Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Two Grills, Two Days. Day One

If there is one thing that I love almost as much as picnics, and I think we all know by now my passion for picnics, a close second is the home grilling fest known to us as a backyard barbeque. I am most likely a small minority in the grilling world, but I feel like it may be necessary to admit, in this forum, that I am partial to the salads, slaws, sauces, and sides that accompany a bbq. Not to say that I don't enjoy the smoky, charred, and always for some reason, extra flavorful hunk of animal protein on the grill, but there is something about, say, a vinegary potato salad, a spicy salsa, or a crunchy, fresh, well-seasoned cabbage slaw that excites me much more than the main event. Maybe it's because spice and sour offset the fat of the meat, maybe it's because I feel much more comfortable making a veg dish, or because I just love the taste of vinegar. Whatever the reason, luckily I just so happen to live with a professional griller, who is happy to take charge of the meat, while I can experiment in the kitchen with any variation and combination of typical and not so traditional accompaniments. In this first barbeque of the season, which took place on Sunday, my older brother, Nadav, ran the show, on his spacious deck in Boerum Hill, BK. The whole family came together. We brought the salsas, the guacamole, and the tortillas, and then sat back to cumin--rubbed skirt steak, grilled spiced shrimp, charred corn, poblanos, and onions, and some black bean salad. My Dad made the mojitos, we sipped, chatted, and snacked all afternoon, watching as my 6-month-old niece Sylvie ate her first solid food. She could not get enough of her rice cereal, and her excitement over her first taste of food was contagious. What else brings us all together, binds us and bonds us than sharing a meal seared over a flame, passing a food-laden plate from hand to hand at the table? If there is anything that I have learned thus far in my life and can confidently impart to the newest member of our family, it is this: just wait, Sylvie, it only gets better.

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