I have never played tennis before in my life, but you better believe that when my husband came home with rackets and new balls and asked me did I want to play, I said “sure.” I put on my black yoga shorts that my girlfriend gave me right before Ferdinand was born, perfect for tennis because you want the loose fit and the elastic that once made an effort towards the beginning of when I had them, has released itself from its elastic responsibilities. I put on my running shoes and my narrow rimmed beach hat, also perfect, because I figured it would not interfere with my view of the ball. Jonathan doesn’t really have any sporty clothes, so he went in his regular outfit. Tennis is not as easy as it looks. Especially if you don’t have the control that some people seem to have. It was a good twenty minutes before I had hit all of the balls over the top of the wall meant for hitting the ball against; I lost them somewhere in the abyss of the other side, which is something like a moat. I am going to try again tomorrow, and tomorrow we are going to work on technique.
I am counting on a little technique. A little technique can be the difference between boiled chicken and Pollo al latte.
Season a whole organic chicken inside and out with kosher or sea salt the way you would put sunscreen on sensitive skin. Heat a heavy dutch oven or flame proof casserole and then add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Sear the chicken on all sides. Remove from the pan and pour off the grease. Add a tablespoon of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Add 5 whole garlic cloves that have the tips and root bits removed. Get them golden. Add about 6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, and simmer until they are translucent. Pour in 2 cups of WHOLE milk and bring it to a simmer. Add the chicken, then lay a piece of parchment over the pot, so that the edges are still inside, then the lid, set ajar. Cook for about 1 hour, basting the chicken a few times and turning it over halfway through.
On the side, serve string beans that have been boiling in water with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, then tossed with more olive oil, salt and fried garlic, or shallot, parsley or basil, when the come out; along side, lightly smashed NEW peeled, potatoes with a bit of parmagiano reggiano, salt and olive oil.
For dessert, melt 1 part heavy cream and when simmering, pour into 1 part (equal amounts) chopped bittersweet chocolate. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon. When cool, form into rough truffles by spooning out bits onto a piece of wax paper. Sift with dutch process cocoa.