07 April 2007

The Queen Of The Grill Strikes

Last night I grilled. And grilled. And grilled some more. Then I vacuum-packed and froze. No more grilling for a while. It's going to get hot out there, so I'd rather grill and freeze than slave over a hot grill in 100°-plus heat. Or heat up the kitchen for the air conditioning to deal with.

I'd found boneless center-cut pork chops on sale at an excellent price, so I'd gotten a dozen of them. One package (of four) was a bit thinner than the other, so I marinated them in an herb, vinegar, and oil dressing for about half a day and grilled them first. They cooked really quickly and smelled so good, it was all I could do to grill the rest of the meat, rather than diving into these chops. I also slid a pair of stuffed potatoes, from the service deli, onto the warming shelf when I first turned the chops.

Once those chops got done (I go to at least 150° on pork, mostly out of habit), I re-oiled the grill and tossed the other eight chops on the fire. I gave them a little over a minute more on each turn (three turns or, actually, a rotation, a turn, and another rotation to get crossed grid marks on each side). About when they were done, the potatoes were heated through and I pulled them off, too.

Then I tossed the four New York steaks (rump steaks to the British and their other former colonies, I believe) on the grill. These had also been on sale. Getting the meat on sale was why I was grilling; I don't usually pay list price, as it were, for meat, except low-fat hamburger. While they were cooking I tidied up the trash (it takes me about a third of a roll of paper towels to cook this much meat and then there were the trays and plastic from the store, so I had quite a bit) and put the chops, in their covered casseroles, on the bottom shelves of the cart. When the steaks were done, they too went into a casserole and I shut off the gas and zipped the cart into the kitchen.

I should mention that somewhere around when the first chops went onto the grill a bourbon and 7-Up highball magically appeared on my cart, right beside the salt and pepper. It took almost an hour from when I started to when I was done outside, but I wasn't in a hurry and I didn't exactly crowd the grill. The glass was nearly empty, except for a few rather sad, warm pieces of ice, when I came in.

So I mixed another drink, cut one of the steaks in half, added a potato to each plate, dished up a little tossed green salad for each of us, and served dinner. It was really good. Of course, I was absolutely starving after sitting out there by the grill, smelling the meat cook. I love grilled steak and pork chops and I love my gas grill that lets me make them just as well as a restaurant can.

When I finished dinner, I went back out to the kitchen and vacuum-sealed the other three steaks and all of the chops. I put the steaks and eight of the chops in the freezer. We're going to have marinated chops tonight and plain chops tomorrow. Monday is my 60th birthday and we'll probably go out to eat.

I like having this grilled meat in the freezer. It heats pretty well, without much drying out, and the vacuum sealing prevents freezer burn. Putting dinner together can be really quick using it. And it's unusual enough to seem like a little bit of a treat when we do have it.

Then today I worked on getting my stashes of yarn and beads into the closet tidily. Some of the beads just simply have to go. I'll never use them; many of them were hand-me-downs from a friend who got tired of beading a few years ago and weren't really my style. I don't know exactly what my style is, but they aren't it. Between the USPS flat-rate shipping and eBay, these beads should find a home. I'll let someone else find a place to put them.

Photos of the closet will appear tomorrow, once I get most of what I'm keeping put away. For some reason, the closet seems to keep getting smaller and smaller, the more I try to put into it.

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