If the clouds suddenly unleash a fury upon the BBQ grill—rain pelting the house like angry, dead crows shot from a cannon—grill that steak anyway. Gather the following supplies: Steaks, an umbrella, and Nate, and send them outside!
Nate is the most important thing on that list, though. The determination. The skill. The grit he demonstrated while grilling steaks in the rain made me fall in love with him all over again. While I stayed nice and toasty warm inside, sipping wine, I thought of the following song to sing Nate’s praise. I set it to the tune of the “Someone Left the Cake out in the Rain” prelude to the “MacArthur Park Suite” made famous by Donna Summer:
Someone grilled a steak out in the rain.
Smoke poured out the grill.
Nate told me to chill,
But that look on his face said he’d never
Do that again . . . Oh, no!
Seriously. It was a good steak. And, the reason for the smoke “pouring out the grill” was mesquite wood chips. Nate placed them on the bottom of the grill and cooked the steaks over them—and wow! Flavor. All. The. Way. Through.
My contribution? I made a sauce to go over the top—a chimichurri sauce. Recipes abound on the internet. Some call for ½ cup of olive oil. Others call for 1/3 cup. For the acid, some people prefer red wine vinegar; others prefer white wine vinegar. I ended up mixing the following things together: ½ “heaping” cup of finely chopped parsley; ½ cup of olive oil; 2-3 cloves of minced garlic; just shy of a teaspoon of dried oregano; 1 red chili pepper, chopped; ½ tsp of salt; 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar; and a generous smattering of freshly ground black pepper. In retrospect, I think that maybe I could substitute lime juice for the vinegar. Maybe next time. (There will be a next time.)
As an appetizer, I threw together the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks “official” guacamole recipe:
–Mash the flesh of two large, ripe avocadoes roughly with a fork. (Not a very smooth consistency. It’s kind of chunky. Mash longer if you wish.)
–Add fresh lemon juice to help with the mashing—maybe around 2-3 tablespoons?
–Throw in some sea salt to taste.
The smoke has not cleared. It’s in our hair, in our clothes, infused in the cat. We don’t care. It smells terrific, and we will need more steaks. However, rain is still in the forecast, and Nate has that special look in his eyes—the one that says, “I might mess around and light the grill.”
In Other News: I have a scary story up in Horla magazine: “Family Connections.” Feel free to check that out, if you wish.
Your Turn: What’s your favorite rainy-day activity and/or food?