Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's like a Merchant Ivory English countryside setting but without the parasols and more concrete

I spent the Memorial Day weekend lounging like I was on holiday. Friday afternoon was spent dining out with Lrudlrick. Saturday was spent window shopping and candle making (Lrudlrick actually made the candles. I read the instructions.) Sunday was spent picnicking with my brother and his girlfriend.

On the first full picnic menu of the season:

Buttermilk fried chicken
Tuna pasta salad
Salami, Provolone, Basil roll
Mozzarella and Tomato
Marinated heart of artichokes
Seedless green grapes
Seedless purple grapes
Chocolatey Nutty Brownies
Raspberry Goosed Tea

My husband didn’t believe I made so much but in the end the only thing left was 1 chicken breast, 1 peach and the seedless purple grapes. Ok, there were 2 brownies left which I gave to Muthafunga for Mom and Joe.

Lrudlrick gets upset when I what is supposed to be a casual day in a hot kitchen but to be honest everything, aside from the chicken was completed within an hour. I love picking foods and most picking foods are easy to make. I just putz around the kitchen sampling the Goosed tea until just about tipsy.

Lrudlrick knows I generally take the reins of food preparation for a get together. Still, although it’s a self imposed delegation, he gets quite upset. However, the moment the meal is on the table or on the blanket in this case, he’s all smiles and he graciously accepts the feast at hand.

I had planned to spend Memorial Day in Central Park by the Harlem Meer for some sightseeing and nature intake but the installation of a new air conditioner in the bedroom led to a late morning start and an early afternoon nap. Still the day was not wasted. Lrudlrick and I had an impromptu picnic dinner for two and watched the sunset over the Hudson River.

As you can tell, this was a much smaller affair:

Baked chicken tenders
Blanched string beans
Mozzarella and tomato
Seedless green grapes
Peanut and raisin mix
Chocolate pudding

We left the dogs at home to enjoy the comforts of the air conditioner and so that we wouldn’t spend the time chasing after them or hearing the cry to be released to chase a squirrel. When the weather gets warm, I love to dine al fresco. Living in the city, it’s hard to find a decent apartment with a patio or deck so we opt for packing our meals and dining in the park.

If I could, I’d probably dine every night outdoors, if the weather complied. There is something to be said about the breeze, the sun and the company dining outdoors brings. There is something about dining outdoors that makes everything company. It feels as if I’m communing with nature. I love to lay out a blanket, kick off my shoes and plop down with a newspaper or just good conversation. Occasional acoustic music from a nearby hippie is also welcome.

At the ashram, meals were served outdoors. Many sat together but others found a spot in the grass and enjoyed the silence and tranquility.

What I haven’t been able to do I wish I had a more of a chance to do is to grill outdoors. No Lrudlrick, I'm not sticking my head out onto the fire escape and cooking over a hibachi. There is something about putting a few burgers on a grill, fresh corn and skewered veggies.

I think I may have found my answer to my grilling urges. I found this on the web. Am I deluding myself or will this satisfy my cavewoman need to burn meat over an open fire? Lrudlrick is keen on trying this sucker but I’m afraid Smokey the Bear might come down and scold me. I’m such a goody two shoes. The best review I could find wasn't comprehensive.

Anyone have an experience with this bad boy? Man, I can smell grilled burgers and sausages just thinking about this bad boy.

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