Last night’s dinner

This picture is what happens when dinner smells too good and you don’t take a photo until after you eat.

Tonight’s dinner
I need something that will have leftovers for tomorrow when I’m golfing and feed a crowd tonight when are all bottling wine. I love feeding a group especially if it means an uninterrupted wine supply.

Roasted chicken is going to be perfect and I’m going to put a Jamie Oliver twist on it. This is a fresh way to regular roast chicken and I have everything in the house to make it-even the fresh thyme now that the garden is producing again.

I’ve been wanting to use even more produce out of the garden since I started reading about “Little City Farm” ( in Kitchener. These folks have a 1/3 of an acre in the city and manage to produce the majority of their food from their garden. I would love to do something similar but this is actually their full-time job. They even run a bed and breakfast out of the house and have a cob oven outside. We are planning on building a cob oven this summer so I find the whole thing fascinating.

Today’s garden projects are to transplant any plants that have had babies, re-dig the veg patch and maybe enlarge it, start a new raspberry patch over by the property line, plant the potatoes and peas as well as get out all the plant cages to take care of all my straglers. I hope to also trim-up my dog woods and get out the seedlings that have taken over the bathroom (beets, artichokes and cucumbers).

Hopefully by looking at what I have already I won’t go totally crazy when I visit the garden centre this weekend with my mom.

Tomorrow I might get to planting the lettuce, grab some tomato seedlings and look for a replacement service berry for the one that passed away this winter.

Jamie Oliver’s Roast Chicken
• 1 x 2kg/4½lb free-range organic chicken
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2kg/4½lb potatoes, peeled
• 1 large, preferably unwaxed, lemon
• 1 whole bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
• a handful of fresh thyme
• olive oil
• a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked

Rub the chicken inside and out with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Do this in the morning if possible, then cover the chicken and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to start cooking it for lunch or dinner. By doing this, you’ll make the meat really tasty when cooked. Preheat your oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cut the potatoes into golf-ball-sized pieces, put them into the water with the whole lemon and the garlic cloves, and cook for 12 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for 1 minute (this will give you crispier potatoes), then remove the lemon and garlic. Toss the potatoes in the pan while still hot so their outsides get chuffed up and fluffy – this will make them lovely and crispy when they roast.

While the lemon is still hot, carefully stab it about 10 times. Take the chicken out of the fridge, pat it with kitchen paper and rub it all over with olive oil. Push the garlic cloves, the whole lemon and the thyme into the cavity, then put the chicken into a roasting tray and cook in the preheated oven for around 45 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate. Some lovely fat should have cooked out of it into the roasting tray, so toss the potatoes into this with the rosemary leaves. Shake the tray around, then make a gap in the centre of the potatoes and put the chicken back in. If using the bacon, lay the rashers over the chicken breast and cook for a further 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are nice and golden. (You can tell the chicken is cooked when the thigh meat pulls easily away from the bone and the juices run clear.)