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Your Own Back Yard – Michael Gillan Maxwell

Visual Art – Creative Writing – Social Commentary

Month

August 2014

Lunch Lady Cookbook Moroccan Chicken

Lunch Laddy at the Dirt Track Races
Lunch Laddy at the Dirt Track Races

Lunch Lady Cookbook Moroccan Chicken

 Hey Boys and Girls! This is the Lunch Laddy comin’ at ya with a brand, spankin’ new edition of the Lunch Lady Cookbook. Where has summer gone? It feels like I blinked and BAM! It’s Back To School! I guess Wienies and S’Mores around the campfire are already a memory!

Time to sharpen your pencils, put on your best Back To School duds and get to it. At least there’s one thing you can count on. You won’t go hungry with Lunch Laddy in your corner!

What self respecting Lunch Lady wouldn’t open the new school year with her ace-in-the- hole-most-kick-ass-SIGNATURE DISH? I’m talkin’ exotic Boys and Girls! I’m talkin’ romantic! I know what you’re thinkin’. Lunch lady? Exotic? Romantic? Eeeewwww!”

I know, I know. TMI  Boys and Girls, but I’m talkin’ chicken. I’m talkin’ Moroccan Chicken. I can’t imagine a Middle School cafeteria where the kids wouldn’t be clamoring for Moroccan Chicken on Openiing Day. Can you? Yeah. I thought so. Especially if you’re in Morocco.

And so, without further adieu, I present to you Lunch Lady Cookbook Moroccan Chicken. Shall we?

 INGREDIENTS

Veggies

Fresh Veggies

 

  1. 4 Chicken Thighs (with bone and skin)
  2. 4 Chicken Drumsticks
  3. 1 Cup Brown Rice
  4. 1 Red Pepper
  5. 2 Broccoli Crowns
  6. 1 Spanish Onion
  7. Garlic
  8. Olive Oil
  9. 12 Dried Apricots
  10. Apricot Preserves
  11. Honey
  12. Seasonings (Freshly Ground) Coarse(of course) Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic Powder. Turmeric, Cinnamon, Basil, Smoked Paprika, Celery Flakes ~ mix together in bowl, cover plate with mixture

Spiced Chicken

Spiced Chicken

 

HOW WE DO IT

 

  1. Heat oil in large frying pan
  2. Dip chicken in seasoning mixture
  3. Heat in oiled pan, turning frequently to brown skin on both sides, cover, continue cooking on low heat and turning frequently. Pour off fat at least once. You want to brown the skin, not clog every artery in your body. Cover chicken with layer of honey. Continue cooking.
  4. Cook rice in separate pan.
  5. While all this is happening, chop garlic and vegetables, heat oil in a large wok, add vegetables and sauté lightly, cover wok and let it steam away for a couple minutes. Remove from heat while veggies are still a little crisp.
  6. As rice nears completion, remove from heat and pour into wok with vegetables. Gently turn with rubber spatula to mix everything together. It’s beginning to look like Christmas because the dish is a wonderful mixture of red, green and white.
  7. Remove chicken and heat up remaining juice in pan to reduce to a glaze. At this point it’s been at least 30 minutes, so chicken should be done.
  8. Arrange chicken over top of mixture. Cover chicken with apricot preserves and drizzle glaze from pan over mixture.
  9. Cover and continue cooking over very low heat for about 10 minutes while dancing around the kitchen singing “You’re never gonna do it without the Fez on” While you’re at it look up the meaning of that phrase! I gotta tell ya boys and girls, the Lunch Laddy was plenty surprised! Who knew? http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=7472 If you’re too lazy to do your own research, let’s just say that “fez” is a euphemism for something you’re probably gonna have to steal from your old man’s sock drawer, cuz they don’t got it in the school health office. 😉
  10. Hit that dinner bell and call in the hungry masses for lunch.

Veggies in Wok

Veggies in Wok

Chicken In Pan

Glazed Chicken

 BEVERAGE PAIRING

 Nothing washes a mouthful of Moroccan Chicken down the old gullet like an ice cold bottle of Shiner Bock Beer from Texas. ( Also, I had exactly one bottle of beer in the fridge, and that was it.)

Shiner Bock

Texas’s Finest

 

PLAYLIST

 The Fez by Steely Dan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qa_zNn-TE2Q

As Time Goes By Theme from Casablanca https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d22CiKMPpaY

(Play it Sam!)

So there ya have it Boys and Girls! Until next time, this is the Lunch Laddy signing off.

Come with me to the Casbah!

cartoon fez

 

 

 

“PORTALS” ~ Volume V

Volume V in the ongoing series “PORTALS” ~ a portfolio of altered photographs that explores doors, windows, alleyways and other openings as passages to other times, places and dimensions.

Basqiat On Television

Basquiat

Off Season

Long Time Gone

Through The Tunnel

Transformation

Boarded Up

Used To Be

Upstairs

Upstairs Window

Surrendering August

Surrendering August

 

early evening, late summer

walking down the lake road with the dogs

the sound of a tractor mowing the field above

grinding and clanking

tall grasses pulsate with cricket song

the water, placid and serene

opalescent pink and turquoise

a fish surfaces and dives

leaving ripples in concentric rings

on the far shore, in the vineyards

timed charges explode like the sun catching on fire

it scares crows away from the grapes

warm sunny afternoons and chilly evenings

sumac leaves, blood crimson

splashed across the blue forever

mornings laden with fog banks and soaking dew

migrating flocks wheel across the sky

air still warm from the day, but soon changing

into the fecund smell of damp coolness

black walnut trees already starting to turn

shedding golden leaves that flutter

like tears onto green grass

last to arrive and the first to go

a little girl rides her bike, training wheels still on

stops at the foot of the steep hill

she’ll be climbing before long

but not for a while

kids going back to school

pinching their noses shut

as they hurl themselves off the dock

into the cool blue water

already a memory

the season slipping away

away, like this day

like youth gobbled up

by the unremitting passage of time

it feels over too soon

already ending when it seems

it’s only just begun

the pale rider draws closer

with each trip around the sun

I stand at the edge of the shoreline

the edge of the season

surrendering August

Red Canoe

 

Red Canoe

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

sitting on the porch
late August
the thrum of crickets
in high summer
I watch the miracle
of a hummingbird
feeding off nectar
from scarlet salvia flowers
painted with God’s
blood-tipped brush

wings moving so fast
nearly invisible
appear to be
standing still
the hummingbird floats
in front of a flower
then moves on to the next
before stopping to rest
on the branch
of a locust tree

Hummingbird

This Is The Shit On My Desk

This Is The Shit On My Desk

5 poetry books, unread
wallet, iPhone
stag horn, plastic
wood and steel.

Notebooks and calendars
piles of receipts and notes
yellow heavy duty tape measure
25 foot, steel blade.

Land line phone
eyeglasses case, black, hard shell.
Pencils and pens sticking out
like porcupine quills from a pottery jar.

Treasure box, speakers
books, lamp and miniature steer skull
3 Baobab seeds from Senegal
and much, much more.

Same As It Ever Was

Same As It Ever Was

Angry voices
the strident chant of protesters
bricks thrown
a plate glass window shatters
a million tiny pieces, glittering
under yellow street lights.

Muffled voices through bullhorns
unrelenting advance,
helmets, gas masks, shields and batons
Pop! Pop! Pop!
clouds of tear gas, acrid, stinging
rolling down the street like a fog bank.

Panic ignites like a flame
ripples through the crowd
like a contagion
the sudden surge
everyone breaks and runs
down side streets and alleyways,

only to regroup
and do it all again
on another street.
The whole pattern
repeats itself
over and over.

From Northern Ireland to Tiananmen Square,
race riots in the burning cities of America,
the Antiwar Movement, Arab Spring
and Occupy Wall Street.
Same old wine, different bottle,
different players, same old game.

Midnite Conspiracy
Midnite Conspiracy

“Factory” is published in Ibbetson Street Review #35

I’m very pleased to have my poem “Factory” in Ibbetson Street Review #35. I am humbled my work is included with brilliant poems from so many fine artists, including Marge Piercy, Kathleen Spivack, Timothy Gager, Teisha Dawn Twomey, Marie Elizabeth-Mali and Lawrence Kessenich, to name just a few. Kessenich’s radiant poem “Afterlife” is worth the price of admission all by itself. Special thanks to publisher Doug Holder for making this all happen. Ibbetson Street review is available as a print journal from Lulu and Amazon for 9 dollars.
Ibbetson Street Review

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