Feeding the Masses, Again

I’m not sure what gave me the idea for a deep Southern barbecue for Memorial Weekend. I think it may have been the pile of paper plates and plastic cups I had left over from an event — no dishes to clean! (And you can’t exactly serve Tuscan grill on paper plates.) Maybe it was Brownie McGhee popping up on the iTunes playlist. Whatever the motivation, the invitations went out and preparations began.

Brisket & pork shoulders on the smoker

Brisket & pork shoulders on the smoker

“Good god,” my friend Katy emailed when she got the invitation, “This is almost like catering the auction all over again. You’re obviously a glutton for punishment.” More

Advertisements

The Endless Summer

I had just finished lunch of Mexican food and ice-cold beer with my father and brothers, and was now standing outside the Home Depot in my t-shirt, shorts and flip flops, waiting for a customer service associate to swap out my empty Amerigas propane tank for a full one.

I would be barbecuing for friends this evening, and needed my back-up tank full just in case. After all, I’d had to use the Weber to cook my Christmas dinner when the main propane tank went dry. And suddenly, thinking of this, I had a moment of sadness. It was mid-January. Another 80-degree day, another cold beer, another barbecue… and what happened to winter, to whisky and braises?? We can’t even go skiing because there’s no snow in the mountains. As I write this, many of the mountains are, in fact, on fire.

Happy, lightly dressed girls, camping in January

Happy, lightly dressed girls, camping in January

I know it’s difficult for those of you friends in the Midwest, on the East Coast, and in Canada, Iceland, the British Isles and beyond, swallowed by various polar vortices, nor’easters, blizzards, ice storms and so on, to have much sympathy for our plight. More

The Scott Murphy Hat

People often give me items for cooking or the kitchen that are sometimes useful, sometimes not. And you never quite know at first in which direction they will fall.

The Scott Murphy Hat

The Scott Murphy Hat

For example, you may open a Christmas gift to discover a beautifully designed utensil from Williams-Sonoma that looks like something you couldn’t live without, and find over time that you have no use for it at all. Conversely, someone may hand you something you couldn’t imagine ever using, and it winds up being one of your MVPs (Most Valuable Products). Such was the case with the Scott Murphy hat. More

Happy Tri-th of July

To give you a sense of how thoroughly ingrained in the collective California consciousness the tri tip is, I need tell a story.

4327886213_e4b48f317e_b

The 4th of July was approaching, I was at the market, and tri tip was on sale. I figured that would be the perfect thing to grill for a few friends who were coming by, so I bought a nice three pounder, brought it home, sprinkled it with salt, wrapped it in paper towels and put it in the fridge to cure for a few days. More

The Siren Song of Summer

There’s a lot going on this week — summer nearing, the last few days of school. The calendar is full, my cooking commitments many.

Savoring my last bite of lunch before the floodgates open

Savoring my last bite of lunch before the floodgates open

As I sit here this warm afternoon eating one of my favorite summer lunches — crusty multi-grain bruschetta with ripe heirloom tomatoes, basil, olive oil, mozzarella and parmesan reggiano — I think of the next several days. It began this morning, as pal Ernie and I tried to go to the amazing, miraculous Santa Monica Seafood to redeem Groupons we’d purchased to make a seafood dinner this evening. More

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries