Sunday dinner. Could’ve done without out-of-season okra.

Y’all. Go to Sam’s, right now, and get you some Weber Honey Garlic Rub.

You don’t have a Sam’s card? Go get one, you cheapskate. You’ll save the $50 a year on toilet paper, laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. Not to mention whatever other goodies you get in the habit of buying.

I was in Sam’s the other day, picking up some of the basics I get at Sam’s, and sampling the samples as I shopped. If you go to Sams about 11 a.m. on a Friday, you can basically eat lunch off the samples, if you’re not plumb ravenous. And sometimes, you try something you just have to buy, which, of course, is their point.

And they had chunks of chicken breast, sprinkled down with Weber’s Honey Garlic Rub, and sauteed on their little hot plate. And they were pretty decent, albeit REAL garlicky, and I thought to myself, “Self? We could make use of that, couldn’t we?” and Self agreed that we could, albeit we’d need to do something to tone down the garlic just a bit, else our breath would become a corporeal object.

So we bought it.

And promptly forgot about it.

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Burger, sans bun, with holiday trimmings.

Burger, sans bun, with holiday trimmings.

Because sometimes, you just want burgers.

We did our family Memorial Day cookout on Saturday, to free up the kids for other plans today and tomorrow. I asked what they wanted, and SIL2 said,”Burgers.”

OK. Burgers it is. But since it’s a holiday, we’ve got to get a little fancier than that. We have to at least have trimmings. So we also had potato salad, jail slaw, baked beans and deviled eggs. Because I had a surfeit of eggs and felt like it.

I can, if I do say so myself, cook a fine burger. This was not one of my better efforts. I thought it was a little on the dry side. Probably should have added a little fat to it; my pasture-raised ground beef is pretty lean. But I sure wasn’t going to throw it out.

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Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

Sometimes, you just need to get back to the basics.

As in, a Sunday dinner of roast chicken, baked beans, green peas and corn casserole. Made each of ’em a gazillion times. Always good.

This was one of my organic, farm-raised chickens (with apologies to my friend Don, who worked for the Poultry Federation and assures me factory-farmed chickens are just as healthy and just as good. Don, they may be just as healthy. They ain’t just as good.). The last several such chickens I’ve cooked, I’ve either cut them up or just spatchcocked them so they’d cook quicker.

But I was tired. We’d come in from Nashvegas, it had been a busy weekend, and I’d forgotten until I was about to go to bed that I’d laid a chicken out to thaw with the intention of cutting it up and putting it in a marinade overnight. Not happening at that point. I stuck it in the fridge still in its little freezer packaging.

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Blogger’s note: this is the last of the “lost days” posts. It dates from sometime in early October, after I had bought sorghum at the Farmers Market. Hopefully, camera, laptop and WordPress will all align and I can detail my upcoming visit to the Big Easy for some spectacular food.

There are these things that take you back to childhood.

I grew up in Benton County, Tennessee. Which is not close to much of nothing, but is mostly north of I-40 right before you cross the Tennessee River headed east. Which is to say it’s one of those undecided countines, torn betwixt the hills and the delta,, and not real sure what it wants to be when it grows up.

When I was a kid, it grew cotton. I used to get out of school every year in late September, early October for cotton-picking. And one year I actually picked cotton. Picked all day, bored to tears, fingers burning, picked 35 pounds, made $1.65, determined that manual labor was not my forte, and gave that stuff up. Determined right then I’d make my living with my brain, not my brawn.

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Actually, I did cook last night, but as it was nothing out-of-the-ordinary, I didn’t photograph it. Good, though — PJF pork chops (God, I love those people); potato salad (had leftovers for breakfast, because, you know, potato salad); and baked beans.

Baked beans are always kinda a tossup for me. Some times they’re good; some times they ain’t. These were.

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Sunday. Lake. Ribs.

June 28, 2009

Well, so far this morning I’ve made banana bread (which is so moist it cooked up more like banana custard, but that’s OK), and biscuits to house the leftover ham as well as four patties of country sausage; what we didn’t snarf down for breakfast is now nicely wrapped and in the freezer for breakfasts later this week. Need to do some baked beans and coleslaw, and get the potatos ready to roast. I also have cantaloupe, almost too far gone, cut up and in the fridge. I have strawberries that need to be capped and put in sugar. I have watermelon we can slice. I’ve got tomatos. DTHN is going to cook ribs. I’m about to make myself a big insulated mug of fruit tea, and head down to the lake. ¬†Check back in later. Read the rest of this entry »

Picnic fare

June 12, 2009

Well, I did something I don’t generally do. I took a good recipe, an old standby recipe, and I tinkered with it.

But y’know what? It’s pretty good.

Decided I was going to make potato salad to go with the brisket (which Kate took with her) and the slaw tomorrow. Was a little short of potatos (cooking for 11) so I threw a couple of sweet potatos in the pot to boil.

Forgot that sweet potatos just keep getting softer the longer you boil ’em. And they boil more quickly than russets do. So the sweet potatos were mushy.

H’mmm. OK. Well, the sweet potatos should just cream up in the sauce. Which will make the sauce sweeter. So how ’bout if I go up on the mustard….and just for good measure, add an almost-caramelized red onion to the mix? And, oh by the way, how ’bout if I throw in three or four cloves of minced garlic at the last minute when the onions are almot ready to come off?

So I did that. Made up my usual mayo-mustard-ketchup-paprika-seasoned salt-sweet pickle relish dressing. Went up on the mustard. Added the onions/garlic. Stirred everything up. Sweet potatos creamed up nicely. Tasted it. Too sweet. Added more mustard and a shot of wine vinegar. Perfecto! Even Child C, who looked at it suspiciously because it looked different from my usual, tasted and allowed it was good.
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