Is this one of those days, those days we will look back on and say, “I remember just what I was doing?” Is today the day that our lives as we know them changed? I wore black to work, and many of my colleagues wore a sadness, a weariness, on their faces. Some wore red, white, and blue, and some seemed unaffected, but who knows if they were just better at hiding their sorrow or joy than I am?
I haven’t blogged much since the early fall. I had knee surgery, and then I was gobsmacked with the other 51% of the country, and 95% of the world, by the election day results. Sunday/Monday before election day I had the womit bug – Tuesday I developed a whopping sinus infection. Wednesday in a fugue state Chuck and I flew to New Orleans to visit Rob and see his various band performances. Was it my fever, my congestion, or my disbelief that made me feel otherworldly? Our first day in New Orleans I took myself for a pedicure, and I actually fell asleep during it. It was heavenly. Self-care is important! But so is taking care of the people who take care of us, and I was appreciative and I tipped well.
I had the joy of seeing Rob perform three times, including once when his band Miss Mojo started at 11? 12? It was waaaay past my bedtime, and I had taken a disco nap in order to see them. It was wonderful. They were so good – Miss Jenna has some serious pipes! If you haven’t already heard them, I urge you to check them out: https://missmojo.bandcamp.com/releases
After a lovely five days, we came home, and the reality of impending post-Obama America kicked in.
I have been in a state of continuous self-care, which in my case includes turning away from the news. And eating comfort food. And probably drinking more than I should – not really self-care, but appreciated medication. Like Pink Floyd, I became comfortably numb.
January 20, I woke up. A little bit. I realized that someone I adore who I thought was a Trump supporter was, in fact, just as devastated as I was. I learned that people I know to be lifelong Republicans are as upset about a DT presidency as I am. Never, ever make assumptions.
I also learned that someone I know who is a committed, lifelong Republican is an eager supporter of a Trump-Pence presidency. This person also has an openly gay adult child. What level of cognitive dissonance is required to celebrate an administration that makes no secret of their plan to restrict LBGTQ folks their rights? That advocates aversion therapy, i.e. shock the gay right out of them?
I don’t understand how support of this TP presidency is possible. Do I need to understand? I need to put one foot in front of the other, do what I can to make my world a better place, and support my loved ones in the manner I see fit. That’s all. That’s my job.
Now I pick up trash when I see it in the supermarket parking lot (although not if it’s slimy – I have my limits). I make an effort to be patient with parents and colleagues who have historically danced on my last nerve. I tell people when they wear or say or do something beautiful. And I refuse to live in despair. I will not anticipate the end of the world or the end of the American dream. I will use my imagination more positively.
40 Clove Chicken, aka post-election comfort food
- 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 pound (give or take) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 40 peeled cloves of garlic
- 1 cup olive oil, more or less.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
- Unsalted chicken stock
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
Put flour and seasonings in a plastic zipper bag. Add bone-in chicken, seal bag, and shake well to coat completely. Set chicken aside, and coat boneless thighs in remaining flour. Set aside.
Preheat oven set to 300 degrees. Heat 1/2 cup oil and half the butter in a large Dutch oven with a lid. When hot (a bit of flour dropped in will sizzle), place in the bone-in thighs, skin side down. Cook over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn over, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Set aside.
Add more butter and oil to the pot if necessary, then cook boneless thighs in the same manner, about 4-5 minutes per side.
Remove from heat. Add the garlic and stir. Place thyme sprigs over boneless thighs, then place bone in thighs on top, skin side up. Pour any remaining olive oil in the pan, and add any remaining butter. Pour chicken stock in the pan until it comes about halfway up the bone-in thighs, leaving the skin exposed. Cover the pot, place in the pre-heated oven, and bake for about three hours.
Serve over rice, noodles, potatoes, or just with crusty bread to soak up the amazing gravy.