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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Dinner with the Dear Leader

Something happens to me when there are Korean short ribs around. I don’t like the man I become.

The Dear Leader, upset to find no short ribs

Our friend Pirco is from Berlin, his wife Jean is Korean. Every summer they have a party for Pirco’s birthday, and Jean makes short ribs — “kalbi”, in Korean. This year, Pirco was manning the grill. I bet he’s dynamite with a steamed bratwurst. But when it came to the short ribs, he looked in over his head. “Sean, do you think these coals look correct?” he asked. I was giving him tips, and next thing I knew it was I who was manning the grill. Which I could not have planned better — I was now in control of the short ribs. More

Surf n’ Turf

So you’re having a swanky dinner party with the hep couple you just met at the Tiki Lounge. You want to impress, so you’ve got the Sinatra and Stan Getz cued up, you’ve got your Bombay Sapphire gin and martini glasses ready to go. Now, what to serve?

There’s no dish quite as swingin’ as surf n’ turf — it’s been a staple of country club menus, banquets and fine steak-and-chop houses for ages. More