Monday, April 4, 2011

The Gingers have taken over!

I've mentioned our family of cats that have made a home under our garden shed. Sadly, Momma Kitty disappeared about six weeks ago; perhaps she has passed on, perhaps someone took her in and is loving her dearly. We don't know, and can only speculate. She had two litters while she was residing under the shed, and each litter produced one ginger kitten.

Funny thing about each one of those gingers, they were both the brave ones of their litter. They would confront us and meow with the littlest of meows, demanding to be fed. Then they started to climb up our legs, whether we were standing or sitting on patio chairs. Next, and the bravest thing of all, they would walk into the home when the door opened,and walk the gaunlet of dogs until they reached the kitchen, and waiting bowls of food that belonged to the indoor cats. When they were done, they would walk to the backdoor and demand to be let out.

First Rusty, as we named him, decided that he no longer wanted outside. He liked to cuddle, be petted and play with the other cats and dogs. Two, is the other ginger kitten, and the spitting image of Rusty; who we named Rusty Two, but shortened to Two. He behaved in the same manner as Rusty, and he is also a member of the indoor cat committee. They are also very attached to Monkey, who is also a ginger, so they have their own committee.   Often, we have seen all three conspire against one of the other cats or dogs; and it's one of the funniest things we have seen.

Yep, the gingers have taken over, but we wouldn't give them up for all the tea in China.

So here's a recipe that moves more towards the color and sweetness of our gingers, not the spice.

Bourbon Molasses Chicken and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
¼ tsp each paprika and ground black pepper
1 large red onion, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
¼ cup bourbon
½ cup molasses
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup milk
½ tsp each ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter


In a large saucepan, on high heat, boil potatoes till fork tender.   While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 350F; spray an 8” x 8” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Season chicken with paprika and pepper.   Place chopped onion in dish, place chicken breasts on top of onion.

In a medium bowl, mix together the broth, bourbon and molasses; pour over chicken and onions.  Bake for 40-45 minutes; until there is no pink in the thickest part of the chicken.

Prepare sweet potatoes by partially mashing, add in 2 Tbsp butter, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar; continue to mash till smooth.

Remove chicken and onions to platter once done.  Place the baking dish on stovetop, on high heat, add 2 Tbsp butter; bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Spoon sauce over each serving of chicken; drizzle over mashed sweet potatoes.

Makes 4 servings.

Mary Cokenour
August 13, 2003