Musing with Max

Musing with Max

June 13, 2012

Who'll Stop the Rain

So I asked for rain, who knew I had that kind of power, maybe I should hire myself out during droughts in the West. It won't stop, just rain rain rain rain rain. The garden is soaked, and a standstill in the growth department since there's no Sun, except for the weeds of course, they grow no matter what. We had a respite on Monday which meant I spent the day out there weeding away and hacking back the wisteria which was threatening to pull a Stephen King on the patio furniture
luckily there was no one sitting there. My tomatoes have grown but no fruit yet and the poblano and portuguese peppers are the exact same size as the day I planted them, except that the portuguese has a tiny little pepper growing. I filled three bags with giant things that were growing in the ivy by the back fence, unwanted things. My new plantings in the refurbished flower bed look fine but small. Luckily the Stella D'oros are blooming away which brightens up these dreary days

and the hydrangeas have grown quite large

and filling up nicely

however they are massive; over 6 feet tall and spilling into the driveway. I will have to trim them, which is something I've never done and am a bit nervous about but it has to be done. Any tips on this will be greatly appreciated! In the meantime we NEED SOME SUN, and the warm Summer temperatures of April because it's cold too. So we'll cook something warm and homey.

Arroz Relleno (Stuffed Rice)-my mother-in-law's favorite dish.
serves-a whole bunch of people, or about 6

1 chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Dried oregano to taste
1 to 2 tbsp of tomato paste
2 cups of rice
1/2 cup of mayonnaise or more as needed.

Take one whole chicken and boil it until cooked, about one hour.
Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool. DO NOT discard the broth.
When the chicken is cool, remove it from the bone shredding the meat.

Place the rice in a sauce pan and cover with 3 1/2 cups of the chicken cooking liquid, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. (do NOT salt the rice.)

In a large skillet heat 1 to 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion, pepper and garlic; sautee about 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the shredded chicken, season with salt, pepper and oregano, be generous. Mix the chicken with the vegetables and cook for about five minutes, add the tomato paste and stir it into the mixture, add a little of the chicken cooking broth and mix well. Cover and cook over medium heat about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 5 cup baking pan, (a bundt pan is specially nice).

Spoon 1/3 of the rice into the baking pan smoothing it out evenly. Spread 1 to 2 tbsp of mayonnaise over the rice, evenly. Spread half the chicken mixture evenly over this layer
cover that with another third of the rice, spread the rice with mayonnaise again, add the remaining chicken, finally covering with the last third of the rice and finish with a spread of mayonnaise over the last layer of rice. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven about 25-30 minutes, until mayonnaise melts into the dish. Remove from the oven, pass a sharp knife around the edge to loosen the rice & chicken from the baking dish; place a serving dish on top of the dish and flip it. Gingerly remove the baking dish

Slice, as in cake
My mother-in-law garnishes this with sliced hard-boiled eggs and asparagus spears, which looks lovely but I was too lazy. It doubles nicely.

And we've had enough of homey warmy food, we need some SUN, and no bugs, cause they're out in armies already so we Frank can grill.

Right Max?

We really need some sun.


  1. nice!
    Good luck with your hydrangeas ;)

  2. Your Stellas are so beautiful! Every time I think--that's my favorite flower, another one comes along that knocks me out. The flower world is so amazing.

    1. I know what you many flowers, not enough space. I keep trying to figure out what patch of grass should be sacrificed for more flowers.