Monday, February 19, 2007

One time I wouldn't want to be on the Isle...

Is when the Isle of Wight Festival is in full swing. Although some of the line-up sounds pretty good, I can't imagine the island being taken over by festival goers...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cold Weather = Hard Grilling

I pretty much grill 24/7/365...except when the temperature dips below 10 degrees. Snow...yes, hard rain...yes, lightning...yes, but it was really scary. It is not so much the run to the grills, it is usually just the time it takes to maintain any decent temperature. With the old Broilmaster gas grill (whose old tired legacy of good grilling is worth another post) I get adequate heat in this weather but it is never really hot enough and it does not satisfy me. With the Weber Kettles, I can only cook direct because I have an incredibly hard time maintaining a good indirect temp for any period of time. I wonder how those new 07 Weber natural gas models would fare?

You can always tell a serious griller because besides the driveway, you also shovel a path to your grills!

Anyways, since grilling must go on, I have temporarily shifted to an inside operation. I typically try to avoid pan frying beef. It just is not the same as the grill. It also reminds of the dribble that chain restaurants try to serve as "grilled steak". The only upside to pan frying is that you have a nice building block for pan sauces. And in the pan, the sauce is what makes the meal.


Pictured above is the Lang His/Her Special. The Rib-Eye for the man and the "petite" filet for the lady. Now you might ask, why in the world would you place both of those in the pan at the same time? Well, since Zoe is English I have to literally kill her cooked beef. That's right....both of those pieces cook for the same time...medium rare for me...door stop for her.

I have had great success with Steak au Poivre. There is nothing like igniting brandy to create a four foot flame in the kitchen! This last weekend, we made Rib-Eyes with Marchand de Vin Sauce (Wine Merchant's Sauce) which was more like a butter. Although both were quite good, there is quite a difference between a pan sear and the sear you get on a grate over an open flame.

As I looked out onto the snow covered deck and then glanced at a picture taken of the backyard last June, I realized how much I long for warm weather and good grilling!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Tech in the Air

This is why I love Virgin Airlines...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Done...sorta

Well, the tile is down and my Rascal is due in tomorrow. None to soon, as now that I have blown my weekend, I have to go to work in order to recover...and that won't happen. Between the banging of the hammer on Saturday and the tub saw today, Zoe informed me that I have been talking incredible loud all evening. Besides being physically incapacitated, I am also now deaf.

A few things I learned today included: 1. Don't touch metal outside surfaces with wet hands when it is 4 degrees Fahrenheit, 2. Don't pick the coldest day of the year when the only way to go from one side of the house to the other includes a detour outside. Nice planning.

If all goes well, I will grout tomorrow and then restore the home on Tuesday. I can't wait...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Home Improvements

What do you do with a perfectly good ceramic tile floor? You tear it up and put another one in! That's what you do!


Thanks to that wild idea, I am now deaf, crippled and contemplating buying a Rascal. For our latest project, we choose one of the least used rooms in the house...the kitchen. And for those that truly know my love for food, they know that last sentence was an absolute lie. In fact as a side note, we actually had great culinary plans for the weekend. Unfortunately our tile, which was allegedly two weeks out, showed up Friday night. Yea us!


After four hours of hammering and hitting, we finally cleared the floor. It looks as the Durock I placed down almost 10 years ago (a fact I still can't believe) held up well. Instead of the Twelves, we are going to put down Eighteens, so we are excited about the new look. If all goes according to plan, I will cut and lay tomorrow, grout the first part of next week and then seek hospitalization by the following Friday. Until we are done, I get to enjoy the surreal act of going into the dining room to find the refrigerator.

Oh yeah, the second best part of the day? Moving the refrigerator with the dolly and hearing a rolling noise coming from the top side...a noise, which prior to impact, sounded a lot like a heavy metal bracket and several screws I had forgotten about. Well not to worry, the screws landed safely inside my pullover...which was a place Zoe actually suggested I look...and the bracket, well that's what bald heads are for.