Friday, November 4, 2016

Baked Chicken with Peaches

This recipe uses three large chicken leg quarters. They fill a large baking pan. It is an easy recipe, little work, little clean-up yet the finished dish is as elegant as any 5 star offering.

Our meal tonight is in honor of a little know and unlikely Angel from Arkansas: Ruth Coker Burks. Please take the time to read our little write-up on this wonderful person.


  • 3 chicken leg quarters
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 28 oz can sliced peaches
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves or nutmeg or allspice
  • juice of a fresh lime
  • 4 – 5 cloves garlic minced
Preheat oven to 425  For easy clean-up, line a 9 x 13 dish with foil.
    Generously coat foil/pan with oil.
  • Do your cutting: Strike the cloves of garlic and the skins will slide right off.

  • Place chicken in the prepared baking dish skin side down.
  • In a bowl mix the juice from the can of peaches with brown sugar and spices as well as lime juice and garlic.

Pour over the chicken pieces.

  • Place peach slices over chicken and cover with foil.

  • Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and turn chicken.

  • Reduce heat to 400 degrees. Spoon baking juices & peaches over chicken and bake 35-45 minutes longer or until chicken is done.
  • Pour off the sauce, reduced it and thickened it using 1tsp of cornstarch and a little water.

What an unexpected blend of peaches and garlic!

For our music tonight:

Faithfully serving my Master Indy

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes 


Dan White


/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_vAT4sb0934RTM via 


The Unlikely Angel from Arkansas
Ruth Coker Burks.

To tell a story of Ruth Coker Burks and her fantastic works of love, we must start with a story of anger.
Ruth's mother had a terrible family argument with an uncle, she decided she would make sure he and his branch of the family tree would never lie in the same dirt as the rest of them. The mother quietly bought every available grave space in local cemetery: 262 plots. Imagine the drive this took. It gives us an interesting snapshot of the “truths” this family grew up with.
Fast forward to 1984. Ruth is now 25 and a young mother herself. She went to University Hospital in Little Rock to help care for a friend with cancer. One day she noticed a door, with "a big, red bag" over it. It was a patient's room. "I would watch the nurses draw straws to see who would go in and check on him. It'd be: 'Best two out of three,' and then they'd say, 'Can we draw again?' "
She could guess it was the new epidemic called GRID — gay-related immune deficiency. Now maybe because of some higher power moving her, Ruth ignored the warnings on that red door and snuck into the room.
In the bed was a skeletal young man. He had wasted to less than 100 pounds. He asked to see his mother.
"I walked out and [the nurses] said, 'You didn't go in that room, did you?' " Burks said: 'Well, yeah. He wants his mother.'
They laughed, 'Honey, his mother's not coming. He's been here six weeks. Nobody's been here, and nobody's coming.' "
This was just not right she thought. Ruth got a phone number and called. The conversation was very short before the woman hung up on her. Well that really ticked her off!
"I called her back," Burks said. "I said, 'If you hang up on me again, I will put your son's obituary in your hometown newspaper and I will list his cause of death.' Then I had her attention."
Her son was a sinner, the woman said. She didn't know what was wrong with him and didn't care. She wouldn't come, as he was already dead to her. She said she wouldn't even claim his body when he died. This was a mother talking about her dying son! A boy begging to talk to his mother just one more time. (unfortunately, this story was to be replayed too often.)
Ruth hung up the phone, trying to decide what she should tell the dying man. But when she walked into the room he said, 'Oh, momma. I knew you'd come,' and then he lifted his hand.
“What was I going to do? She asked. “So I took his hand. I said, 'I'm here, honey. I'm here.' " Ruth said it was probably the first time he'd been touched by a person not wearing two pairs of gloves since he arrived at the hospital. She pulled a chair up, talked to him, and held his hand. She bathed his face with a cloth, and told him she was there. "I stayed with him for 13 hours while he took his last breath on earth," she said.
After a second call to his mother confirmed she wanted nothing to do with him, even in death. "No one wanted him," she said, "and I told him in those long 13 hours that I would take him to my beautiful little cemetery, where my daddy and grandparents were buried, and they would watch out over him."
She had to contract a funeral home in Pine Bluff for the cremation. It was the closest she could find that would even touch the body. She paid for the cremation out of her savings.
Ruth went to a friend at Dryden Pottery in Hot Springs, who gave her a chipped cookie jar for an urn. Then she went to the cemetery and used a pair of posthole diggers to excavate a hole in the middle of her father's grave. “I knew that I would be able to find him if I ever needed to find him." She put the urn in the hole and covered it over. She prayed over the grave, and was done.
Yet this simple act of bravery and love was just a start. People started calling, asking for her help. She said. "Word got out that there was this kind of wacko woman in Hot Springs who wasn't afraid.” She soon became one of the go-to people in the state when it came to caring for those dying with AIDS. Ruth would bury over 40 people in chipped cookie jars in that old cemetery. Before long, she was getting referrals from rural hospitals all over the state.
She estimates she worked with more than a thousand people dying of AIDS over the course of the years. Of those, only a handful of families didn't turn their backs on their loved ones. People ask her why she wasn't afraid. "I have no idea," she said.
Somewhere in her attic, there is a list of names. Ruth said she always made a last effort to reach out to families before she put the urns in the ground. "I tried every time," she said. "They hung up on me. They cussed me out. They prayed like I was a demon."
She learned to say the funerals herself, after being rejected too many times by preachers and priests. "I knew that what I was doing was right, and I knew that I was doing what God asked me. It wasn't a voice from the sky. I knew deep in my soul."
The financial help for the patients couldn't have happened without the support of the gay clubs around the state, particularly Little Rock's Discovery."
They would twirl up a drag show on Saturday night and here'd come the money," she said. "That's how we'd buy medicine, that's how we'd pay rent. If it hadn't been for the drag queens, I don't know what we would have done."
She recalled sitting with dying people while they filled out their own death certificate, because she knew she wouldn't be able to call on their families for the required information. "Can you imagine filling out your death certificate before you die? So I'd get a pizza and we'd have pizza and fill out the death certificate."
Memories and stories from those early days of the epidemic are horrifying and nightmare like. However, slowly more people began to step up, slowly attitudes began to change, perhaps encouraged by this unlikely angel.
Ruth had a stroke five years ago. After the stroke, she had to relearn everything: to talk, to feed herself, to read and write. It's probably a miracle she's not buried in that old cemetery herself. The work she and others did in the 1980s and 1990s has mostly been forgotten, partly because so many have died. She's not the only one who did that work, but she's one of the few who survived. She has become the keeper of memory.
If we are to hold on to any lessons from her story, lets not keep anger for the way patients were treated. Let us instead focus on the acts of love done by this wonderful woman.
Who knows what will happen next? There will be new unexpected tragedies and hills to climb. We will face and overcome them as long as we remember what love can accomplish. Love will beat fear and anger. One sure way this will happen is to remember an unlikely angel of Arkansas named Ruth Coker Burks.


Ruth needs our help! She has had significant health setbacks. Her employer that did not want to have his business associated with AIDS activism, and she was blackballed. She lost her health insurance, then, without health insurance, she suffered a stroke and clots in her lungs.  She needs assistance to build the memorial as well as a modest amount to take care of her health bills and expenses. She helped so many when no one else would, please help her now!

A “gofundme” account has been set up.

She said:
"It was always my hope that a monument would someday be placed there with the names of those brave men whose families didn't want them to bury them. I have also buried a few whose families didn't have the money to bury them..It is a peaceful place and my guys knew that if nothing else they were loved by me. It gave them such peace to know that they had a final resting place."

Let's make this happen! Please share it on your social media and directly with friends and family. Thanks for your support!
Over $41,000 has been raised toward a $50,000 goal. I'm not used to asking for this kind of thing, I'm not good at it. I only ask you to consider, to remember how much has been done, and how close the goal.

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