Queues and Barbecues

They asked me to do it again. Despite the lines — oh! the lines… — they asked me to do it again.

“Is there anything we can do about the lines?” they gingerly put forth.

Last Halloween, our children’s annual grade school Halloween carnival got an upgrade. It moved from school to the ballfield at the local community center, a live band would play, there would be a bar… And they asked me to do the food.

The Chef boogying at sunset

The chef/fairy/cow boogying at sunset

I was to cook for somewhere between 450 and 600 people. I was a week in preparation and was all set — except that the chimneys I needed for my coal were 90 minutes late. The carnival had opened at 3:30, people began queuing up for food at 4-ish. And I didn’t have anything to serve until close to 5 p.m., at which point the line had stretched from our home-plate set up well into left field. We would never catch up.

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Spooks, Sandwiches & Sympathy for the Devil

It couldn’t really have started any worse.

The day of our school’s annual Halloween Carnival — the new, experimental 2015 edition in which I would be cooking for somewhere apparently between 450 and 600 people — had arrived.

Rennie at work

Rennie at work

I got to the ballfield at the local community center around 1:30 for the 3:30 start time. I unloaded my coolers full of meat, boxes of bread and bags of slaw — far more food than was necessary, I was certain, and felt confident I would be bringing things home at the evening’s conclusion. But the event organizer, my friend Danielle, had asked me to err on the side of abundance. To cook on, there was a large and rusty Santa Maria grill that had rolled in on wheels and parked itself beneath the backstop. More

Treat… or Trick

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It was Halloween many, many years ago — quite obviously before I had children of my own, as you will soon see.

My pal, Mike, and I were at his girlfriend’s parents house in an affluent suburb of Los Angeles, waiting for our dates, who were upstairs putting the finishing touches on their Halloween costumes. We were reclining on the couch, into our second or third beers, when the doorbell rang. More

Halloween & the Revenge of the New Soy Technology

It was, once again, time for the annual Halloween carnival at my kids’ elementary school. And once I again, I was asked to make vegetarian chili.

The author in taco costume with friend Lucy at the Halloween carnival, 2012

The author as Señor Taco with friend Lucy at the Halloween carnival, 2012

As I mentioned in my last New Soy Technology post, my vegetarian chili was gaining a following. My pal Ernie had recently suggested I make it for the Topanga Chili Cook-Off — he was a judge last year. (Actually, now that I recall, I was supposed to be a judge too, but was out of town.)

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