Oh, I loves me some incompetent people. Don’t you? We knew the move had gone too smooth up to that point. We had made a cross-country road trip (with my cat!!) from Chicago to San Francisco with pretty much no issues. We caught up with a slew of good friends, and were able to drive through some gorgeous freaking areas in the great US of A. We had paid a highly reputable moving company, Bekins, a crap ton of money to move our life to San Fran for us. Everything was going swimmingly. Then the driver Bekins hired to bring my life to me got a divorce, and his wife put a hold on his cdl license, making it illegal for him to drive, making it the first of THREE delays on my shipment. That is when the metaphorical crap hit the fan and Leena had to cut a bitch…with her words. Of course, Bekins later denied any liability in the incidence, delivered our lives the day BEFORE Thanksgiving (which we were hosting), 9 days after their promised guaranteed deliver-by date, caused my husband to miss his first few days at his new job and thus screwed us for the next few months financially speaking. While waiting for our movers, we had nothing. No kitchen tools, no pots or pans, no bed to sleep on, no furniture, no lights, no plates, and most important, NO MONEY. The cash we saved to get our lives set up had to be spent on an air mattress, blankets, and whatever the local Goodwill store could provide us in kitchen utensils. In the end, I could afford a single pot and a cookie sheet pan that I also used as a cutting board. This is what I was rocking as far as kitchen tools went:
Not only were we poor…we already owned all of the items we had to buy, so it made it even more frustrating! I was so angry with all the incompetent people we had to deal with that I wanted to cut Bekins…but the bastards had all of my knives, so that was out. I decided to put my culinary school skills to use. If I couldn’t contribute financially, then I wanted to help by saving whatever cash I could. It was time for ghetto McGuyver cooking! So I bought a chicken. The butcher chopped it into 8 pieces and saved the backbone for me. Then I proceeded to do whatever the hell I could to make that chicken feed my family for as long as possible. First, I roasted a extra bits like the backbone in some olive oil, s&p until they were nice and brown.
And of course, I saved all that delicious fat to cook with later.
I also roasted a few pieces of chicken for dinner, on top of some potatoes and root veg so the fat would help them roast.
Whatever we didn’t eat was picked off the bone for later use, and the bones saved for stock. Then I took the leftover veggies I didn’t use with the chicken (mainly carrots, celery and onion), the roasted chicken bits and leftover bone, and made myself a chicken stock using my pot. The onion skins really help the stock get nice and brown!
Then I bought some cheap cheesecloth to help strain the bits out of the stock. I needed a container to cool the strained stock in and allow the fat to rise to the top and solidify so I could remove it, but I had no bowls or anything. And that was when I found it–the coffee pot the landlord kindly lent us. Done. This is what I ended up with at the end of a day of cooking:
The next day, I used the leftover chicken fat to roast some chopped vegetables, then combined it with the chicken stock and leftover chicken meat to make chicken for dinner. And keep in mind, I cut everything using nothing but a cookie sheet and pizza cutter because I am a gangsta chef. And because Bekins screwed me up the butt with my move. Oh, the food might look good, and there MAY be an underlying story on how this tragedy forced me to push through and see the silver lining, which was rediscovering some old skills I had forgotten about. But let us not forget the screwing over that took place. Let us at no point THANK Bekins for screwing us over. Lesson learned–don’t hire other people to do for you what you could do for yourself. Especially if their names start with Bekins. And always carry a traveling kitchen with you!! You never know when you’ll need to cut a bitch. Or, you know, a carrot. ~LTG!