You can order Hattie B’s hot chicken online. How, as a resident of the block, did I not know this?
My Inner Grandma
I got up early and baked a blackberry galette, made pancakes, started lunch’s orzo salad, and started filling the dishwasher. Cooking is a favorite weekend activity for me. Alone time with food and my favorite Avett Brothers’ songs.
I love grilled chicken. I love hot wings. I loved this with grilled ears of corn & a home brew from a coworker outside, under patio lights.
We spend a lot of time outside. Beth jokes that we keep spreading because it’s common to find our lawn chairs in the driveway as i’m grilling or we want to catch more of the breeze. Our garage, driveway, & patio are treated s three separate rooms. I’m happy we are utilizing our space but it makes me yearn for a backyard again.
Today was a wonderful start to a long weekend at home. Beth’s parents came down with a cooler of rhubarb for me by way of Beth’s aunt’s friends. The rhubarb black market is thriving in Illinois. I had a strawberries from the morning’s farmer’s market run and a pie crust ready when they arrived. It was just as good as last weekend’s strawberry rhubarb pie which means it is officially my favorite pie. I even made a little galette with the extra filling and crust.
Today was our first CSA share pickup which contained lettuce, red kale, collard greens, swiss chard, onions, strawberries, spinach, salsa, & broccoli. I broke it all down after lunch and tried to fend off thoughts of this being a mistake. I’m very excited to push our diet & cooking in this direction but I do anticipate some bumps as we learn how to best use and extend the life of the food. I want to share more about it later this week.
We hung around our house all day long, mostly on the patio and driveway eating pie & popsicles. The weather was in the mid 80’s with a slight breeze. I was relaxed in Beth’s new reclining patio chair after Paul & Mary Ann left while Nolan quietly played in his sandbox and told Beth we were going to buy another chair tonight. And we did. I’m anticipating more patio time this weekend. The pool is open so we’ll surely find ourselves there too.
There are no other major plans and I’m liking that.
new refurbished Baratza Encore arrived and I can no longer claim I haven’t turned into a “coffee person”. I was giddy to let it chew up 140 grams of beans for a batch of iced coffee concentrate. I used my drill and my little Hario mini grinder over a handful of batches the last time.
I started my day with a pie breakfast and ended it with a pie dinner.
I learned this weekend that rhubarb isn’t easy to grow in the south. I may have to plant some back home home so I can have it fresh this time of year to make strawberry rhubarb pie.
(I may like to better than apple.)
“Go to the goddamn grocery and get steak. Yes, the grocery. A little ammonia is not going to kill you, you pussy. You want to be all fancy and grass-fed and environmentally conscious, go ahead, I don’t give a shit, just get a fucking steak. Ribeye is good. And, yes, bone-in. Schmuck. Take the steak home. Get a bigass frying pan and put the shit on the stove, cranking the heat up as far as that fucker will go. Take a shitload of salt—rocksalt, you dumb motherfucker, none of that fine-grained crap here—and toss it around the bottom of the pan. When the pan is hot as all fuck—it should scorch the shit out of your finger if you’re stupid enough to touch it—put the fucking steak on there. You can crack some pepper on the top of the steak as the bottom is searing, but don’t even talk to me about garlic or onion powder or COMPOUND FUCKING BUTTER, asshole. This is steak, all you fucking need is salt and pepper. After a bit (3 minutes for pink, 5 for cooked good), flip that shit over and do the same fucking thing you just did with the other side, i.e. sit on your ass and wait for your motherfucking steak to be ready, you useless assbag. When you’re done, sling that shit on a plate. Beringer’s 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Private Reserve makes an absolutely delightful accompaniment, particularly if you’ve taken care to let it breathe a bit before quaffing. Also, make some fucking potatoes, because that’s what you eat with a fucking steak. God, sometimes I just want to smack the shit out of you.”
Years ago I remember reading about Alton Brown’s attempted Good Eats finale, where he wanted to cook a whole hog, his associated talk about whole hog cookery, and his homemade whole hog apparatus. Then on his recent episode of his podcast, The Alton Browncast, he discussed his homemade smoker with John Hodgman. (Alton & John discussing their road trip across Alabama & Mississippi was a delight!)
After I moved to Tennessee and got exposed to more BBQ I became more confused about why my home home, an area with plenty of livestock and a large appetite for meat, doesn’t have any BBQ joints. It doesn’t exist and it isn’t part of the culture. Clearly it isn’t about availability of animals.
I started poking around online tonight looking for more details about Alton’s rig and options for creating my own. Then I came across the following unique idea amongst the many ways to use cinder blocks.
I don’t care what method I use; I want to cook a whole hog.
You know the type. Has Heat or Fergus Henderson’s Complete Nose to Tail on his bookshelf. Can sustain a remarkably long conversation about knives. Is super into his grill. Likes pour-over coffee. Is, at this moment, really excited about ramps. I could go on, but I won’t, because I am sure you know one.
Early in this article I thought this article was going to be about me. I have grown very fond of coffee this year and would love to have more ways to make it. I upgraded my grill last weekend and made some delicious ribs. Beth & I went to our favorite restaurant two weeks ago where I had some salmon, morels, & fiddleheads. But I have never crossed into molecular gastronomy & sous vide… yet. I would much rather conquer basics like making pancakes & grilled chicken that are better than what I typically get outside of my home.
We joined the Delvin Farms CSA this week. We pay upfront for 12, 1/2 bushel boxes we pick up at the Frankin Farmer’s market every-other week. Beth & I have talked about joining for years but usually during the middle of summer when all the spots are filled.
I have also and the forethought to seek farms where I can pick my own strawberries in a month. Valley Home Farm in Wartrace and Circle S Farms in Lebanon. There are plenty of other lists but these two had up-to-date information.
This is the year I make my own jam.
Last week(end) I made pizza, loaf of bread, apple fritters, apple pie, and a grilled chicken.
I mentioned the apple fritters previously and I’m sorry to report that they do not come close to my beloved IGA apple fritters. I believe IGA use a yeast dough and the Cook’s Country recipe was more like a funnel cake. I have another recipe in the hopper that looks closer to what I crave. I will probably sit on it for a while because frying more than a couple batches in a dutch oven is annoying.