Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A major ANNOUNCEMENT

Anyone spend their summers at camp...

Announcements, announcements, announcements.
What a terrible death to die,
What a terrible death to die,
What a terrible death, to be talked to death.
What a terrible death to die.

Announcements, announcements, announcements.
A horrible way to die, a horrible way to die,
A horrible way to start the day,
A horrible way to die.

Announcements, announcements, announcements.
Could it be that I am jumping on the "Julie & Julia Project" bandwagon. Yes. But, a good idea is a good idea. As I stated in my Mission Statements, one of goals is to get better as a cook. I looked about for a cooking curriculum based around a grill. The internet is filled with terrific how to videos, recipes and tips. There are books after books filled with the same. But, I was unable to find a single source that took a willing griller from beginner to accomplished. But, there is a book that comes close.

PBS's grilling guru, Steven Raichlen has a terrific book called, "How to Grill". I hesitate to call it a cookbook, as it is very much more. Instead of a single finished product photo and the basic recipe, there are several step by step how-to photos, well defined instructions and tips for each recipe.

So, in the spirit of Julie & Julia, I am going to commit myself to cooking each of the 150 plus recipes in Steven's book. Not within a year, but at the least, weekly. I will grill the items as written. I will also try some of the recipes with my own twist (remember, I am working towards 365 recipes in a year that I can call my own. Taking one of Steven's recipes, and adding or changing an ingredient or a technique... not for the sake of changing, but because I honestly believe that these changes make the recipe more to my tastes; fits into that goal. It also fits into the spirit of Steven's book, as he encourages experimentation.

It will be challenging. Many of the foods I have tried and can perform well now. Grilled pizza, smoked ribs and salmon are already on my list of accomplishments. Many of the foods I am happy to try but never have. Cooking foods like leg of lamb, rotisserie duck and lobster tails will certainly add to my skill set. But there are also foods I would never dream of cooking because I have no desire, grilled oysters and eggplant never appeal to me, but I will give them a go and see what happens.

And won't it be fun to cook a whole hog. I may hide that chapter from my wife til I get a bit further in the book.

Today is going to be a perfect day for grilling. Temps in the low 80's, no humidity and I have all day to plan. I have invited my neighbor guinea pigs to taste test my experiments. I am going to knock off 4 of the 150 recipes in one night...

Grilled Pork Chops "Calzones"
Grilled Pepper Salad
Grilled Garlic Cheese Bread
and Coconut Grilled Pineapple

Wish me luck

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