Recipe: Blame it on Napolean Dynamite

“You’re mom goes to college.” One of the most classic movie lines EVER! Along with the other famous line from the movie Napolean Dynamite  “Vote for Pedro”, the t-shirt industry got a big boost with folks rocking these #trending phrases.  The only bad thing was the movie came out the summer before my son and I were about to attend the same university together! Timing is everything!

As you have surmised by now, I have my own timing in life and do things a bit differently than most. Because I had my children when I was so young I never attended college at the standard age. I waited until the kids were grown, but when I did go I was gung ho. I was accepted to the top two universities in Los Angeles but chose the one across town from home because they offered me more in scholarship money. For my Irish and UK friends, heads up, college in America is EXPENSIVE! So when schools offer to cover your costs, you kinda have to go with that! Besides that, the university  I chose, USC, has one of the best Communications schools in the country.

What I didn’t expect to happen however, is that my son would end up at the same school. He had been going to high school at a boarding school on the east coast and had no intention of returning to Southern California for uni. But with his last minute change of heart, I offered to back out of USC and attend UCLA (the one closer to home). I told him I didn’t want to cramp his style. He said “No mom, don’t change, it will be cool.” I was delighted! He and I share many things in common besides our love of food and cooking. And to be sharing an alma mater, wow. But as I said in here before, hubby’s words were about to come back to haunt me….just because I have something in my head doesn’t mean the other person does as well. Let’s just say that much to my chagrin, my son and I weren’t meeting up for lunch at the commissary on a regular basis! But he did ask me to lend a hand with his ROTC events and also lead a parents’ club for his fraternity. So mom was a happy clam!

One of the first things I learned in my new classes was about social media. This wasn’t on a professor’s syllabus but I learned it from my cohorts. FACEBOOK was all the rage and all the students were on it. I had never heard of it but when I was told that it would help to coordinate study groups I was all in! One thing about attending college later in life is that you don’t play! I was a dead serious, front row kind of student, much to the annoyance of the other students since I usually messed up the classes that were graded on the curve! So here’s me trying to get up a Facebook profile when I barely knew how to do an email with an attachment. I’m not a “technophobe” but a “technoflub” since I was still using what my kids referred to as a “crank up” computer. Boy things have sure evolved since then! Remember, this was in 2004 when Facebook was only for universities and hadn’t gone mainstream.

I got my page up and running and before long, I was getting “friend” requests from all sorts of people I didn’t recall being in my class. But I accepted hoping it would lead to another study group. Then I noticed that all these other people had a “board/wall” thingy where people could post notes and comments. So one day I asked my son about it and he admitted that he knew all these people who were “friending” me and that there was no way he was letting me have a wall on my profile. He had to draw a line! I guess people might have considered putting things up on it that he wasn’t okay with. He then shared that his buddies and fraternity friends were constantly saying (in a Kip voice) “Your mom goes to college” and it was getting annoying.

So I decided I would give up my Facebook account and I have never gone back. No one can believe that in this day and age I wouldn’t want a Facebook account. But blame it on Napolean Dynamite!   Had it been another year, maybe it wouldn’t have been an issue. But timing is everything! No hard feelings towards the movie, in fact it is still one of my all time favorites. And to show you how much I love it I have a recipe for you that combines some of the elements from the movie.. MILK and CHICKEN! I know, strange combo right? But that is kinda what the movie is about…its different, like me!  By the way, if you haven’t seen it, just the opening credits alone with have you laughing! And if you are like our family, you’ll still be spouting off the quotes every now and again…


This recipe for Milk Roasted Chicken is from my man Jamie Oliver and is super easy, it just takes a bit of time. You will likely have left overs which are great to have on hand for a sambo or salad the next day.


1.5 kg whole free range organic chicken (without large talons…that’s a line from the movie)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
½ stick cinnamon
1 good handful fresh sage , leaves picked
2 lemons , zest of
10 cloves garlic , skin left on
565 ml milk (Napolean Dynamite would recommend using whole milk)



Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5, and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it generously all over, and fry it in a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden. It is a bit awkward to brown a whole chicken like this, but its helpful if you use tongs to turn it. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramel flavour later on.

Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours. Baste with the cooking juice from time to time.  The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.

To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. And as you can see below I put some of the whole garlic on top which is so yummy and healthy!

Accompanied with wilted spinach or greens (I served it with sautéed kale topped with streaky bacon) and some mashed or steamed baby potatoes it makes a most satisfying meal!


 If I was on Facebook I’d accept your friend request even if I don’t do study groups anymore! But since I’m not, you can just leave a comment and I promise to write you back,

I say love.. it is a flower,