Toasted

I’m not what you would call “jiggy” with antiquing.  I like shiny new things, clean lines, modern styling, and efficiency.  But my basement?  Is a different story.  My basement transports you directly to Hogwarts, complete with an owlery, a common room, a potions classroom, and a Ravenclaw bedroom.  I? Am a GIANT nerd.  And with all things Harry Potter, you pretty much have to embrace oldness. Embrace the ancient castle feel, with musty old surroundings, antiques gathering dust, stacks of clutter that come together to make a magical whole.  And it made total sense when my mom got me, for Christmas, an item for the basement that I’d been coveting from a local odds n’ ends store.

It’s a toaster.  A “Swinger” model toaster, no less, which is pretty cool because the heating element (live coils) is just out in the open, and then you swing the little bread compartment to switch the side of the bread exposed to the heat. 

What’s really remarkable about this toaster is that it was made in the late 1920s, and IT STILL WORKS.  It can still be plugged in, and it can still toast your bread.  And the only possible complication with operating a device from the late 1920s is that it was manufactured before such frivolities such as “safety protocols” and “litigation.”  Also, it’s rusting, which may result in lockjaw.  And the fire cord is covered in nylon, and not necessarily up to fire code, so it’s possible/probably that your house will burn down around your ears and you’ll lose BOTH your precious toaster AND your bread.  And maybe the family dog.  But it won’t matter, because you’ll be so amazed that a toaster from that era still functions at all, let alone safely or well.

A short 7 years after this toaster was born, a sweet baby boy came into the world.  That baby boy was named Ronald Ernest Paul.  Because it was the Great Depression, and last names don’t come cheap, nobody was particularly bothered that the little boy had three first names and no last name.  No big deal.

My sister and I have a larger age gap than Ron Paul and that toaster.  This is a true fact.

But far be it for me to rule him out solely because he’s rusty, lacks basic safety information, and will likely set my country on fire?

Instead, let’s focus on the raw brainpower that he still possesses in his late seventies!  And how he’s not at all doddering!

Ron Paul “True” Facts:
–The world is 4000 years old.
–We should abolish the department of education, leaving bankrupt states like California to educate their children via morse code and paper bag puppets
–Drugs should be legal, but the government shouldn’t hand out flu vaccines
–Global warming is a hoax
–We shouldn’t have laws regulating legal currency
–95% of black men in D.C. are criminals
–Mexicans are animals
–Gay people should stay in the closet forever
–MLKJr Day is “Hate Whitey Day”
–The moon is made of actual cheese

Just kidding on that last one.  But that’s the ONLY one I’m kidding about.

Obviously Ron Paul makes total sense.  So does this dish!  Pasta a la Paul.

Please, don’t be confused.  This isn’t a dish about my ex-boyfriend Paul.  He made more sense than Ron Paul, even when he was trying to explain to me the rationale behind trying to smuggle marijuana into jail (something he actually did, and received a felony for, and then was BAFFLED by).  But at least he understood gay rights.

This dish was a beautiful amalgamation of lots of things that shouldn’t have been so delicious together, but it was so good that I can see EVEN MORE than 7% of the voting population of Florida enjoying it.

-4 cl garlic, sliced thinly
-1 lg onion, large dice
-2 T butter
-1/4 C white wine
-1 C green olives, chopped
-1 preserved lemon rind, chopped
-1 juicy lemon
-1 T honey
-a pinch of saffron powder, or a larger pinch of saffron threads
-2 bone in, skin on chicken breast halves
-salt and pepper to taste

-In a large, heavy skillet, saute garlic and onion in butter until golden brown.
-deglaze with white wine
-add everything except for the chicken and saute for another 2 minutes
-place chicken breasts, skin side down, onto the pan, making a space in your vegetable mixture. 
-add enough water to fill the pan 1/2″, reduce to medium low, and place lid on the pan.
-Cook for approximately 45 minutes, adding water as necessary to maintain a level of 1/2″ liquid in the pan.
-Remove chicken and set aside to rest.
-Cook fettuccine according to package directions, making sure it’s al dente
-Toss pasta with veg mixture and a bit more butter.
-Serve it up!

Yellow is okay.  Brown and black? Criminals and animals.

Who cares that it’s a nonsensical mishmash of cooking styles and flavors?  Who cares that it shouldn’t taste good?  It really, really is fabulous and a great idea and you don’t have to use an ancient toaster to make it, so that at least safes it up a bit.

The preserved lemons have a really deep, interesting flavor that I haven’t had before but loved.  And the saltiness of the olives and musky glory of the saffron kept it jumping in my mouth, bite after bite.

You see, by eliminating all rules, regulations, and common sense, I’ve been able to create an America dish that you’ll be happy to eat, and that your family will love.  The ones that have survived the influenza outbreak, at the very least.

Oh, and if you’re having trouble locating preserved lemons, you can either make your own (I preserved the lemons the wrong way–packed in only salt–and they still turned out fabulous), or visit a Middle Eastern grocery.  Ron Paul is definitely okay with the Middle East.  In fact, Israel “should be the Hong Kong” of the Middle East.  Winning, Dr. Paul.  Winning.

Do you think Ron Paul would like to come live in my basement?  I need a life-size Dobby replica, and he’d be PERFECT.

Dobby the House Elf

Dr. Ron Paul

3 thoughts on “Toasted”

  1. I support liberty, and freedom to express one's opinion… and Dr. Paul would as well… even if it is one that is indeed, "spiteful". Hahahaha! Embrace diversity, personal liberty, and THAT makes a scrumptious dish without a doubt!

  2. I LOVE your toaster. Like, the serious and kind of creeping coveting love that you probably don't want to encourage. Absolutely gorgeous.

    Oh, and the pasta looks great too. I think that preserved lemons and olives are like the dynamic duo that can make almost anything taste better. Except maybe chocolate cake. But I would be willing to give it a shot, just in case.

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