Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I woke up to the alarm on Monday, although I didn’t want to. It was chilly and overcast and, according to the weather, the high today was only forecast to be 71 degrees F. (again). I forgot to mention that, while I have a ton of green tomatoes, and had a few ripe cherry tomatoes earlier in the summer, nothing seems to be ripening. I am convinced they need some HEAT!

I ate some cold pizza for breakfast. I confess all the boneless chicken wings were devoured Sunday night.

I went home at lunch after a quick stop at Home Depot. I was running low on wood glue. I ate the last of the pizza for lunch. Since I had the time, I made the beginning of one of my planned side dishes for the Sunday barbeque (that never happened).

It was called “Greek Salad Cucumbers.” Now the recipe calls for and English cucumber but, if you remember, I had three regular cucumbers my neighbors gave me. So, I peeled two of them, cut them in half, lengthwise and deseeded them (neither was needed with the English cucumber). You were supposed to cut the unpeeled English cucumber into quarters lengthwise and then into quarters crosswise. So, I cut the smaller cucumber halves into thirds, crosswise.

Then I made the dressing with two tablespoons of red wine vinegar, two teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 fresh ground black pepper. I went out, harvested a palmful of fresh dill, and took it in the house. I chopped that and added a tablespoon of dill to the mix. I poured that over the cucumbers, covered hem and put them in the fridge to get happy. Note: The recipe doesn’t call for that. You merely add an ounce (about 1/4 cup) of crumbled feta cheese and serve. But, I figured I’d add the cheese closer to the time I eat the salad.

It was sprinkling when I was going home at 5:00 PM and I was worried my cookout would be a washout. But, I checked the weather and all the rain was east and north of me (Detroit, Almont, etc.)

I had work to do first, though. I changed clothes and started the last load of the weekend wash (albeit a bit late). Then I took the trashcan out to the road. Finally, I pushed the Honda 70 mini bike out to the road as well. I know; I could find somebody to take it, or even fix it and sell it. But to tell the truth, it was just annoying and a distraction.

The mini bike was gone in less than 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, I started back working on the baker’s cart.  I took each shelf and put it back up on the sawhorses. I cut off the still unexplained extra inch of MF, predrilled and then screwed each corner with a 2 1/2-inch deck screw. I did that for all four shelves.

Then I cut down eight 2x4’s to 76 inches. I stacked them up on the floor where the mini-bike had been. Next, I started cleaning up my tools. I put the chop saw and table saw back. I rolled the router table cat to the other side and cleaned up all the cut offs. Finally, FINALLY, I was able to pull the car into the garage (and safety) for the first time in three days.

But, there was no time to gloat. I filled up the new charcoal started and lit some crumbled newspaper under it. The charcoal caught on the first try! I added the feta cheese to the cucumbers while I waited. Once they were ready, I dumped them. I did notice that the larger can gave me a much nicer charcoal bed.

First, I grilled my sweet corn. I knew it would be a little while before I was ready to eat, so I turned the oven on “warm.” When the sweet corn was done (and smelling fantastic), I put it on a half sheet tray, husks and all, and stuck it in the oven.

Then I grilled a package of brats. Finally, I grilled the steak that was seasoned with coarse sea salt and black pepper. Aside to Jake: I got the grille marks perfect this time!

I took the meat inside, husked two ears of corn and plated the steak, corn and cucumbers. The steak was perfect. The sweet corn was the best I’ve had all year (no doubt because it was locally grown). And the Greek cucumber salad? Forgettable! It tasted like I threw some feta cheese into my Mother’s cucumber dressing and then dumped it on hard-to-eat-sized cucumbers.

I had just finished cleaning up and had the TV on when my Daughter Melissa called. She thanked me for not calling her right away and waiting until she called first. I told her lots of people really appreciate it when I don’t call.

She has been fighting with Comcast since they moved in to get a consistently working phone, Internet and cable. Dave started his new job, and she’s had one interview already (although she hopes she can get everything unpacked and in place before she goes to work). Their POD with their long-term storage stuff has yet to arrive. All in all, we talked for over an hour.

It was almost 10:00 PM, so I just waited and watched Longmire live (for a change). Then I went to bed.

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