Grill Baby Grill

I feel sort of perverse writing this post about the Fourth of July with Edith Piaf’s rendition of Les Marseilles still pounding against my skull, but I’m overdue for an update and had such a unexpectedly wonderful holiday.

See, two Fourth of Julys ago, I watched the fireworks over Lake Champlain.  Last years?  Also a blast.  This year  I was content to let the holiday pass without incident.  You know, just stay at home, maybe make something called a “Half-Baked Alaska” in honor of a certain gubernatorial resignation, no big deal.

But David and Laura invited me to tag along to a party.  I was reluctant at first (Suburbs + Strangers usually equals danger for me) but it turns out the party was at the home of Cincinnati Blogger and BBQ judge The Cincinnati Hound.

Now, I can’t even begin to express the combination of gratitude, contentment, and sheer AWE that I felt as I rolled toward David’s car that night, having ate and drank way too much and had the pleasure of watching a movie in a home theater setup that rivaled Mission Control.   I can, however, post a couple of highlights.

There was, big surprise, a LOT of meat.  Ribs that had been gently smoldering for a day, homemade bratwurst that was succulent and smokey, and BBQ turkey that I could have munched on all afternoon- sweet and still juicy despite a longer cooking time.

Oh, then there was the chicken.  Perfectly seasoned with a lemon/garlic/herb paste (sort of like a gremolata with rosemary) and grilled no more and no less than it needed to be.

BBQ Ninja Curt McAdamsalso showed up, and made these drinks called “cachacas,” I believe, made with a cousin of rum distilled from the cane plant itself rather than the molasses.  For the record I did enjoy them, very strong and briny.

Okay.  Apparently, there are rather unflattering pictures of me consuming that beverage HERE.  I’ve been afraid to look, so far.

My own contributions to the event were meager, but worth mentioning.  I made another chocolate torte courtesy of Orangette. Usual thing, chocolate wafer crust, chocolate truffle filling.  It disappeared before I could take pictures.

I made a bacon Gruyere mac and cheese, the recipe is fairly intuitive, bacon, roux, milk, cheese, poured over cooked noodles, baked, topped.  Nothing more and nothing less than a solid side dish.

The key for me was the Fancy Drinks. When Curt had originally described his concoction I had it in my head that the liquor was some sort of tequilla, and decided to do a rum-drink so as to not steal his mixological thunder.

And even though Curt’s drink was closer, in fact to a rum, mine played the opposite end of that spectrum, and it’s a recipe I’m happy to share.

Pineapple Drop (from Hip Sips)
16 oz good quality light rum
4 ounces orange liquour
8 ounces Lemon-Lime Juice
4 ounces simple syrup
4 ounces or so of pineapple juice

Mix, chill, serve in a glass with a half-arsed sugar rim  – serves 8 to ten and is VERY yummy.

The picture, like the author, was a little bit blurry by the time he got around to snapping!

Anyway,  thanks again to the Hound Dog, and to Curt, along with David and Laura for dragging me out of my shell.  Hope you all had a great Fourth (or, as it were, Fourteenth!)

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