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Category Archives: Cooking

Grill On

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This post was written in May 2010.  It features a great recipe for grilled chicken from Martha Stewart.


Bought some chicken legs from the “Yes” market and they were screaming to be barbecued.   Today with the start of summer, I decided to get the grill out of the garage.    Of course being a typical male  Jean-Claude decided to help.  He went in the garage to explore, so I shut the door and let him stay inside.    When I opened the garage door a half hour later, I didn’t’ see him at first, but he saw me as he was perched high atop a set of queen-sized box springs.   He eventually decided to go in-house where he and Roxie stood together behind the screened basement door and watched me get the grill ready.  At one point  Roxie gave Jean-Claude a pat with her paw and then an affectionate lick with her tongue.  Then they both turned their attention back to what I was doing.

Martha’s Guide for Grilling Chicken

Earlier today I watched an ON DEMAND episode of  Martha Stewart on grilling.  She had some guests that are marketing their barbecue sauce.  They were preparing chicken and ribs with Martha…and Martha was well Martha…She is fabulous!!

Here are the highlights.

Heat the oven for 350

Prepare the chicken…wash both sides, salt, and pepper – set aside or refrigerate.

Line a pan with sauce, use a brush to paint the bottom of necessary with sauce….Martha prefers a real pan…I’ll stick with the throwaway dish – foil pan .. like her guests.

Place the chicken side by side  in the pan…cover with sauce

Bake one hour and 15 minutes

While the chicken is baking get the grill ready ( I will not disclose my secret here, but it does involve ready lit charcoal and a match)

I have two charcoal grills – – a big Weber grill and a Smoky Joe.   I use the Smoky Joe when I don’t have guests , ut the same techniques apply to both.   The coals are ready for cooking when they all turn white.  Scoot the majority of coals on the right side.  Cook the chicken on the left side.    Let the chicken cook four to seven minutes on each side or until the chicken has grill marks.  I also grilled a tomato which I am serving with brown rice and onions, fresh basil and Italian dressing (thanks, Ina).   Yum.

Viola and The Chicken (A Tribute to My Grandma Me-Me)

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(Here’s a post from April 2010 about my Grandmother, Viola “Bush” Doggett

Truth, we didn’t call my father’s mother Grandma or Grandmama.  Her name was Viola but us grandkids called her” Me-Me” and her husband William H., “Pop”.   Me-Me was an amazing woman.  She was very tall and beautiful.  My daughter,  Catz aka CCL,  looks like her.  Me-Me raised my dad and his siblings with a tough hand in a predominately white neighborhood in Steubenville , Ohio, an interesting neighborhood choice for an African-American family in the 1920s.   You see, my great-grandfather  owned three houses in the neighborhood and gave one to his oldest son my grandfather,  “Pop. ”  Viola also desegregated a hotel in downtown Steubenville by staging a one-woman sit-in in the lobby at  the local hotel which had refused (up until the sit-in)  to let African-Americans enter through the front door.   Me-Me  could cook too. Thought about her today while making chicken which brings me to the story about her and a rather unique family pet.

Here’s the story:  my father (Bob) and his four siblings (Vivian, Janet, Delores and Harvey) and my Uncle John (Pop’s younger brother who was  the same age as my dad), well, ok you get the drift…lots of kids…and a pet chicken.  The chicken would prod and cluck and perform  about for the children.  However,  the chicken didn’t like Me-Me — to the point of  even hissing or whisping at her.   One day Me-Me went in the yard and the chicken pecked her  – and then —  it vanished.  To this day the chicken’s actual fate remains a mystery.   My aunt Vivian often  said  “I don’t know what happened to the pet chicken but I do know we had chicken stew for dinner the night it disappeared.”

Repost: Paging Mr. Serling

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Jean Claude and Koko are back living with me right now.  I decided it was time for a little retro so I’m rerunning the March 2010 column The Cat Door: “Paging Mr. Serling,” which recalls the time that Jean Claude let himself back in the house without my help.


The Cat Door: Paging Mr. Serling

Posted on March 17, 2010 by Azeena

Jean Claude and Roxie joined me again outside today. I think Roxie is still debating  whether she is more of a house cat or not. She beat a hasty retreat back into the house at the sound of the neighbor’s dog. Of course not Jean Claude who remained under one of my rose bushes, calmly chewing grass.

With all the warm weather I decided to bring out some outdoor furniture,  naturally Jean Claude followed me into the garage to inspect but he quickly became bored. I had a bright idea  to swap out my two front porch chairs, worn by the harsh winter for two chairs  I kept in the garage. Rather than  carry the new chairs up the stairs and through the house I decided to carry them through the alley to the front of the house.   I shut but DID NOT LOCK  the basement door and LOCKED  the screen door which has security bars.   As I started down the alley with the chairs in hand,  I heard the trash truck fast approaching behind me.    Jean Claude, still outside, began to howl.   I glanced over my shoulder to see him beckoning at the upstairs back door.    “Let him wait,” I thought.   I continued carrying the chairs through the alley to their new resting place.    Giving the four chair layout a try I decided ‘ just two for now.’   I proceeded back down the stairs with the old chairs  through the alley to my backyard.   Where…was Jean Claude??   No more howling but my basement door was now ajar. “Oh my goodness,” I thought, “Someone has broken into my house.   I must have forgotten to lock the screen door.”

I peered inside and to my amazement there standing inside the house behind the screen door was ….Jean Claude.  Evidently not inclined to wait for me to come and let him back in the house he had pushed the bottom screen in a bit,  climbed through the security bars, pushed open the door and let himself in.  

Hopefully I won’t soon see  cat toys strategically placed on my house steps.

Welcome Miss Bean

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As many of you know, CCL and I have new addition to the family, Koko, a domestic short-hair is now nine months.   She is very sweet and seems pretty smart.  For  sure she is time enough for Jean Claude.   Koko has distinquished herself already as a climber – twice now while at CCL’s house she has climbed from the downstairs back yard to the top floor balcony.  For right now Koko is at my house where she will have an extended stay.  She did some exploring and she  slept quietly on CCL’s lap for a bit.



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CCL’s Front Yard Garden

My daughter CatzandAllDatz  AKA , CCL(Crazy Cat Lady)  has a beautiful front yard garden.  As her mom,  I  am a bit anal when it comes to yards  and I must admit  I did not share CCL’s vision when early this  summer  she and a group of the neighborhood children planted the garden.  To me the “garden”  appeared to be a mishmash of mums, ground plants and  flowers. Where, I would ask  CCL (often), is the  theme?   Why didn’t you just put down grass? , I would say each time I paid a visit.  Where , I would ask, is the structure? When,  I would ask CCL,  are you going to put down more mulch?     Soon the rain came, the sun did its work and  CCL had mulch put down in between the flowers and plants.  Now  a living piece of art  graces my daughter’s  front yard.      Isn’t life sometimes like that? A series of unseemingly related events comes together with human inspiration and God’s touch and voila! Faith brings us bouquets.