Sunday, May 06, 2012

Dinner Tonight...

Okay, so I'm writing this to avoid mowing the lawn I complained about yesterday. But I'll still wind up doing some of it, just like I did yesterday, old, tired, weak and a pansy crybaby that I sometimes am.
    Lynn came over the other night on the way to his Mom's place in the Hill Country of Texas. I forced him to eat marinated shrimp from the grill, along with marinated asparagus, cauliflower and broccoli, plus good rice. Then I forced him to take a half-chicken, roasted with new potatoes, baby carrots and onions down to his mom for a surprise treat.
   Tonight he's coming back through and his mom, hearing Lynn tell the story of how everybody at the Fort Worth Weekly, the fantastic alternative weekly for which I work, was laughing at me for all the stains on my shirts and me trying to explain to them that if you cook, you get grease stains. They insisted I probably just dropped food onto myself because they don't actually cook--and microwaving Dinty Moore doesn't count--and so have no idea of what it's like to saute swordfish, chicken, salmon, good steak or veggies in olive oil. And I will never remember to change my shirt before cooking.
   In the restaurant you just put on a chef coat with an apron daily and when that gets full of grease and blood and you're asked to come to the dining room to accept accolades you just change your coat and apron and nobody is the wiser. At home it's different.
   So Lynn's mom, who is 89 now, I think, told me today she'd bought me an apron and Lynn is bringing it back on his way into town. Excellent. Great present for me. No more ruined shirts so long as I remember to wear it.
   So tonight, I'm gonna cook, even though Chepa is not talking to me and won't come over and will not bring the kids over or even Madeleina. Which means my daughter-in-law won't come over. Which means I won't see her baby or Chepa's babies or my kids and so it sucks. Why is she mad? Because I didn't pay for her car repair the other day. I took her to the mechanic, but didn't have cash on hand and he only takes cash. So I'm a monster. Oy vey!
    But just in case they come, I cooked some ribs last night. 90% done. Nice and plain, in the oven. And I've got chicken thighs and shrimp and good and hot sausages.
    So I'm gonna marinate the chicken in the sauce--oil, garlic, onion, good white vinegar, teriyaki sauce, cilantro and a handful of Peruvian spices--then roast them mostly through. When I put them in the oven I'll put the shrimp in the same marinade for an hour. When they are ready, I'll put them on skewers and put the veggies that I'll have par-boiled in that juice.
    The sausages will get stuck with a fork--to give the fat a way out of the skin--about 6 times each, then boiled, then baked. When they're nearly done, they, with the chicken, ribs and shrimp will go on the grill. The grill is fired with charcoal and pieces of the trees that lightning has brought down: Oak, cedar, pecan. Nice combo.
    If anyone more than Lynn shows up I might marinate a piece of salmon as well and put that on too.
    And when that's done, I'll put on the par-boiled veggies. They only take two minutes.
   And while all that is going on the rice will be cooking with that good garlic and the spaghetti squash will have been baked and then sauteed with garlic, red pepper, parsley and a bit of butter.
    And for a sixth or seventh veggie (let's count: garlic, onion, spaghetti squash, red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus), I might toss spinach in a pan and when it's been reduced in its own sweat I might add a touch of balsamic vinegar and some blue cheese to simmer through it. Now that is sweet. And that is a lot of veggies, even if you only have two bites of each.
   And if nobody shows up, well, Lynn is gonna have a lot to take home. Cause I don't eat much when I'm alone. Couple of shrimp and the squash will do me.
   But you know that I love cooking. And I do firmly believe that if you keep cooking well, well, the people will eventually come.
   Notwithstanding a wife/ex-wife who currently isn't talking with me.
   I hope all of your plates are as full as mine and that you have plenty to share with whomever passes by your door. And the desire to share that goes along with that.
   Have a great night, everybody.
   Damn. Still light out. Time to mow that lawn. Ahhhhh, nuts.....


Devon said...

you sure know how to make a reader hungry! Wish I was closer to Texas so I could help out with the lawn in exchange for some great food :)

Keep up the great cooking and keep on writing for us !

Kuchinta said...

I wish I could drop by for dinner..but not yet, not until my year in white in over.
Best wishes to you, Madeleina, Marco & Italo.