Thursday, July 18, 2013

Paradigm-Busting Vacation Grilling Adventure!

Absurd? Genius? Awful? You decide.

So we're on vacation for a week in Sandwich, MA. You ever hit the grocery store for a week of vacation and sort of go nuts? We did that. We bought a ton of stuff we didn't need (Lucky Charms and a huge thing of relish come to mind). Of course we also bought stuff without getting their necessary partners. I'm thinking of the salsa for which we never bought corn chips. Also when it came time to do burgers for dinner, we realized we forgot buns. Rats.

My wife says, "Why can't we make hotdog-shaped hamburgers and put them in hotdog buns?" 

"Well, because you CAN'T," is what almost came out of my mouth. Then I thought, "Yeah. Why can't we make hotdog-shaped hamburgers and put them in hotdog buns?" So what ultimately I uttered was, "OK."

So here you go folks. Prepare to have your mind BLOWN as I present to you: Hotdog-shaped Hamburgers.

That first flip (or roll, as it were) was tricky. They wanted to come apart. But I babied them and they hung together nicely. Once they were closer to done, they were all nicely-bound, solid meat units.

And so! Here it is. You've got yourself a meal that can also be quite a conversation starter. In fact, they tasted great. They were juicy and easy to handle. The kids ate 'em up. The wife and I did too. Will we do it again? Probably! The question is what to call them. We settled on hamdogs for now, but will be patient and see what else may occur to us later. Any suggestions?  Have you ever been forced to create a new way of doing something by similar circumstances? How did it go?

So anyway. There you have it. The hamdog. As you can see: this was one wild and crazy vacation.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On Location: Sandwich, MA


My wife grew up spending summers in Sandwich in a house which her grandfather built himself at a time when this particular stretch of beach had only 2 other houses. Over time it's had various upgrades, but it remains a very modest, but comfortable little house tucked in among the dunes. The house stayed in the family for many years, but some time ago my mother-in-law sold it. This summer it worked out for the first time that we were able to rent it.
Speaking of upgrades, I was delighted to learn that it has this Weber Genesis on the back deck. It was perfect for grilling up some fat pork chops.
Cast-iron grates! Sweet. I just seared these on each side for about 2 minutes before backing off the heat and cooking them for another 7 or 8 minutes per side afterwards.

When you rent a place there's always those crappy utensils you have to sort through to find something to suit your purposes. Well these grabbers were actually pretty great and I wound up using them for many jobs in the kitchen and grill.

Sorry for the lousy presentation, but it seemed consistent with being on vacation. Same for the cheap chardonnay in the plastic cup. But I will say that it was pretty stoked to cut into the pork chops and find--even without my trusty Thermapen--that they were perfectly done. Yum.