A Grilling Weekend

Since the weather has warmed up a bit we decided it would be ok to pull out the grill and cook.  First we had to drag the grill out of the garage, hose it off, and then check the propane tank.  Of course the tank was empty so  one of us (not me!), ran out to get a new tank and then we were good to go.

I had brought up a couple of steaks to grill but also had a hankering for sweet potatoes. Since I knew sweet potatoes were going to take way too long to cook on the grill, I had to cheat a bit and pop them in the toaster oven. Since using the toaster oven any time in the house causes all the lights to flash on and off (yes, we still haven’t quite finished updating all the outlets), it’s kind of annoying.

After tolerating about 45 minutes of blinking lights, I’d had enough and decided to finish them on the grill as the steaks were cooking. We had a simple green salad, a bottle of red wine and that was dinner.

Dinner the next night I thought would be easier.  I had brought up some frozen shrimp and was thinking of making a shrimp in a zesty green sauce.  I thought I’d grill the shrimp first, then finish them in a wok with some parsley pesto (made by hand with a mortar and pestle).

The Red House "Food Processor"

Problem was I forgot to bring up some garlic but got the idea that perhaps I could dig up one of the many garlic bulbs growing in the garden. That didn’t work too well, because the garlic when I finally freed it from the soil, looked more like a large green onion (albeit tinged purple) than anything else, but I cut it up anyway and if nothing else it smelled like garlic!

Now, I think I got the original hankering for owning a mortar and pestle because I saw Jamie Oliver on TV once crush some herbs with some olive oil, a bit of salt and pepper, and voila, he had instant pesto.  Not I.  I kept crushing the parsley but it just kind of sat there and got well, mushy.

Not So Pretty Parsley Pesto

I put it aside and threw the shrimp on the grill.  In the meantime, I cheated this weekend and brought up some burrata and sliced prosciutto from the Italian deli.


I made a quick tomato salad with some red onions and by the time everything was cut up, the shrimp were done.

Tomato Side Dish

Shrimp on the "Barbie"

The shrimp were pretty decent even with the ersatz parsley pesto. Before we left the next day though, I decided I would grill some chicken along with a couple of potatoes so that when we got back  to Long Island we’d have dinner!

Great Grilled Chicken, Potatoes, Too

Now Lynn has some fond memories of his Mom cooking up some extra food (chicken in particular) when they went on picnics so that once they got home, she didn’t have to worry about “what was for dinner.”  It made perfect sense for me, too.

Ironically, we hit absolutely no traffic on the ride home, which meant the chicken I had double-wrapped in tinfoil was still warm even after a four hour ride! And pretty darn good.

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