When we moved back to this house last summer, I opted not to bring our swingset with us. Nick had really outgrown it, and Madeline wasn’t ready for it yet. Oh yeah, and I had it cemented into the ground at the old house, so it really wasn’t going anywhere. I could have gotten a new swingset for this house, but then I had a brainstorm. A trampoline! I have always wanted one. We had a teeny one that the kids used all the time, but if I got a bigger one, we could ALL use it. Gotta love having kids … a great way to secretly relive our own childhood!
So I told Nick my idea, to see if he’d go for it. If he really had his heart set on a swingset, I was fine with that. Luckily for me, he was completely on board. I kept my eye on sales and last November, Wal-Mart had a steal on the giant ones with the safety net enclosure. Like for a third of the normal cost. Can I tell you how much those boxes weigh? OMG. Like, seriously, a ton. Got two guys to load it into my SUV, and I don’t think the first guy would have signed on to help had he seen what I was buying. It barely fit in my truck.
Nick was so excited that I bought it, but it sat in our garage until the warm weather broke. Last weekend, we put it up and it has been diligently used ever since then. By all of us. I think everyone needs a trampoline in their backyard. Our backyard is tiny, but I deemed it the kids’ space. The front yard is mine. This trampoline seriously takes up half the yard, but it is so.very.worth.it. The giggles. The laughter. The pure unadulterated fun. The pictures say it all.
Now for the Engagement Chicken. It feels like this recipe has been around forever. And that’s about how long it took me to make it for the first time last month. I first heard about it from Glamour magazine, when they first printed it in 2004. Apparently girls were making it for their boyfriends, and their guys were proposing to them after eating it. Hence the name Engagement Chicken. Cute, no? I made it for the kids’ dinner on a night when I was going out. As I left with my friend, each of us stealing a bite before heading out the door, she looked at me and said, “And we’re leaving why?” It’s crazy for something so simple to be so downright yummy, but it is. Just be careful who you make it for.
Photo #74, April 7, 2010
Nothing signals warm weather like beach feet!
Recipe courtesy of Glamour magazine, 2004
1 whole chicken (approx. 3 lb.)
2 medium lemons
Fresh lemon juice (1/2 cup)
Kosher or sea salt
Ground black pepper
Place rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Wash chicken inside and out with cold water, remove the giblets, then let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander until it reaches room temp (about 15 minutes). Pat dry with paper towels. Pour lemon juice all over the chicken (inside and outside). Season with salt and pepper. Prick the whole lemons three times with a fork and place deep inside the cavity. Place the bird breast-side down on a rack in a roasting pan, lower heat to 350 degrees and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn it breast-side up; return it to oven for 35 minutes more. Test for doneness—a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh should read 180 degrees, or juices should run clear when chicken is pricked with a fork. Continue baking if necessary. Let chicken cool for a few minutes before carving. Serve with juices.