Well, I've made it here to San Francisco! I must be getting cured of my fear of flying, because I experienced no anxiety flying! Now, granted, I did have a little help from Big Pharma (in the form of Xanax, which turns a nervous wreck into a comfy flying pro).
I will write more tomorrow; right now I'm going to hit the sack in an effort to stave off jet lag (I know, you're only supposed to get it when you travel long distances, but for some reason flying to the west coast kills me).
I have added a twitter feed to my page, so that you may follow what I'm doing even if you don't follow me on twitter. I will also be blogging on the go. When moblogging (that's mobile blogging), and with my tweets, please don't be offended at any grammatical errors. I'm not very good at texting on my iPhone with no errors.
I hope you are all having a great time in hot Ohio! Here is SF it is a solid 55-60 at all times, 24 hours a day. It's kind of funny because people are bundled up here the way we would be in December. I wore a sleeveless shirt and basked in the cool air.
Things have been crazy in the Widow household lately - good crazy, but still crazy. I will be back with more frequency in about a week.
Husband is getting down to the wire studying for his Top|Somm competition, which takes place Sunday in San Francisco.
We leave (very, very early) on Friday morning, and are staying at the Hotel Monaco, which looks awesome. Of course, the first thing I did was make reservations for Zuni Cafe (you can read about my previous dinners at Zuni here, in 2005, and here, in 2007) on Friday night.
The rest of the time, I plan to buy lots of fun Japanese products. And fret.
Please tune in to WOSU 820 am tomorrow morning at 11am when we talk about Breakfast in our fair city with documentarian Rick Seback, Breakfast with Nick Blogger Nick Dekker, Best Breakfast & Sandwiches owner Tom Spangler, and Chef Kevin Caskey from Skillet!
It's another hot summer, and there's nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon than lay in the shade at Goodale Park listening to some awesome tunes and enjoying some delightful grub.
If you haven't been to a concert at the Goodale Park Music Series, then you are missing out. I went to the first show of the season last Sunday and thought to myself "why don't I do this every Sunday?" Even though it was hot, there is tons of shade and a nice breeze was blowing. It was great.
So, what's this potluck thing? Well, everyone can participate. Bring a dish to serve 16 people - you don't have to make it, it doesn't have to be fancy. Remember church potlucks as a kid? My favorite was always the bucket of chicken.
My theme is going to be Southern Cuisine; I'm not quite sure what that means yet....but there will definitely be cornbread.
The band will be the Moocussers, and word on the street has it some special guests will also be showing up!
I hope to see you there!!!
Here's a slideshow from the Lonely Bones show last Sunday...(which features mostly dogs because I suck at taking pictures of crowds of people)
I've been getting lots of requests for a Big Green Egg update! We are still adjusting to it - it's pretty amazing how it holds heat, and how easy the heat is to control. It's so efficient, in fact, that you sometimes forget how efficient it is, and end up overcooking things. Not us, of course - we would never overcook anything. ever. ahem...
So far, I think the biggest lesson we've learned is the dryness of the charcoal makes a huge difference in the outcome of the product. We've been using lump hardwood only, and even if the charcoal looks and feels completely dry and light, if it has rained recently, the charcoal will produce a ton of smoke. If the charcoal is brand new, and just came home from inside the grocery store, the charcoals will light with ease and there will be almost no smoke. So this pretty much means we will have more smoky dinners than we will have non-smoky ones.
All of the meat products which have come off the grill have had great flavor, even if they've been overcooked and are a little dry. I haven't had a ton of luck yet with vegetables; they've end up too smoky.
Today we had our first true success, I think. I suppose I should say Husband had his first success, because I did nothing but ate the delicious results.
The amazing thing about the BGE is the vent system which allows really great control over the heat. There is a vent under the fire and the chimney top of the egg has a daisy wheel vent; vent the top just a sliver, and you can hold the temperature at 225 for hours and hours - I think we've had it going 8 hours at least on just one small pile of charcoal.
The use of charcoal has been another learning curve. With any previous grill, you just dumped the charcoal in and that was that. The egg actually doesn't want a ton of charcoal. Only a single layer is necessary, and not even a solid layer at that. There has to be a good amount of air flow all around the charcoal, especially moving vertically.
So far, we have not tried baking anything - we really need to get the heat diffusing insert. I cannot wait to try pizza, and a reader asked me the other day if I had tried pies yet - a friend of hers bakes really great pies in her BGE, apparently! Imagine how great a nice apple pie would taste with just a touch of smoky flavor.
Our best successes with the BGE have been fatty pork products (not too surprisingly), such as pork shoulder. The "bark" on the outside of the shoulder when it comes in from the egg is amazing, and the meat inside is always delicious, even, as I've said, if overcooked.
So, what's next? Why, my very own bacon, of course!!
This post has been brought to by the Hamilton Parker Company, they sell Big Green Eggs!!
I was waiting on a large party, who came in to meet for their monthly gourmet club. As is our custom, I added an automatic gratuity.
A gentleman came up to my manager a while after paying his check. He explained that he hadn't realized at first that the gratuity had been included, and had filled in an additional tip when he signed his credit card slip. He wanted to be sure the extra tip wasn't added. But he would take the refund in cash, if possible.
"Oh of course," said my manager. "We'll take care of it, no problem." Knowing the table had divided the payment, and that each person had paid about $80, my manager said "what was it? $16? $17?" (knowing what a fabulous server I am).
"Um," said the man. "No, it was $9."
"Oh," said my manager. "Was everything okay? Was your server okay? Was there something wrong with your service?"
"Hey now," said the man, not unkindly. "Don't go putting words in my mouth. I didn't say anything about the service! Lisa was great!"
"I'm just cheap!" said the man.
My manager cocked his head at the man, plucked a ten dollar bill from the cash register, and said "Okay then. Keep the change."