Been busy. Good busy. I start teaching again after the 4th of July holiday, so I’m reveling in beautiful weather and free time: farmers’ market, kayaking, graduation party, patio sitting…went to the library and checked out a couple of my favorite old James Herriot books. Miss Chef and I are looking forward to a whole week off together, starting this Sunday. No Big Trip this time, just an overnight to Asheville (to Curate, to be specific), and a Grill-Warming Party. The rest is unscheduled project and fun time.
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here—highs in the 70s and 80s, evening lows in the 60s. Just like the summers I basked in during my childhood up north. Today, the last day of spring, we hit 90 again, and from what the forecasters say we’re only going up from here. Summer is here to stay.
So what’s with this?
What is that, goat droppings in a snowy forest clearing? Reindeer gifts in the shrubbery? No, actually it’s peppercorns, rosemary and bay leaves atop both sugar and salt. In other words, a brine.
For a chicken. Just add water! (and a chicken)
I mixed this up in preparation for Part II of the Great Grill Induction Ceremony: Smoking.
That’s actually a halfway through picture…somehow we tore into the finished bird before either of us thought to stop and take a photo. When one of us did think of it, we both shrugged and kept eating. It was that good. (What’s even better about this bird is that we left it smoking and went out for beers with some friends. When we came home it was the perfect temperature for serving.)
Naturally, we are planning to smoke more for our Grill Warming Party. We’re hoping for 15 to 20 guests, mostly chef-types. Should be interesting.
Now, in the absence of any sustained effort on my part, how about some random pictures?
Remember my imminent floral explosion from the beginning of the month?
Meet Wort. This is Miss Chef’s newest BFF. Wort is in the process of fermenting right now, in order to grow up and change his name to Beer. He’ll spend two weeks in here letting his yeast play, then he’ll get a taste of sugar before moving into bottles for another week. Then we’ll get to know him better.
Miss Chef had Monday off from both jobs, and was very, very excited about using it to brew up this wort. When I came home from work, she’d turned on the grill for burgers, but there was nothing on it. I tried to be patient—I changed, went out to pull carrots from the garden, started a salad. After two or three “I’m hungry" / “Ok, I’ll put the burgers on” exchanges, Miss Chef was still gazing fondly into the steaming pot as she stirred her fragrant concoction. I finally said, “You just can’t tear yourself away, can you?”
“No,” she said, “I really can’t.”
We did eventually eat. The burgers were delicious. I’ll have to let you know later about Beer.