner.  

Dorothy Parker writing witticisms.
But we are laconic Midwesterners who wear homemade sweaters with dropped stitches over jeans from Lane Bryant, and these writers would be out of our league if they were alive.  We would probably only like Cornelia Otis Skinner (she was from Indiana).

Maybe you can give the guests little cards with witty sayings from Dorothy Parker.  “If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you.” 

And "You will dine well if you bring your own," as Catullus said.  


HOW TO COOK THE MEAL.  Housewives like me are keen on cooking if the presentation of the food doesn't matter.  There are a few dishes for the everyday cook that always come out looking good.

They are:

Roast chicken! Mashed potatoes! Macaroni and cheese for vegetarians! Vegetable side dishes from the marketMake-your-own sundaes! 
Not mine, but doesn't it look good?

HOW TO ROAST THE CHICKEN.  Wash it inside and out, dry it with a paper towel, and stuff it with Pepperidge Farm dressing.  Roast it at 325 degrees and baste with chicken broth every 10 minutes. It will be done when the thermometer says it's done.

A WORD ON THE DRESSING.  I like Pepperidge Farm.  I add whatever I have:  celery, mushrooms, I don't care.  You can make real dressing by leaving bread out a day or two to make bread crumbs (mine is always hard as a rock) and then going through the other steps, but Pepperidge Farm is easier.

A WORD ON THE POTATOES:  I like mashed.  If you want to make them fancy, add garlic. 

A WORD ON THE SIDE DISHES.  We have a good local market.  You can buy gourmet salads and vegetable side dishes. Otherwise you tear up lettuce at the last minute,  the broccoli florets turn yellow, the carrots shoot onto the floor when you try to julienne them, and no one will eat frozen green beans.

A WORD ON THE MACARONI.  You can use any macaroni recipe:  Joy of Cooking, Betty Crocker; it doesn't matter. It helps to use 10 oz. of cheese, different kinds of cheese.

MAKE YOUR OWN SUNDAES.  Put out the ice cream, some chocolate syrup and other toppings, and different kinds of sprinkles.  Voila!  

Everyone will love the dinner.  You will all sit together and it will be just like the dinners in all those movies:  Notting Hill, Julie and Julia, Babette's Feast.


Now dinner's over, and what to do next?  Do we play games, or watch Market Warriors?

I vote for the latter, but there's the game where you list as many words as you can...what the hell is that game?  And there's Trivial Pursuit, but the same person (not me) always wins.  

Everybody's tired by 10 and good-bye!


Susan D said...

Thanks for remembering us vegetarians.

Frisbee said...

We eat a lot of vegetarian dishes here. Now that I know you're coming, I'll add tomatoes to the macaroni.:)

Christine Harding said...

Roast chicken or beef casserole are my standbys for carnivores... but as a veggie I'll take the macaroni, thank you!

Frisbee said...

The mac is probably better anyway. It's so delicious!