I happily took the opportunity to cook some small birds -- birds smaller than typical chickens. The unintimidating recipe for “Spice-Roasted Cornish Hens with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce,” from the June 2009 issue of Bön Appetit, produced wonderfully moist meat and crispy exteriors, along with a garlicky, tangy sauce. And it was fun to make!

After hearing quite a buzz about Bobo chickens, I saw this recipe as a chance to try some, although I do enjoy cooking with Cornish game hens, as well. I reduced the ingredient amounts of this recipe in order to make only four servings, so two Bobo chickens were fine for my meal. Indeed, you must overcome any fear of seeing the chicken head and feet. My Food Coop receives its Bobo chickens with the heads already removed (public demand!), but the feet are still there. I left the feet on, in fact, when I cooked them. It was so easy to brush the chickens with olive oil, then grind the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, salt, and pepper in the spice mill, and sprinkle that all over the chickens. I cooked them for 45 minutes.

The spice mix was totally appropriate for these chickens. The scent and taste was lovely. I added 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper to the creamy cucumber sauce, which was enhanced by the cilantro and garlic. I can’t fathom any excuse to not try this recipe: it’s easy, it’s quick, it’s delicious, it’s out-of-the-ordinary.

Now, allow me to flash back to a summertime salad: “Watermelon, Kiwi, and Strawberry Salad,” from Cookscountry.com. This is a salad that will be as tasty as the fresh fruit that you choose. The simmered sauce was easy and fun to make. The message here is: Celebrate the freshness of your fruits, and enjoy.

Bobo Chickens (3 lbs. total) = $13.76
Kiwis (2) = .78¢
Strawberries (1 lb.) = $3.12

RECIPES: an easy-to-assemble, unconventional meal that will dazzle your diners
PREP TIMES: dinner could be ready in one hour
TASTES: moist and crispy meat, spiced perfectly, enhanced by its tangy garlic sauce; fresh fruit is magic

Next time, I will prepare the “Salmon Salad with Parsley and Capers,” from the June 2009 issue of Everyday Food, along with “Rancho Gordo’s Pot Beans,” from Heirloom Beans: Great Recipes for Dips and Spreads, Soups and Stews, Salads and Salsas, and Much More from Rancho Gordo, by Steve Sando and Vanessa Barrington. Come back to my site on Thursday, December 17, to witness this meal.