Thinking Time

Tick tock, tick tock. Our time in Singapore will be drawing to a close in 9 weeks. Everyone tells me that the next few weeks will just fly by but I feel like we're stuck in slow motion. There are little decisions that need to be made daily about this or that but nothing earth shattering.  Well at least for now.  I do anticipate needing a seat belt for the CRAZY ride that I know will be upon us. For now though, I have time to think.

Here's what I've been thinking about:
-The endless decisions are surprisingly manageable.
-Second guessing the endless decisions makes me crazy.
-If the movie Toy Story is real, then I can expect to be smothered in my sleep by the now homeless stuffed animals that were culled from my daughters bedroom last week.
-I need to start sorting through all the things we collected while living here.
-I need to find a place to donate the things that really weren't worth collecting.
-I need to resist the urge to keep everything.
-I need to resist the urge to get rid of everything.
-This waiting to leave and waiting to start is making me a little psycho.
-Why am I fascinated with bronze pumpkins from Cambodia and do I really need to keep 5 of them? This is a rhetorical question by the way. I'm keeping all of them.
-I really detest packing peanuts. Just saying.

Those are just the thoughts fit for publishing. You do not want to know what my inner middle school girl thinks about this upcoming move in the middle of the night......

Last week was our spring break. I had hoped to blog a bit more, and cook a bit more, and do a lot more than I did. But after the earthquake and tsunami, and the continuing wave of protests sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, what was there to say or do? So, since I am much better at thinking than writing or talking I did a lot of thinking.

On the weekend some friends who are also relocating to Tunisia stopped by for lunch. They had gone to Tunisia for a visit and we were eager to hear their thoughts and impressions.  Their words were reassuring and they coaxed out a bit of excitement in our girls. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. In honor of the citrus season that is winding to a close in Tunisia I made a bright and citrusy Grilled Chicken with Mojo Criollo. 

For those of you not familiar with Cuban cooking Mojo is a very common condiment, sauce, or marinade in the Cuban kitchen. It uses lots of orange juice, lime juice, garlic and a few other things. It is in a word easy, and works just as well with pork, and seafood as it does with chicken. It comes together in a flash, leaving you lots of time to be alone with your thoughts.

Grilled Chicken with Mojo Criollo
serves 6
12 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
1 1/2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice from approximately 6-8 oranges
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice from approximately 6 limes
1 whole head of garlic minced
1/4 cup of fresh oregano leaves lightly chopped
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Place the chicken in a container large enough to hold the chicken and the marinade in a shallow layer. You may need to use 2 containers.  In a medium bowl combine the remaining ingredients and whisk well to combine.  Pour all but 3/4 cup of marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours. Place the remaining marinade in the refrigerator.
Prepare your grill. Turn on all the burners of your gas grill to medium high and close the lid.  Allow to preheat for 10 minutes.  Turn off half the burners, this will create an oven effect in your BBQ.  Cooking times are approximate, the times I have given worked for the size of chicken thighs I used.  Cook your chicken until it is golden brown with good grill marks on the skin side, the juices run clear, and they reach an internal temperature of 165-170 F. Place the chicken on the hot side of the grill skin side down and close the lid for 3 minutes. Give the chicken a quarter turn, close the lid and cook another 2 minutes. This will make those great grill marks.  After 3 minutes flip the chicken and cook another 3 minutes with the lid closed.  Open the BBQ and move the chicken to the other side of the grill skin side up. Close the lid and cook an additional 10 minutes or until the juices run clear and they reach an internal temperature of 165-170 F.
Remove the thighs to a platter and tent with foil.  Meanwhile bring the reserved marinade to a boil. Boil until reduced by half, then brush on the chicken prior to serving.


  1. Beautiful. I'm so glad you're writing again. I can't seem to stop writing on my end. We're both nervous.

  2. and also, keep ALL of the bronze pumpkins.