"Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it." ~Unknown

Monday, May 30, 2011

Feels Like Summer Is Here To Stay

     When I woke up this morning, there was the vague feeling of a summer day.  Around noon, I met up with my friend Oscar, and we did something that only started happening on summer days after the invention of the Internet.  We took videos of normally normal things; birds in flight, bouncing tennis balls, a soda can being crumpled, a glass of water being chugged, with the goal of making a video of all of these things in reverse, this is what happens on summer days when kids are bored, and after a very long, very cold, spring, I think summer is finally here to stay.  Then again probably not.
     With "probably not" in mind, I'm going to make the most of this opportunity to grill.  We have Pork Links from Otto's, and I'm also going to make potato salad and coleslaw.
     The slaw is ready, the potatoes have finally finished cooking, and the grill is lighted.  Both of the recipes are from the yellow Gourmet cookbook.  We have finished with the potato salad, and so as I turned to write, Dad began preparing the condiments.  Every one of them.  All thirteen?!?!???   Recently we had trouble finding space in the fridge for our groceries.  The problem: the condiments took up to much room.  I think my parents are crazy.  No. Seriously.


 The sausages were good, but I'm not really all that surprised, we got them at Otto's, which is the third best hot dogs in America according to americasbestonline.com.  The coleslaw was lacking a little something, it was rather bland, but the potato salad was made up for easily, the bites with hard boiled eggs were the best.  And the summer weather helped.  Below I've got one of my friends "Reverse Tactics" videos.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It May Be May...

     This is May Fifteenth right?  Last year at this time Cy was grilling burgers and nectarines after returning from a camping trip with friends.  It was seventy and sunny.  Now it's raining and cloudy, not even sixty out there.  It may be May but it's not May.  Stupid climate change, messing up grilling season.  Instead of burgers, or shish-kebabs, today I'm making a "Tortilla Chilaquilles" from Rick Bayless' Mexican cookbook.
     Recently the lighter on our stove broke, the gas still works however, so Mom and Dad have become experts at lighting it with a match.  Right now the flames started by that match are sauteeing onions on our oh-so dysfunctional stove.  One burner doesn't work, and all the others have to be lit by hand.   It would be more of a problem if we were outside because of the dumping rain.

     We've shredded a chicken, chopped chard, grated cheese and are boiling chicken broth and pureed tomatoes with smokey chipotle chilies .  This is a dish which appears to be nearing completion, but I can't really tell.

     I've never had a chilaquille before, but I liked it quite a bit.  It had a patient spice, and you couldn't tell which part was spicy.  The sour cream and parmesan on top kept it nice and cool, and it was by far the best use of cilantro ever.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Some Like It Hot

Vietnamese Sliced Pineapple

As always for Mother's Day, we went to Mimi's house for breakfast.  As always, we had eggs benedict.  Cy was planning to make a beef and bamboo shoots stir fry, but when dad put the Canadian bacon in the oven to keep it warm, Cy changed his mind.  He decided he wanted to make Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza. I thought he was going to do it on the grill like he did about a year ago, but the weather didn't cooperate.  Hail and rain made us make the pizza in the oven.
Now Dad is spreading sauce on the pizza in the oven, and Cy is slicing canned pineapple to go with the Canadian bacon he has already cut into quarters.  Canned pineapple is about as good as pineapple gets. The only better pineapple I have had was in Vietnam; they slice a spiral out of the side of the pineapple so that there are none of those tough bits.  Sadly the only time we had that was in Vietnam, it would seem nobody does it here.

The pizza was good.  Dad added a little aardvark sauce to the sauce, and the pizza had quite the kick. Aardvark sauce is a smoky habanero sauce made here in Portland. I wasn't the biggest fan, but everybody else liked it.  I guess some like it hot.  Speaking of some like like it hot, Mom says she has that movie out from Netflix.  Remember what happened last time we watched a movie with Marilyn Monroe?  Maybe we'll get that al-Awlaki cleric guy we're going after in Yemen this time.  Or maybe Qaddafi.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Justice, Served On A Silver Platter

     Today dawned bright and sunny, the paper said it would make it to seventy and I decided to wear shorts for the first time this year.  For some weird reason, everybody else decided to wear sunglasses for the first time this year.  With the weather, I decided it was time for our burgers.  I cleaned off the grill, and lit the coals.  Mom and Dad were working in the yard until I smoked them out.  Hopefully the summer weather is here to stay, and we don't have an unusually cold and cloudy summer.  Stupid climate change.
     With the burgers we're going to have potatoes, which went onto the grill just now, and a salad made from some lettuce plants Memaw bought for us when she was here.  As far as grilled meals go, burgers are quick and easy.  Except for the part when you go to flip the burgers, lots of meat juices fall into the fire, and you jump back to avoid the suddenly soaring flames.  Talk about char-broiled.

     The burgers were good.  It felt like after all this wet weather, summer was finally here.  Those burgers will always be something special for us.  We had ice cream for dessert, and were watching "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" when Dad called in to us from the computer.
     "Guys," he told, "switch to a news channel."  He had been reading the Huffington Post, which had one headline: Dead.  So now we are watching Channel 8 show a split screen with images from the Twin Towers, one showing the White House, and their anchors.  They are telling us that President Obama is going to address the nation in a few minutes.  People today talk about where they were when Challenger exploded, or JFK was killed.  This is one of those days for my generation.  Justice has been served.  I'm glad I'm American.  Because we can do anything we try to.