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Results (many) and thanks to Sleevendog and CarolB

7 months ago
last modified: 7 months ago

Taking the whole barbeque on the road is more involved than it looked. I didn't have to take mitts or tongs (there were old, adequate ones there), but had to tote the charcoal, paper, lighter, etc., and had to remember them all. I kept adding things to boxes kept by the door and taking over ahead of time. I followed Sleevendog's advice not to get the tower version that turned out not to be enameled, and got the compact table top one she thought looked okay instead. One of the reviews called it cheap junk, but it's fine. I didn't expect more for the price! The vent covers are stamped and not sanded. Whoopdedoo. They work and aren't sharp. Close them and the fire goes out fast. It worked even though I forgot to have Manhands tighten the bottom vent. There's a basket made out of grill wire in the bottom, which makes lifting the charcoal out easy leaving the ash. The handle of the top is plastic and has legs, but it did get too hot to handle without a mitt when I had it on while the corn was cooking in the bottom.

So, the cabbage situation was resolved when a nice green cabbage came in my farm box. I put off making coleslaw until then. I did a couple of small tweaks but followed Mother's recipe, and it had that nostalgic taste of the past. Not wet, not too vinegary, but sharp and tasty and definitely coleslaw, rather than some other cabbage salad. Next up is another try at the Asian-ish one with the peanuts. :) The bean salad was just some dry beans cooked al dente (pinto, black, canary, garbanzo and baby limas) plus green beans and the last of the fresh favas, dressed in a quickie kind of Italian plus fines herbs with TJ's whole grain Dijon mustard mixed in. I was going to do an interesting guacamole because I have tomatillos and jalapeños, but decided that people probably wanted "my" guacamole so I made it the usual way. The avocados were perfect! A shame to squish :)

I tried a couple of new products: Ferndale Market Uncured (with celery) Turkey Weiners are real hotdogs made from turkey with lamb casing. They're really good with the snap and texture of a good weenie--and hotdog flavor. They're skinny, though, and would be a better bite if they were thicker. Really good, however. And I didn't get the headache (which is probably a salt thing from the standard cure) that I get from regular hotdogs. And Wildbrine Korean Style Kimchi, which I bought on spec. It looks and tastes very different from which I'm used to in Kimchi. When I got it, and was putting it in the fridge, I opened it for a taste and my first thought was that it would be excellent on hotdogs! And it was. I'm usually ketchup, mustard and onions (or scallions). This kimchi is my new favorite hotdog topping, however. :)

Dessert was apricots, brownies and Thrifty ice cream (widely considered second best SoCal ice cream after Baskin Robbins. It's lighter that other ice creams--less sugar and fat, but still creamy. The brownies started with Carolb's recipe, but then I messed with it. Comparing the ingredients to the last brownies I made, I knew they'd be too sweet for me (and the one who bakes 'em gets to choose. :) ) The ice cream was brought by someone else, but good choice! It was vanilla with shaved chocolate, which went great with the brownies). Anyway, I reduced the 1.125 cups to around 0.625 cup, maybe a small bit more. Then, to replace a little of the bulk, and make them a little more solid, I used a rounded (rather than level) half cup scoop of the flour. Used a full measure of Valrhona cocoa powder for ultimate chocolatyness. I thought pecans would be good for the optional nuts on top, but for sharing with those who can't or won't eat nuts, I went with a half pecan baked centered in each portion. Easy to remove. I got to eat two extras. :) The company all liked the brownies. I thought they were a touch dry, either from overbaking (they were uncooked at 20 minutes, so I gave them the full 30, which might have been too much), or the extra flour with less "liquid" from the sugar, might have been the culprit. By "a little dry" I mean a little step on the road to cakey, but still very much brownies.

The final dishes got done this morning. It was a lot of fun. I learned a bunch of stuff, including if the (lump) charcoal looks like it's gone out when dumped out of the charcoal chimney (which happened the first try--it's a new chimney and acts differently from the old, dead one) but you're not sure, throw a few wood chops on top and they'll flame up if the charcoal is still lit. :)

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