Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sunday Dinner: Burgers on the Grill, May 24, 2015

Due to various schedule conflicts, illness, and vacation, we haven't had Sunday dinner with the kids in quite awhile. Jeannene loves feeding people and especially loves holidays that include grilling. While, of course, Memorial Day isn't about grilling at all, it is still the first time we usually fire up the grill. I know better than to try to usurp Jeannene's menu-planning for holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. She was so excited about cooking that she got out a bunch of cookbooks early in the week and started to plan. She also decreed that bingo would be played and went shopping for bingo prizes, coming home and showing me her dollar store loot with a great deal of glee.

She also exhibited a great deal of glee as we went grocery shopping for the event. I love seeing her so excited---and I certainly don't mind the occasional meal where I'm not responsible for a thing. Jeannene grilled burgers (specialty ones from Whole Foods---salmon burgers for Pie, beef & cheddar for Bubbles, Boca burgers for their vegetarian friend, a garden turkey burger for her, and a really stellar buffalo chicken burger for me) and cheddar brats for our first grill usage of the year.

For the (many) side dishes, she served her special sweet & spicy baked beans (she doctors Bush's using her dad's technique), a corn & rice casserole called "Connie's Death Corn Five" from The Sweet Potato Queens' Big Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner) (I liked it, the kids loved it, she was disappointed with it---the name made her think it would be more fabulous), dill potato salad from Kroger (I have got to get my aunt's recipe), a bagged iceberg salad with taco dressing and corn chip pieces, and grilled pineapple & maraschino cherry kebabs similar to the ones she had growing up.

If you want the Death Corn Five recipe, I recommend you buy the book. Jill Conner Browne is absolutely hilarious, her recipes are yummy, and the way she writes them is just great, like having her on the phone with you, telling you what to do in between sips of a Big Ass Margarita. If you can't find the book, though, or need the recipe ASAP, you can find it here.

To make the fruit kebabs, pick up a pineapple (she likes to buy them pre-peeled & cored) and cut it into chunks. Soak some wooden skewers for at least half an hour. Meanwhile, mix together 3 tbsp. melted butter, a couple good squeezes of honey (about 2 tsp), and 4 or so dashes of hot sauce. Brush the pineapple with the mixture before threading it on the skewers, alternating with extra-large maraschino cherries. Grill for a couple minutes per side. Me, I would probably add some brown sugar to the mix, but it was delicious as it was.

For dessert, we took the girls to Eva's, a little ice cream joint nearby, for our first visit of the year. Pie didn't want any ice cream, so he napped on the couch until we came home. Jeannene's favorite is a peanut butter sundae---peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter topping and chopped peanuts. Bubbles had, very characteristically, a vanilla soft serve cone with rainbow sprinkles (she claims she is a giant 2-year-old), while their friend picked a strawberry smoothie and praised the freshness of the flavor. I had a simple small vanilla soft serve cone. It was all I could ever have wanted. Eva's is always packed and, once you taste their product, you'll know why. It's also tremendous fun to sit at a picnic table, savoring your ice cream, and watch all the people and dogs there for treats, too.

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