7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 100)

October 8, 2010 | 49 comments

— 1 —

Tonight is the Red Mass! I’m so excited. This will be the fourth year in a row that my husband and I celebrated our anniversary by participating in this tradition that dates back to 1245. It’s always one of my favorite nights of the year. You can read a post about what it means to me here.

— 2 —

I’ve been getting a lot of emails about my blogroll, so I just wanted to state for the record that I see it as a living document. It’s definitely not complete. I mean, Testosterhome and the Wine-Dark Sea aren’t even on there! The Political Housewyf is nowhere to be found! Certainly such a list would not dare call itself a complete blogroll.

— 3 —

My mother-in-law, the famous Yaya, Β was visiting last week. She came home from the store one day to announce, “If anyone calls you and starts saying you’re a crazy old lady, they’re talking about me!” With a little investigation we got the full story:

Yaya was getting in the car after doing our grocery shopping, and she noticed a woman leave a dog in her car without rolling down a window. It was a hot day, so Yaya confronted her. The woman responded by calling her a “crazy old lady.” I’m not at liberty to recount in detail how things played out from there, but let’s just say that the conversation got colorful, and there were attempts to drag startled bystanders into the now-very-heated parking lot argument.

When things reached a crescendo, the woman threatened Yaya by saying that she was writing down her license plate number. Yaya told her to go ahead, and walked off with a smile, because she was driving our car.

— 4 —

My dad sent this picture of me in 1984:

Some things never change!

— 5 —

Everyone around here is talking about Mexico. I don’t know whether everyone in border states is buzzing about it or it’s just because we have a lot of Mexican friends, but it comes up a lot these days. The drug violence has now spread to cities that had previously been unaffected; even our friends in nice parts of Monterrey are trying to figure out how they can flee to the U.S. We need to pray for Mexico!

— 6 —

I learned how to boil chicken! Those of you who have even a shred of culinary talent are probably wondering why on earth I’d announce something so mundane on my blog. You don’t understand: this is huge for me. The idea of putting raw meat in water and coming up with something edible has always been very intimidating to me, and I was just certain that the results would be grim. But now that I can do it, it’s so useful! I can make shredded chicken for tacos and casseroles, and have chicken breasts to use as a base for all sorts of recipes. And it’s easy! You just put chicken breasts in cold water, bring it to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer it for 10 minutes. Who knew it could be that simple?

— 7 —

This is the 100th edition of 7 Quick Takes Friday! If I had my act together I’d do something classy to celebrate like hosting a fabulous giveaway. It’s kind of appropriate, though, that I’m not doing anything; the whole reason I need the 7 Quick Takes format of post is because I’m busy and scatter-brained.

Anyway, have a great weekend, everyone!


Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.


  1. Nicole

    I haven’t been to a Red Mass in ages… say a prayer for your readers?

  2. Kim D.

    LOVE that 1984 photo of you! Now THAT’S a computer!

  3. Rose A

    Congrats on conquering boiled chicken! I love it!! =)

  4. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    That picture is excellent! And I love all the science paraphernalia on the desk!

  5. Ciska

    I’ve never heard of the Red mass. I’ve read the wikipedia text, but I don’t understand the significance. Any idea why it isn’t celbrated on the European mainland (anymore)?

  6. Sharon

    Congrats on your 100th 7 Quick Takes! I wish I had started counting mine when I posted my first one; I have no idea which one I’m on. I don’t think I’m going to get one in this week. πŸ™ I laughed my head off at #3, and is that a TRS-80?? I remember being in like 6th grade and my friend had one and BOY was I jealous!!

  7. Tami Boesiger

    LOVE that picture. Talk about a blast from the past!

  8. Tracy

    Learning how to boil chicken (and then shredding it) changed my cooking life a while back – it’s the easiest trick to getting cooked chicken quickly, isn’t it?

    And I looked at that picture and thought – wait a second… I used one of those at my dad’s office once – my first big paper ever that I wrote with a word processor. To think that I have my little netbook now in my bag…

  9. Mary

    Love the 7 QTs, thanks for hosting them.

  10. Michelle

    I love that photo. I remember computers like that!!! Thanks for the tip on boiling chicken. We’ve used our slow cooker to get chicken that can be shredded easily, but that’s another thing to try now!

    Enjoy your Red Mass. I didn’t know what it was…now that I do, I need to make sure my lawyer-dad knows about it! πŸ˜‰


  11. Pam

    Congratulations on the chicken — that’s a great feeling! If you boil it in broth (or add a teaspoon or two of bouillon crystals to the water), you’ll get a little flavor punch as part of the deal.

    Now, if you get really brave, you can try boiling a whole chicken — but baby steps. πŸ™‚

  12. Catherine

    When I was driving from Florida to NYC this summer, I saw a car with the license plate “I’M YA YA” but when I passed it, there was a guy driving. What a disappointment! I thought I was going to see Ya Ya!! LOL!

    Also, that picture is awesome!

  13. Margaret in Minnesota

    Hooray! I got my Quick Takes posted!

    (It had only been since…um…August.

    Thank you for hosting–congratulations on your 100th edition–and THANK YOU, again, for helping me with that Twitter Pic thingy.

    And yes, that photo of you as a girl is a CLASSIC. Once a computer geek, always a computer geek…

    …though in your case, you make geekiness cool.

  14. Judy

    Any hope in life that I could somehow become related to Ya Ya by osmosis?
    LOVE THAT WOMAN! Thanks for sharing her with us:)
    Wow! That was some set-up for 1984! You guys were “progressive” indeed!
    So…where are all of the wonderful stories I’m sure you tapped out upon those keys? Care to share some?

  15. elizabethe

    Congratulations on your chicken triumph. I remember the first time I roasted a whole chicken — I felt the same way. Now, you are only a few steps away from the magic of making your own chicken broth. Put the chicken into the pot with an onion, some carrots and celery (no need to cut these things), cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and let it simmer away for an hour or two. You have the yummy cooked chicken, plus wonderful broth to make soup or cook rice in or whatever. Buying broth at the store is the biggest rip off in the world.

    Also, if you want to sound all refined, say you’re “poaching” the chicken instead of boiling it.

  16. Stephanie

    Love the 1984 picture. Too cute.

    I hadn’t heard it was so bad in Mexico (I mean, I knew there were drug problems but hadn’t heard it was spreading), I will definitely keep that situation in my prayers.

  17. Julie at Elisharose

    I seem to be linky impaired. Could you delete my extra links? Not sure how it happened.

  18. Eric

    1984…we didnt even have a vcr yet! HAHA, your family was definately ahead of the times – – – I can only imagine what that computer cost at the time!

  19. Tina Fisher

    I know what you mean about the boiling chicken thing. Now that you’ve mastered that…..you should put a whole chicken in the crock pot and watch it all fall right off the bone. So nice. I hated chicken on the bone but now that I’ve discovred my crock pot It doesn’t even seem like it’s chicken on the bone. And little touching raw meat!!!!!!

  20. Kristen @ St Monica's Bridge

    LOL on the blogroll…that happened to me too when I went from blogger to wordpress. I happened to catch a glance of it a few weeks ago and realized it must be incomplete.

    Yeah for boiled chicken. Personally, I like my slow-cooker for that, but right on! You can do so much with it!

  21. deanna

    Congrats on the chicken! Your picture made me feel very, very old!

  22. Lydia

    It’s my first quick takes! Have a wonderful time at the Red Mass. If you think of it, please say a prayer for my husband, who is studying for the bar exam in GA and is in need of work in the legal realm.

  23. Emily D.

    Oh I love that picture. πŸ™‚

  24. Janet in Toronto

    I never boiled chicken until I spent five years in Atlanta and suddenly needed shredded chicken for lots of (local) style cooking! Bravo for getting over your “phobia”!

  25. Monica

    First, I love YaYa. Tell her she can come do my grocery shopping anytime.

    Second, thank you for the education re. the Red Mass. I’m a life long Catholic, and did not know this! You converts always know more than we do!

    πŸ™‚ Monica

  26. Angela

    This is my first time posting a 7-quick takes. What fun!

  27. Margie

    Really interesting that Austin is talking about Mexico. I had no idea, although it’s not exactly rocket science. We’re just a little farther north (DFW area), and no one’s buzzing about it, here. But, yes, Mexico needs a strong prayer focus to break up the evil that has become so pervasive and violent. Thank you for posting about it.

  28. Christy

    Congrats on the 100th 7 Quick Takes entry!

    I do like Red Masses, but I’m more partial to the Blue Masses – love seeing those men and women in blue asking for grace and protection throughout the year. And I love me some bagpipes! πŸ™‚

    Have a great week!

  29. Mariana

    Is that a celestron telescope? I just bought one for my dad, I’m impressed that it hasn’t changed in design in so long!

  30. Chris

    This is my first Quick Takes! Happy 100!

  31. MrsDarwin

    I am melting into a puddle of goo over your adorable red braids. Remember I was telling you about Anne of Green Gables? Her hallmark was red braids. You would have been a shoo-in to play her in a movie, except that you aren’t a romantic — and I mean that as a compliment.

  32. Elizabeth@GoodnessAdded

    I do what Tina and Kristen do and just plop a whole 3 or 4 lb chicken in the crock pot – let it hang out on low for 6 hours and it falls right off the bone. You can poach chicken breasts too. You just need to add some broth so they don’t dry out.

    Congrats on hitting 100!

  33. Nina

    Thank you for every sacrifice you make to be able to share yourself with us, Jennifer. I just love your blog. There are so many to choose from—–and one must be so careful with one’s time as a busy mother—-but yours is right up there as top priority! πŸ™‚ Always inspiring or comforting in some way, which we all need so badly. You are brilliant, clever, funny and real—-don’t ever stop. Have a beautiful weekend.

  34. Sally Thomas

    Wow, I’m a convert, and I hadn’t heard of the Red Mass (so we don’t know everything!). Thanks for spotlighting it, and happy anniversary.

    And you know, when you boil that chicken, you also get useful stock which you can use now or freeze for later. (it’s better if you use a whole chicken with bones, but even if you just do breasts, that water you boiled them in is good for something. Such the twofer!)

  35. Kerri B.

    Congrats on Quick Takes #100!! Love the picture of the computer and I laughed at the story of Yaya!! Have you gotten a call yet?

  36. Angela

    hi! i heard about you from my friend brianna at “just showing up”. i just posted my first evah 7 quick takes. thanks for hosting!

  37. Heather Cady

    Thanks for making Friday fun! πŸ™‚

  38. Cory

    Boiled chicken is SUCH a handy trick to have up your sleeve; I remember being so excited when I figured it out! Congrats.

  39. JoAnna

    that picture is great πŸ™‚

  40. Kathy

    Congratulations on #100!
    (and thanks so much for the mention!)
    The system ate my last comment… delete this one, please, if the other made it!
    The best chicken I’ve ever had came from Polyface Farms, which tries to do things the way God designed it (go figure!), so the chickens live in mobile pens that are moved every few days to a fresh area. They eat bugs and stuff, which is what they’re supposed to eat.
    Before that, I didn’t know chicken could actually have a taste!

  41. Joy

    Hah! We had an old Radio Shack TRS-80, and I learned my love of computers in front of one too… complete with the braids. πŸ˜€

  42. Martina

    Hey, the chicken thing *IS* impressive!! We have been doing that for years and if I hadn’t learned that, my kids might have starved for a while, lol. We use the Kirkland brand frozen chicken breasts along with water and a few spices for added ‘fanciness’. πŸ™‚

    If you want to dial it up a notch, add a cup of rice and the appropriate amount of water for that once the chicken is relatively cooked, bring it to a boil, and then reduce to simmer for the number of minutes for the rice. The kids will love it!! πŸ™‚

  43. Lisa @ Cheerfully Chaotic

    You crack me up, Jen– the chicken bit made me laugh. Next step… oven-roasted whole chickens. They’re often on huge sales at Sprouts and HEB, and you can prep them and “forget” about them for a while. Shredding them is super-easy and you can freeze extra meat for later meals. Mmmmm…

  44. Megan

    I loved the story about Yaya! The poor dog! Why wouldn’t the woman just roll crack her window?
    You are so right that boiling chicken is so easy! I don’t know why I don’t do this more often!

  45. Lesley


    Red Masses are still celebrated in the UK. In fact, one was celebrated at Westminster Cathedral on 1st October.

  46. Kate Wicker

    I didn’t have time to peruse all the comments, so I apologize if this is a repeat. However, one way I make boiled chicken more flavorful is by using stock instead of water. Yum!

    As always, your QTs had me chuckling. Have a good week!

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