Cooking Therapy & Sister Support

I do like to cook. I like reading recipes, gathering the ingredients and starting the process. It’s my way of relaxing.  When my LO is content watching the news and I am in my kitchen creating something, I feel calm.

I bought a package of country-style ribs the other day and decided to prepare “City Chicken” with them. Is that a Pittsburgh thing? City Chicken. I don’t know, but I’ve never heard it mentioned anywhere but my hometown.  Whachadois: cut the pork into cubes and skewer them onto 7″ wooden sticks!  Then you dredge them in seasoned flour, then dip them into an egg wash and then dredge them in Italian seasoned bread crumbs.  They kind of look like little chicken legs after they’ve been coated. Maybe that’s why they are called City Chicken.  Back in my Granny’s day pork was less expensive than chicken.

Alright, back to the method. So you place the coated skewers on a rack over a cookie sheet and let them dry for 30 min.  It was during this drying period that I was in a quandary about how long to cook them. I had cut the recipe in half. Did that mean the cooking time was halved as well? Hmmm. Time to call my sister Marjorie.  As I was dialing I chuckled to myself over the fact that I have been calling my younger sister for 47 years when I have a cooking question.  If she didn’t answer I would continue calling sisters until one answered. I have 2 more in reserve. They are all good cooks.  Ahhh, Marjorie answered.

J: Hi. I bought some country ribs to make City Chicken, cut the recipe in half and now I don’t know if I should cut the cooking time in half.  It says cover with foil and bake 45 minutes, then uncover and bake another 30-40.

M: Well, rib meat needs to cook a while.

J: They are organic, grain fed, blah, blah, blah…..

M: I don’t care if they were raised on rice pudding, rib meat is tough.

J: Good point. By the way you have to brown them in a little oil before baking in broth, onions and parsley.

M: I think I would cook them a little less than for a full recipe, but not much less.  Try 40 minutes under foil and 35 without foil.  How’s Pat?

J: Good. He remembered City Chicken when I showed  them to him. He’s looking forward to dinner.

M: Great. Good luck. Call me tomorrow to let me know how they turned out.

J: I will Thanks, Love ya. Bye.

Here’s what happened: I got advice on cooking comfort food, while being comforted by my sister.  She is a major part of my support group.

Anyone who is dealing with dementia needs support. Cultivate your support group. You will feel so much better.

I have to run.  A friend is coming for lunch and since I am on this hometown kick, I have decided to serve the Original Pittsburgh Devonshire Sandwich. Google it. You’ll love it!

Love ya. Bye.

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