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

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pizza, and the Perfect Lemonade Part II

     Memaw is in town this weekend, last night we went out to dinner at Tasty & Sons and this morning we went to The Pearl Bakery downtown.  Just to make things exciting for everybody, I drove both ways both times.  Then, to keep the anxiety crank turned full-force on Dad, I opted to make pizza on the grill.  We're going to have three kinds pizzas, a sorpressata pizza, a roasted beet pizza, and a leek and gorgonzola pizza.  We'll have an asparagus side-dish, and to drink I've made the basil lemonade that I made a few weeks back.  This time though, I've added an additional twist, making it strawberry basil lemonade.  Should be good.

     Once the coals are ready, it's going to be go, go, go to get everything done around the same time.  Right now Dad and I are doing a mís-en-place with all the pizza toppings.  Once the coals are ready we'll take the pizza dough, currently spread out on three sheets of parchment paper on the kitchen counter, and flip them on to the grill.  Once they've cooked a little bit, we'll flip them back over and add the toppings.

     That was really good.  We could have used about twice as much strawberry-basil lemonade, and I got some good ideas to improve it next time.  (Summer mission: create the perfect lemonade.)  The pizzas were very good as well, the sorpressata was a good, classic, american pie.  The leek was both light and airy, and thick and cheesy from the gorgonzola.  The roasted beet pie was sweet and salty, the honey and beets were beautifully offset by a sprinkling off salt applied to the top.  The asparagus, off course, was catalonian style, super greasy.  I've got to run, Cyrus has found a movie with Michael Hazanavicius, of The Artist, that Netflix describes as "The French answer to James Bond."  I suspect it will be good.  And we have a bowl of rhubarb crisp leftover from Friday waiting for me.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Next Week

     Today was almost hotter than it got all last summer, and no matter how much I would have liked to set up something on the grill tonight, it just wasn't going to happen.  I spent all day at my lifeguard class, (I'm fully certified now) and I didn't get home until it was far to late to start dinner.  Instead, we went out for Ethiopian food and some ice cream to celebrate Mimi and Cyrus' birthdays.  Hopefully it will be this nice next week, and I'll be able to break out the grill.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Return to Ribs

     It's been a heck of weekend for me, the past two days I've been up at 6 to go out to the East Portland Community Center, where I've been training to Lifeguard this summer.  By the time I got home today, around half past four, Dad and Cy had already fired up the grill, and put our dinner on it.  When I climbed out of the car, I could smell the smoke and the ribs.  They were excellent ribs.  It was a little hard to get the meat off the bone, but all the work was made up for in flavor and and the shear joy of getting your face covered in barbeque sauce.  We had watermelon for a sort of at-the-table dessert, it was a little out of season but still good.  And, the water helped to clean off our faces.  Now, we've got a real dessert, chocolate ice cream with hot fudge and bananas.
     There's something new about this blog post, one of my birthday presents was an amazing new camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  Of course, it did show up until earlier this week, so this is our first chance to use it.
  Below is a picture that has nothing to do with the food but thought it was worth sharing to show off the new camera.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Lamb (On the Grill)

We should get a good plum harvest this year.
     It's that time of year again, the sun has been out all day, the trees are sprouting their buds, and you can hear lawn mowers being fired up across the neighborhood.  Outside, we've brought our big grill out of hibernation for a leg of lamb.  While Dad was preparing the lamb inside, I went out to clean the grill, and after pulling it out of the shed, I discovered that it was... alive with mold.  I gave it a good scrub-down, dumped the old ashes beneath the plum tree, and called Dad.  He gave it a wipe down before lighting the coals.
     Side dishes tonight are asparagus and eggplant, both on the grill.  One of the things I always forget, and then remember about grilling is how quick it is.  Dad and I spent twenty minutes making sauces and rubs, and then twenty minutes sitting next to the grill, talking, and thinking about improvements we could make to the yard.  Then we're done.  I think we might want to eat outside tonight, it's warm and sunny out here.

    I guess our grill just isn't hot enough, an hour after we were almost done, we still weren't done, and our coals are dying out.  So we just transferred the lamb to the oven to finish up.  We won't be eating before 7, but that's fine, because the sun will still be up.  This was going to be a really good dinner, but our fire was unpredictable, and that got in the way.
     The lamb was really good.  The edges were crusty with the rub, and the inside was soft, the edges were salty with the rub, and the relish, sweet, set them off.  It was full of exquisite flavors that counteracted and balanced each other, and it was some simply some good meat.  The asparagus was good, made, like always, catalonian style, but this time on the grill.  Good stuff overall.  For dessert we've got the last of my birthday cake and ice cream to go with it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pirogi, A Rainy Day Favorite

     Today's the last day of Spring Break, but you sure wouldn't know it by the weather.  When we went to REI this morning, we drove through a light drizzle under a gray sky.  For maybe 10 minutes this afternoon, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds, but instead of audaciously firing up the grill, then huddling over it in a winter coat with an umbrella to keep the fire from going out, as Cyrus usually does at this time of year, he's gone for a cold weather winter classic for Sundays, the indefatigable pirogi.
     After our REI trip, in which we got a back country backpack for this summer, we headed across-town to Otto's, where we got our lunch, and some kielbasa.  Right now, Cy is mashing the potatoes, while Dad braves the weather to refill a bird-feeder in the backyard.  Once the dough is done rising, they'll cut it out in circles, place the potato and cheese filling inside them, and throw 'em into a  boiling pot of water.

     One of the things about pirogi past is that it never quite feels like there's enough.  At Mom's request, Dad and Cy made an extra big batch of onions, and as far as I can tell they've got an extra big batch of pirogi going too.  And they've got extra of my favorite part, the kielbasa.

     As always, the pirogi were good.  But they were especially good today for some reason, with their potato and cheese insides and onion grease covered outsides.  And, of course, you can't go wrong with Otto's sausage.  Good stuff.  And the sun came out while we were eating!