Sunday, April 26, 2009

Almost Summer Dinner

Yesterday and today have been absolutely summer-like! Oh my gosh, can you believe we were wearing winter coats the beginning of the week? Just goes to show, ya never know :-)

Last night was a definite grill dinner night. Since I do happen to be married to “Grillman”, we planned dinner around what we could grill. Holy smoke was it awesome! God I love this time of year!!!

We started with a ginormous chicken breast that Bob pulled out of the freezer. I swear I get the most amazing skinless, boneless chicken breasts when Kroger has the Amick Farms chicken breasts on sale. I’m telling’ ya, these are the Mae West of chicken breasts! I chopped up a ton of garlic and Bob added one of his favorite marinades consisting of Mrs. Dash original and Newman’s Own dressing. (Only thing we didn’t have was fresh basil.) Mixed up the marinade, dropped in the chicken and popped that in the fridge to hang out for an hour or so.

We had stopped at Kroger and picked up corn-on-the-cob and a lovely butternut squash. I shucked the corn and put it in an oblong Pyrex dish with a couple of tablespoons of water; added about a teaspoon of sugar to that and covered it with Saran wrap. Then I microwaved it for 3 minutes. The squash was truly a "mack-daddy" squash. (That sucker cost me $7! Crazy! I suspect the kid charged me for organic. He had to ask me what it was, and I didn’t double check him. My bad.). Anyway, I had to have Bob cut it in half because the neck was so thick I couldn’t handle it! I peeled it and Bob sliced it into ½” thick slices. I rubbed those with olive oil and put them on a plate and precooked them in the microwave for 8 minutes. I was able to stick a toothpick in, but they were not so tender that they were falling apart. Set those aside for finishing on the grill.

To round out the meal I added a small plate of fresh veggies; carrots, cucumber and green onions. That would add color and crunch to the whole deal.

The coals were ready and Grillman set off to do his thing! And a thing of beauty it was. Oh my. He put the chicken on first and you could smell that wonderful aroma in the house. Grillman’s prowess on the Brinkmann is only one of the many reasons he makes me weak in the knees. When the chicken was about a third done, he put the vegetables on. Finishing the corn on the grill gives it that sweet, smokey flavor. The rounds of butternut squash come off with picture perfect grill marks. To serve those, I slap on a dollop of butter (the real thing, thank you very much) and sprinkle with a generous amount of cinnamon sugar.

Bob started into the house with the platter of grilled goodies. Then it happened. It happens every year at the start of grill season. And this year was no exception. Katharine Hepburn escaped! Our own little Houdini. She shot out of the open door like a streak of long haired calico lightning. I screamed at Bob to do something; he tossed the platter to me and took off with a speed I had forgotten the man could attain! He barked instructions to me like a drill sergeant, “Get the Greenies!” I lovingly, yet quite quickly, set the platter on top of the grill and ran into the house and grabbed the bag of Greenies. For those of you not of the feline caregiver set, Greenies are a treat for cats that seem to have a crack-like quality to them. Our cats will do just about anything for a Greenie. Apparently just about anything but come out from under the wet mulch ground beneath the deck. Kate had decided that the time had come for her to give the deck underground a good exploring. No amount of offered Greenies was going to make her give up her freedom. She didn’t try to run. No, she just wanted a good look around. This, at a time when my dinner was ready and waiting!

So I did what anyone would do. I took drastic measures. I went to the platter, took a deep breath, and tore off a strip of chicken from that gorgeous hunk o’ meat. That certainly did the trick. Bob offered that tender, succulent chicken to Kate and she waltzed right over and took it as if that is what she had in mind the entire time. Humpf! Greenies, indeed!

So with Kitty Kate safely ensconced back in the bosom of the family, we enjoyed our “almost summer dinner”.

p.s. Dessert was chocolate strawberry shortcake…sorely needed after such a stressful prelude to dinner!

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