Last weekend I had a few ‘nailed it’ moments. I fixed a ukelele that was literally broken in two. (We now own something called a clamp and a bottle of wood glue, as I’m sure repairs there will be many…) I restrung said ukelele while relying on my own logic and intuition, not a youtube tutorial. And I fixed a very slow kitchen drain sans Draino. It’s the little things that must be celebrated, yes?
But the thing that I was really excited about was that I finally nailed the summer cookout formula. Pre-Otto, our cookouts involved too many platters and 27 condiments and some ridiculous dessert (roasted bananas in tin foil packets, anyone?). I had too much time on my hands to think about all sorts of things to make.
Last week, on the hottest day of the year, I might add, we had several old friends over for a dinner. The house was a mess. Otto was constantly at my feet. I wanted everything to be gluten free so that all–allergic or not–could partake in the same meal. And the meal had to be made ahead of time because Otto’s bedtime is smack between cocktail time and ‘when do we eat’ faces showing up. From all this came two solutions. Three no-cook sides, one marinated meat for Adam to grill, and fresh fruit with ice cream for dessert. We had so much fun and everything was so relaxed and delicious. I swore this is how we’ll do it from now on. And the formula I figured out was this:
One meat, marinated and ready to go (we went with skirt steak and this easy chimichurri). One salad that can work as a sauce of sorts in case the meat dries out, or hold its own (for us, that is–and always will be–mizeria). One that has some delightful combination of sweet and savory (we put #13 from the 101 Salads Challenge on peppery arugula). And one that is hearty enough in case you have a Mary Tyler Moore moment and find yourself running out of meat fast. And for that, there’s this terrific rice salad. I used black rice, which made all the colors stand out nicely and also because there’s something a little fancy about black rice. I could see adding beans or chickpeas to it next time. I will make this salad, or some version of it, for forever.
The other nice thing about this formula is the leftovers situation. Old burgers and dried out buns are just sad the next day.
And that’s all…keep having a fun summer!
Welded nail bowl a little something I found on etsy while searching for a ‘nailed it’ poster of some sort.