Yesterday morning, I shut off my alarm clock at 3:30am, as usual. I got out of bed, turned on my computer, got dressed, did my makeup, poured myself a glass of iced green tea and started my morning computer routine: Facebook, email, Livejournal, and food blogs while sipping away.
Somewhere in the area of 4:00am, I found a comment from a co-worker on Facebook saying “I’m the lucky lady who gets to work with you tomorrow.” Oh, yeah. I forgot that I agreed to work in the hospital switchboard at 6:45am instead of my own desk at 5:00am. Ugh. No one should get up at 3:30am if they don’t have to.
Still, I really like working in the Switchboard, especially with Mary Jo. The work day went by rather quickly, and as soon as I got home and showered, Dave and I went cheese shopping! We headed to the only gourmet cheese shop in town: Nala’s Fromagerie aka Heaven.
It may not look like much, but inside this bag is Old Amsterdam, D’Affinois Brebis, Blue Shropshire, Wensleydale with Cranberries, and Appalachian cheese. Swoon.
I did my research online the night before so I had an idea of what I wanted to buy. I decided to stick with mostly cow’s milk (as I am not a fan of goat), but get one of each kind of cheese: blooming, semi-firm, firm, aged, blue, and flavored. Since I already had semi-firm and aged Trappist monk cheese from Gethsemani Farms in the fridge (as well as smoky), I now have a full set.
One of the ladies at the shop gave us a sample of the Appalachian, which is made from raw cow’s milk from the mountains of Virginia. So good. It just melts into a pool of flavor on your tongue. I also noticed that they had their own bottled balsamic, which I was really excited about. Our “good” balsamic is almost out, and the only place I know to buy it is from Sheboygan. We got a taste of the Cask 25 and had to buy it. It is as thick as syrup, sweet, and tangy.
We spent $21.50 on this bottle. Good balsamic isn’t cheap, but it is definitely worth it.
After a few more errands, we invited our neighbors Shelby and Cory over for a low-key cookout. Dave did most of the prep work; the only thing I was responsible for was making our green bean dressing for the asparagus. This dressing is so simple, but so good tossed with cooked veggies. I would love to try it with broccoli sometime.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried dill weed (fresh dill is better, but we rarely have it)
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
I heard a chef say last week that “a chimney starter is the only way to start a fire.” A bit of an exaggeration, but it feels true. We have had much better success with starting our grill since we invested in a chimney starter.
Dave cut the sweet potatoes into thin slices and salted them, then brushed them with combination of sweet chili sauce and red pepper flakes when they were on the grill.
The salmon went on next. Dave did something funky with a fan that he promised to do a guest post on. Whatever it was, it was awesome, because this salmon turned out perfectly. He brushed it with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and capers.
Then the asparagus, which we just threw on the grill and let cook, then tossed with the dressing.
While we were outside, Cory recited a poem: The Love of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot which he knows word for word. It was beautiful, but it always makes me so sad. I listened to Anthony Hopkins recite it once, which was also amazing.
Pretty soon, it was dinner time, and I was more than ready to eat. I had eaten lunch at 11:00am, and it was about 8:30pm by this time.
Crispy, sweet taters.
Fresh, juicy salmon.
This was honestly one of the best meals that has ever come off of our grill. I ate another helping of salmon after this along with one more sweet potato strip and a couple asparagus. We talked about watching a movie, but it became pretty evident that we were all exhausted and just decided to call it a night.
After all, tonight is the big show!