Santa Barbara Montessori hosted its first I Modonnari Festival this afternoon. For those who have not experienced I Modonnari, it is street painting. Per wikipedia, street paintings have been created since the early 16th century. My first encounter with I Modonnari was Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
Today families planned and created art all over the campus using colored chalk. Subject matter varied from flowers, to cupcakes, to portraits to rockets to replicas of Montessori classroom materials (“the pink tower”)…
The festival also featured face painting, henna tattoos, seed planting, pizza and popcorn (photo credit to Louise on the popcorn shot)! A wonderful afternoon for sure! Thanks Santa Barbara Montessori School.
Last night we went to see a movie–the last non-animated we saw in a theatre was the second Harry Potter! Yikes! It’s been TOO long! Anyhoo, we saw The Fighter. In a word: gripping! What a movie! What acting! The award shows got it right! Definitely not for kids or those that find boxing difficult to watch. Christian Bale was mesmerizing.
I’m over half done reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Fascinating…I must admit that this book raises many ethical and philosophical questions personally. How would I feel if a similar cell harvest was done to me or my family? What if the benefits far outweighed the damages done to the individual…thought provoking to say the least. Have any of you read this book? Thoughts?
Gardening: first tomato plant of 2011 is in the garden! It’s “Oregon Spring”. The reviews indicate that I should see fruit in 60 days–that’s May! Although the flavor is not rated as highly as the heirloom varieties I will plant later in the year, there is something VERY appealing about the shorter wait for fresh garden tomatoes. I should be able to suffer through any disappointments!
Recipe of the week: Bake Me Crazy Chicken With Gravy. I had to try this one if only for the name! I made some adjustments…Dennis gave it a solid 8.5, Meghan disliked it. I rated it 9.
In a large oven proof skillet, pour some olive oil. Heat. Put as many chicken thighs (pre-season both sides with salt, black pepper and paprika) as comfortably fit in the pan skin side down. [In the future I will use this recipe for chicken breasts and quarters as well–just be sure it has skin on it]. Sear until the skin is nice and crispy. Flip over. Sear meat side for a few minutes. Place thighs on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 F while you prepare the sauce.
Dump out most of the oil from the skillet. Add a little butter (because butter makes everything divine). Add 2 minced garlic cloves and some chopped onion or shallots (whatever you have on hand). Stir and cook for a minute or 2. Stir in 3 Tbsp flour to create a roux. Add 3 C chicken stock. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat to medium and let the sauce reduce a little. Add in some pepper and a splash of sherry. Simmer for a couple more minutes. Add in some chopped parsley and tarragon (I used dried herbs–it was raining and I didn’t feel like trekking out to the garden–the HEIGHT of preciousness, I know).
Using tongs, place the thighs in the sauce, skin side UP. Put back in the oven until the chicken is completely cooked.
Serve over rice or quinoa or potato.
Allergy update: Jury is still out on the local honey. In addition to seasonal allergies, my daughter gave me a cold this week! So, it’s difficult to judge the efficacy of the pollen while I’m fighting a cold. I’ll assess till next Sunday–Farmers Market Day. Have you had any results on the honey/pollen?