Tags: bbq

hat

If you invite people over and nobody comes, is it still a party?

fanlain and I almost had to answer that philosophical question last night; we were starting to lose hope when it turned past 6 p.m. and no guests had arrived. But finally the two people who RSVP'ed held true to their word and arrived bearing ice cream and wine. We had a nice evening, mostly focused around Soba in both conversation and activities. They really liked the chicken (between brining and using the rotisserie, it ended up being super-moist!) and were surprised to learn that I, and not fanlain, had made it.

I guess the other side effect of holding a party, whether anyone comes or not, is that we got to clean the house. Our kitchen is finally uncluttered (though some of the clutter moved to the office) and the floors are cleaner than they have been in months. The hard part about cleaning our house is that Soba relentlessly tries to attack the mop, broom, or vacuum, and will throw a huge tantrum if we lock her in her crate or outside while we clean. We're seriously considering throwing technology at the problem and getting the Scooba, not as much to save us the work (though that's certainly a welcome bonus), but to be able to run it while we take Soba to the dog park or the farmer's market.

I've been really enjoying how trips to the farmer's market have become our Saturday morning routine. Soba gets to enjoy a nice long walk and lots of attention, and we get to enjoy some tasty treats from Mirabelle's and some fresh stuff from the market. Our trip Saturday was prolonged by delayed baguettes: apparently, Mirabelle's had a power outage in the morning and were behind schedule. They kept promising that the baguettes would come first at 11, then at 11:30, and they finally put two baguettes (still hot!) into my hands just before noon. But we got sit outside, have a leisurly lunch, and talk with an ECE prof and his family, and even say hello to our dean (who didn't remember who I was). I guess that's one of the advantages of living in a small town.

hat

BBQ

When we got back from Texas in late March, the weather was so lovely that we decided that we should get a BBQ and start grilling in our backyard. The project quickly acquired scope creep, as I started shopping around more grills, searched all over town for the elusive Weber model that seemed likely, and finally decided we should go for natural gas. This, of course, required running a gas line to the outside, which precipitated a string of calling contractors and never getting called back. Well, Thursday I finally got a hold of someone who was actually willing to talk to me and come and install the line, and Sunday we dropped by the new ACE and they just happened to have exactly the model we were looking for.

So I spent last night putting together the grill, and today the gas guy came and drilled lots of holes and put a fitting outside. Finally, everything was set... just in time for the first rain of the month. I didn't give up hope, and there was a clearing just as I was heading home, so I decided to be ambitious and picked up a couple of grass-fed steaks. It started pouring as I got home and I tried to convince fanlain that it was still worthwhile to grill, but I got soaked just taking Soba for a quick potty run. She thought I looked funny with my hooded raincoat, looking like a griller from South Park.

Fortunately, the radar showed a promising lack of clouds to the west of us, so I stalled for another 30 minutes and the rain passed. (That's one thing I like about midwest weather: don't feel like getting wet? just wait 20 minutes.) I fired up the grill and cooked the steaks in record time; actually, I ended up overcooking them, but the middle was quite tasty. I also had some asparagus fresh from the farmer's market with my dinner, fried with olive oil and garlic. A yummy way to finish off the day. And yet another small step in the transition to suburbia...