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What's for dinner #145 [old]

Yesterday, in honor of the fabulous weather in our area, my husband lit the smoker, and sent out an APB to friends and neighbors to bring over anything they wanted smoked. In all, he did 3 whole briskets, 2 pork butts, a side of salmon, 20 racks of ribs. We had a lot of satisfied "customers," and enough BBQ for dinner for 8 last night and to provide BBQ for my son's crew team after their season-ending races on Thursday.

What's cooking (or smoking!) in your neck of the woods?

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  1. There's more smoking in my hood than I'd like to admit :-)

    It truly is astonishing how many Germans still smoke cigarettes (and other, ahem, smokeables).

    Much as I'd love to go out for dinner every day, after last week's shenanigans, we're gonna have a try at a budget week....hahahahaha. We'll see how long *that's* gonna last.

    Bought a couple of pork neck steaks (happy pigs at that! yay) which are currently marinating and will be served with a big Greek salad. I am craving something veggie and/or green, as the weekend seemed to pretty much consist of bratwurst, beer, and fried chicken. Poor, poor little ol' me :-)

    7 Replies
      1. re: linguafood

        Ohhhh! LF.....in China the smoking is worse....but how will PhilipMorris make any money?

        Glad to hear you are really enjoying....

        Sunday....Cleaned out and fired up the bebeque after a day in the garden...did a huge sirloin and grilled veggies...

        Raining her and a bit cool, no just plain nasty outside....so to the fridge and out with the veggie soup...probably some hard cheese and french baguette before...( and some Pinot)...

        1. re: linguafood

          Good luck at budget week. :-) And I take it smoking is still allowed in restaurants? Don't know which European countries have banned that yet (although I suspect the uproar would be great).

          1. re: LindaWhit

            No, thankfully not in restaurants, and it's also banned in many bars. But it's still pretty much everywhere. Nothing like getting a full nose of cigarette smoke walking down the street in the AM. Ick.

            Says the gal who has no intellectual disconnect issues when smoking a cigarette late at night at one of them there smoking bars :-D

            1. re: linguafood

              LOL! Well, when you're in a place where everyone else smoking, the intellect goes right out the windows 'cause you're all in the same smoky boat. :-)

              I am glad to hear that more European countries have banned smoking in restaurants. Even when I was a smoker, THAT I disliked, and rarely did it (unless I was eating at the bar).

          2. re: linguafood

            Sounds like a great first week.... wow, feel so bad for you that you had to overload on brats, beer and fried chicken. Sounds awful;)

            1. re: linguafood

              When I was in Japan, I was amazed by all the smoking I saw. Worse than Europe, I think.

            2. I am soooo jealous. It's against the law in our town to cook on a patio and that's all we have.

              14 Replies
              1. re: Berheenia

                B,
                Are you sure you live in USA?....or do you have fire restrictions and have to use a common area?

                1. re: PHREDDY

                  I meant to say balcony- we live on the second floor. A senior moment I guess.

                  1. re: Berheenia

                    Yeah, I found out AFTER I moved into my townhouse that gas grills weren't allowed *at all* - not even on the driveway. And no electric or charcoal grills on the decks - just down in the driveway 6' from the garage door.

                    Oh well. I guess that's why I spent the moolah on a good Calphalon nonstick grill pan.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      that sucks.....you must then really cherish the opportunity to gather and participate in Barbecued foods/fests....Do you have gas cooking in your home? Could you install a counter top indoor grill in the kitchen?

                      1. re: PHREDDY

                        No, the stovetop is electric coil (which I detest). It's a galley kitchen, so no room for a counter top indoor grill. I'll have to check the by-laws of the association, but I think I saw other units in the complex that have gas. Thing is, I'm not sure I'd want to pay to bring it in to my unit. When I replace the electric coil stove, I'll probably go with an instant-on flattop. My sister has one and I love how you can control the heat much more quickly than the electric coils.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I am only suggesting gas because I am a Plumber...but nonetheless an instant on flattop is great...I have seen many kitchens with them. The perfect world would be that we all had a built in grill, smoker, double oven, 8 burner grill, etc, etc, ...I perfer an electric, combination convection oven... but of course I would have to give up my bedroom for that kind of kitchen....I don't think i want to sleep under or on the kitchen counter.

                          1. re: PHREDDY

                            First of all, B and LW, I'm sooooo sorry you can't BBQ. That in and of itself is horrid and should be ruled a crime. I heard a lot of places at least accepted electric ones in condos and townhouses. What a shame. Time for a protest in my estimation. Phreddy - I hear you on the kitchen. I'd redo my kitchen in a hot minute if I had the $$$.

                            1. re: boyzoma

                              i will help anyone who needs a kitchen.....just give me a heads up....for barbecue...why shouldn't all of us have access to BARBECUE?

                              1. re: PHREDDY

                                Are you offering to redo my kitchen PHREDDY? If so, I'd take you up on it! lol

                                1. re: boyzoma

                                  Yes I would be more than happy to help you....If you live in NYC...no problem, otherwise you know, us plumbers charge for the travel time.....And I would have to go home everynight to sleep in my own bed...

                              2. re: boyzoma

                                Electric ones are allowed, boyzoma - just not on my deck (which is at the same level as my living room and kitchen). It has to be in the driveway - down the stairs, through the garage. I could do it - it would just need to be constantly monitored vs. being upstairs where I could walk from the kitchen to the deck. Oh well.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  What a shame. I'm feeling for you LW. Well, then, garage door open, cooler with beer (or wine), a lounge chair and a pair of tongs should be in your future. LOL. I would come join you if I could.

                          2. re: PHREDDY

                            No gas in our unit either. At our former place we were in the back of the building in a dead end neighborhood and we just cheated- everyone did, but now we are on a busy street in the front of the building with high visibility and a condo assoc that means business. We get 2 weeks with a charcoal Weber every July but usually keep it simple - burgers, chicken and steaks. I had to go for looks with this condo - next move is going to be in a small house with a private yard.

                            1. re: Berheenia

                              That is really sucks...our grill is one of main appliances in the summer...

                  2. Garlic shrimp and risotto tonight. My husband is sick so he won't eat dinner which gives me an opportunity to make risotto which he hates.

                    3 Replies
                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                        Agreed on the missing out - that sounds wonderful!

                      2. re: Njchicaa

                        Too bad hubby is sick but dinner sounds wonderful

                      3. In Which Broke College Students Have Themselves a Party:

                        Last night, my friends, roommate, and I had a wonderful college graduation party for several of our number. We're all poor college students, so it was kiiiind of potluck style (I know, I know! Very frowned on by the Chowhound boards) but it turned out pretty well, I think.

                        - Plenty of soda, water, wine coolers, and beer
                        - Various salads (Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad from Epicurious, Nigella's watermelon, feta and olive salad, spinach salad with sliced mushrooms, boiled egg and bacon bits, plus a few others!)
                        - Hummus with plenty to dip
                        - Fruit and veggie trays
                        - Hot crab, spinach, garlic, and onion dip
                        - Homemade baked potato chips (some with Old Bay - thanks, boyfriend!)
                        - Coleslaw
                        - BBQ pulled pork sandwiches

                        On the grill:
                        - Ribs
                        - Chicken
                        - Pineapple with coconut (really wonderful, if you like coconut)
                        - Garlicky new potatoes
                        - Curried seitan kebabs

                        As for desserts... We had chocolate-covered strawberries/marshmallows/bananas and made s'mores at the fire pit, and one of the graduates' family members brought a giant sheet cake.

                        The Boyfriend and I (mostly me) made mortarboards out of a mini Reese cup, a chocolate graham cracker, brown M&Ms and a piece of pull-and-peel Twizzler. Special nod to The Boyfriend for finally understanding the appeal Old Bay has to Marylanders.

                        Now there's just enough time to recover before the beginning of June. Three of our friends have birthdays the same weekend, and we're thinking a crab feast might be in order. <3

                        P.S. Chocolate covered strawberries are a breakfast food, right?

                        24 Replies
                        1. re: Stelmaria

                          Totally. :) Sounds like a fun and delicious party!

                          1. re: Stelmaria

                            I think given your financial circumstances (all of you!) the potluck was the exact right way to go - no frowning here! Sounds like you ate *very* well - and congrats to the graduates!

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Thank you! If it wasn't potluck style, my roommate and I (childhood best friends) never would have been able to accommodate as many friends and their family members as we did.

                              I should note that neither of us are graduating this spring. But her brother and a few of our shared friends are. Her dad's been a dad to me, and his cancer is at Stage IV, so he probably won't be able to see us graduate. He's an incredibly social man who absolutely loves being around large groups of people. It was great to have it at her parents' house for the chance for him to socialize, and I haven't seen him so lit up since we threw him a sixtieth birthday party in March.

                              We did all the prep, all the cleanup, didn't actually spend much money (and what we did spend came from our own pockets), and no one (but the two of us!) had to stress about how it was going to go.

                              1. re: Stelmaria

                                OK, Stelmaria, you just made me tear up and smile at the same time. I'm glad you were able to do this for the graduates AND your BF's father. I'm sure he enjoyed himself. {{{hugs}}} to you both.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  *hughughug* Thank you!

                                  My best friend and I had a blast, her dad had a great time, her brother was sufficiently surprised with his semi-surprise party, and it was great to be able to introduce The Boyfriend to everyone he hasn't yet met. <3

                                2. re: Stelmaria

                                  Big Kiss on the forehead!!!!!! Who said this generation is out to lunch?,,,,,,,,not you guys!!!!

                                  1. re: Stelmaria

                                    I agree with LW and P - you did something amazing and you make us all proud. Way to go! Glad you had an enjoyable meal and great friends. And what a wonderful thing to do for your friend's dad. You'll always remember this.

                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                      Thank you so much! :)

                                      With regard to my best friend's dad - ever since he was diagnosed, we've been doing our best to make sure that he knows we care about him and trying to do something every few weeks or so, even if it's just making pizza and playing board games and trying to cajole him into joining in to play Apples to Apples/Settlers to Catan/Imagine If/whatever.

                                    2. re: Stelmaria

                                      that is so great that you could include the Dad, who i'm sure appreciated it. sounds like a wonderful, and deliciously sweet thing you guys did.

                                  2. re: Stelmaria

                                    I don't know who's frowning--that sounds like quite a spread! I don't recall having much in the way of awesome food at college parties I attended.

                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                      It was a very nice change from "Just got home, starving. Looks like it's time for ramen noodles, yet again" or "Finals are over! Let's order pizza and pick up some Mike's Hard Lemonade and have everyone over to play Dance Central!"

                                    2. re: Stelmaria

                                      I just view them as a strawberry covered in vitamin "C"....They are even good when you are sleeping!

                                      1. re: PHREDDY

                                        Strawberries are good for you. Chocolate is ostensibly good for you, according to some studies. I don't really see what the big deal is...

                                      2. re: Stelmaria

                                        You surely are eating better than I ever did in college! Nice.

                                          1. re: Stelmaria

                                            All of this sounds lovely, even more so after reading your comments below. And I lived on the Maryland shore for a few years (still, hands down, the best home I ever had), in a tiny enclave on the bay just a small drive up from Solomons Island, and still enjoy hearing of the life there. You enjoy that crab feast, Stelmaria.

                                            1. re: Stelmaria

                                              Remind me, please, why potluck is frowned upon? I love potlucks! It's like Xmas morning for grownups!

                                              1. re: shecrab

                                                shecrab, you are back!!! I made your dirty rice last fall and it was stellar, have been waiting to say so for months!!!

                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                  How sweet are you Gretchen!? You are so kind to remember. Knowledge is no good at all until you share it. I'm so happy you enjoyed a staple from my kitchen. I learn so much from you Chowhounds and it pleases me to no end to know I can contribute and share with you wonderful people. BTW leftover dirty rice makes a wonderful breakfast topped with a couple of perfectly poached ( read: no skimping on the butter) eggs.

                                                  1. re: shecrab

                                                    oh, yes, welcome back! btw, please re-post your dirty rice recipe if you don't mind...I missed it!

                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                      CM: here is my report on the rice which contains a link to shecrab's original post with guidance all the way back in WFD 100: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8008...

                                                    2. re: shecrab

                                                      You know, that exact idea for breakfast floated through my head but I must confess, there were no leftovers. :) So happy to see you back, hope you will share more of your wonderful meals and observations with us.

                                              2. roxlet, I wish I were your neighbor! What a great thing for your husband to do!!!

                                                21 Replies
                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                    Same here. What an awesome way to foster a sense of community!

                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                      Thanks! He loves doing it, and he actually buys the food for everyone too, and then they reimburse him. We have fun when everyone stops by and has a drink before leaving with their stuff. It's like having a big party, but much less work!

                                                      Here's a picture of the pit when it was first loaded with everyone's bbq.

                                                       
                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                            I will join the wow list, humbly. WOW

                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                              I'm on the WOW list too! How amazing. And how wonderful of your DH to do that! Is there a house for sale on your block?

                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                Does this gorgeous thing have a name? or is called Wow?

                                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                                    I usually refer to it as the airplane hangar in the backyard. This is our second smoker. The first one wasn't "big enough."

                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      Didn't you tell us once that your back patio is like a showroom for grills and smokers??

                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                        Haha! You're very good, Gretchen, to remember that! Yes, we have the smoker, a Lynx gas grill hard lined into the gas supply for the house, and a regular charcoal grill with a rotisserie attachment. In case you couldn't guess, my husband (26 years of marriage as of today!) is a meat guy. I keep waiting for the pizza/bread oven to appear, and that would be one I could really get behind!

                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                          Aww, happy anniversary! Maybe you could get him excited to build a stone pizza/bread oven, some people find that a fun project? Because surely you deserve "equal time" in the outdoor cooking department!

                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                            Happy Anniversary, roxlet! I hope (I'm sure) you're having a wonderful celebratory meal.
                                                                            And I agree w/Gretchen that you should ask for a stone oven as your gift. Any of those lucky neighbors a stone mason?

                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                              Thanks, ncw, for your good wishes. We will be dining out this evening, something that doesn't happen a lot around here. And no, our neighbors are definitely not stonemasons, though it would be great if one was!

                                                                            2. re: roxlet

                                                                              Happy Anniversary Roxlet!

                                                                              Perhaps that pizza oven as an anniversary gift?

                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                Thanks for the good wishes, gs! I highly doubt a pizza oven! It's just not the year, if you know what I mean!

                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                  RX, I think I do... that ol' economy will give us all a pizza oven in due time:)

                                                                              2. re: roxlet

                                                                                Well, happy, happy anniversary roxlet! May you have many many more!