Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Time to try to rewrite that massive post from yesterday, whew... this is daunting...

Okay, everything begis with friday, in which not much of anything happens. Got home from work and lounged around. I could swear I did something on the way home, but I'm not sure about that. I think I might have just gone straight home. But when I got there, I stayed there, and, I am sure that Mike and George came over, because I got my orange cognac back from George. After that I was online, and Pattie was trying on every piece of jewelry she owned for prom on saturday. I stayed up late chatting and playing games.

And of course that lead to waking up late on saturday. For once, though, saturday was not the date of this particular get together. Rather, though, I did want to get the shopping done on saturday so that on sunday I could just wake up and begin working and getting everything ready. Well, that didn't even get off the ground till about 8 in the evening. Zac and Mike went out earlier on, but I had just woken up and didn't feel like heading out, so I stayed in and played games, and otherwise disposed of my time until I was ready to go. I gave Mike a call and let him know that I was ready whenever he was, and that ended up being eight in the evening. We went to marble slab first, where I had a really good berry smoothie.

After that, and a call to George, who didn't meet us until it was very nearly time to head back to my place, and we were off to H.E.B. to wander the halls and carefully decide what to prepare. After a long and tedious decision making process, we decided on ribs, a single rack that would be divided among everyone as they were 12 dollars a rack, plus some boneless skinless chicken breast with some regular barbecue sauce that we would modify, rather than making our own, plus some sausage. Corn was predetermined to be a side dish, and for certain parties a requested dish of orange glazed portobello mushrooms was aranged for. All in all, a good night that cost 60 dollars, split three ways.

Upon ariving at my house I began peeling oranges, which had been purchased to be used for the glaze, while we began watching one of the movies that Mike got when he was out with Zac earlier in the day, Tokyo Babylon. I liked the second half, which I didn't watch until yesterday, much better than the first half; though, I did enjoy the first half. After they left for the night, after George got an emergency call from his open girlfriend, Jennifer, and Mike got tired so they both left and Chuck and I watched Smallville while I sliced the two orange peels into strips and then used my cleaver to carefully cut away the pith from the orange. After the cutting was done, which didn't take that much time at all, I blanched the peels for 2 minutes, then I boiled them in 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar till they were nice and tender. I took them out and quickly tossed them in sugar to give them a light granular texture, more like candy than orange peel. After that, at about 1:30, I put them on a dehydrator, which cut the drying time down to 1/4th its normal.

When Mike first tried them, it was like pulling teeth, though later he certainly seemed to enjoy them, admitting that he had not actually tried the orange swiss candies he was comparing them to, only the raspberry ones. I think he just likes to tell me that he hates my food. Clearly, if something isn't the best, it's no good at all. Either way, I'm going to take him on directly, I have finally looked up a recipe that will allow me to do the same with raspberries, so that I can have a direct comparison from him rather than a simple, if their raspberry candies are that good, then there's no way your orange are as good as their orange. I'm tempted to just not feed him anymore, though, if he really didn't like the food, he wouldn't be one of the people who chips in the most, and always chips in, for me to cook. So I guess we both just like being grumpy.

Anyway, so, I still went to bed pretty late because after everything was done, I was still cleaning and Pattie got online after prom and told me about how much fun she had and about the movie she went to afterward still dressed in all of her prom jewelrey, tiarra and all.

Didn't wake up till 11 the next morning. Hopped on yahoo before I started getting ready for all the other work I had to do, and sure enough, a new random popped up for the morning even though it was sunday, one of the worst days for randoms, and this one happens to ask what I'm doing. When I tell her about all the food I'm cooking, she told me how totally gross it was, and how she was a vegetarian who doesn't like portobello mushrooms, or corn on the cob or in fact much of anything it seemed. So I wasted an hour being told how humans are absolutely and totally un-natural, and how horrible it is that we have to kill to survive, everything that humans do apparently being the work of evil. I've heard good reasons for vegitarianism, even being vegan. It's not un-natural. On the other hand, neither is eating meat, we're omnivores, and we're designed to live however we want to. So after that I finished getting ready and began preparing the meat, putting together the rub and putting it on the ribs, and the chicken, then covering them and popping them into the fridge to let the meat absorb the flavor. After that, Mike showed up, followed fairly shortly by Jake, who brought some onions and a few other odds and ends.

That was it for the next few hours, we hung out, but didn't do much at all, almost no one showed up at 3 except Kayla, who brought some nice fluffy buiscuits. George, bearing extra chicken because we began to worry about numbers, eventually showed up around four, followed shortly by Chris' brother, Steve. Around 5:30 or 6, Marcia, Tera, and a friend of theirs from quest, I think his name was Brandon, it's a shame if it isn't Brandon because I've met him twice now and I should remember. Though they were preceded by Chuck, who I forgot to mention because he, of course, lives there. The fire got started around 4:30 long before the last set of people arrived, and well after the music was already playing with the speakers pointed outside so that everyone could hear.

Tera and Marcia brought some "carrot cake", which I didn't try till after all the other food because it was innapropriately named "cake". I say that in a way that makes it sound bad, and yet, it was really very, very good. But it was by no means a cake, it had shredded apple and carrots, and a few other things, I think, and I would like to have had it along side my chicken, ribs, and corn, because it was much more of a cole slaw with carrots and apples, thant it was a cake. It's a shame they didn't leave some, because just thinking about it is making me want more...

Okay, on top of all of that, I did not actually grill. This was a real, honest to goodness barbecue. I smoked that meat by building a small fire on one end of my grill and putting alluminum pouches filled with soaked woodchips on the fire to generate smoke and keeping the meat as far from the charcoal as possible, so that the smoke itself would cook the meat. I used apple wood chips, and I really could taste the difference it made. The ribs I cooked slowly for 2 1/2 hours, flipping regularly, and for the last 30 minutes I threw the chicken on, which cooked VERY well, it was amazing how good the chicken looked with perfect grill lines and the sauce on it, oh my. At the last minute, as I was taking the ribs off the grill, and making the mushrooms, I second guessed myself and left the chicken on 5 minutes more than it needed to be, and it was just ever so slightly dry. While still delicious, I can do better next time. I was just worried because it was chicken.

The ribs were practicaly falling off of the bone, and they were nice and tangy, and extra delicious, the corn, oh my, none of it was undercooked or burned, it was divine, in fact, everything came out superb. This is by far one of my most successful cooking ventures considering how little of it I looked up exact details for in advance. I am deffinitely doing it again next weekend, with only ribs and only people willing to chip in a full share, so that we can eat better, for fewer people, which should be really really good. Justin showed up quite late, but there was still some food, and Cym was with him, absolutely everyone enjoyed the candied orange peel, and even Mike had more than one more piece after the food. Just wait till I make them together with candied raspberries.

Everything broke up really early, I was alone by 11:30 at night, and so I played games until I fell asleep after cleaning up. I did so much cleaning before the party, even before I started cleaning, the whole place was cleaner than it had been on friday evening.

I love my new cookbook from half priced books, barbecue inferno, it is now tried and true, and looking for much more use in the future.

That covers the weekend, then, last night, after a long day and having the post deleted, I finished watching that movie, while at work, then in the evening, Mike and George showed up and... we worked on our game. Currently under the working name, Project K*S*M. This was an absolute first for us, out of all the game projects we have ever previously done, we have never, aside from time spent cooking up ideas and brainstorming, spent a whole hour and a half, as was done last night, simply working on a game non stop with actualy work in the same room together. We made some serious progress and I want to do it again at least once more this week. I continue to nag them both, and I am not afraid to nag to get this done, for once I'd like to finish a project, and prosepects are looking good. Mike may be out for the week, but at the very least I could hammer out some serious details with George about the ships and the other things he's working on in the document he's making.

Special credit to Scott for the Retsina wine I enjoyed at the end of each night, and for a whole bunch of links that he sent me that will, and I mean this with deadly sincerity, will indeed get used...

Anyway, that's it for today... I finally have Gattaca back, George swung by and got it for me, and I'll be watching that later tonight.

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