Monday, September 2, 2019

What's on Your Grill?

Hamburgers and hot dogs seem to be the usual barbecue fare.  Or folks might get adventurous and add some skewered vegetables alongside them.

Try something different this time.  Roast peppers!

At this time of year, a variety of peppers or chilies should be fairly inexpensive owing to their abundance.  In fact, the pile pictured on my charcoal grill below cost about three dollars.  In case you can't make them out, the pile consists of:

The process is very forgiving, and you can leave them on and forget about them a bit and still get a nice result.

I like to put them on while my coals are still on fire, and I add kindling to maintain the fire.  Once they're black and squishy, I drop them into a paper bag, seal the bag, and let them steam in there own heat.

Then I go get the Impossible Burgers and steaks and put them on.  When those are done, I peel the black skin off the peppers and squeeze out the seeds.

The grilling takes the spicy edge off the chilies and leaves them sweet and mellow.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Dream: The Big Fake Sneeze

I’m sitting in my car in the middle of a parking lot. It is evening, and an old slushy layer of snow covers the asphalt. There are a few police officers dressed in yellow slickers methodically clearing away the slush using snow shovels. I think to offer to help them, except I realize they’re looking for something in the slush.

The parking lot is for a venue that I’m at to help organize a party. I think I should offer to park the hostess’ car, which is now the car that I’m sitting in. So I start it up a drive over to the edge of the lot and begin to head in to a space facing the street. As I apply the brake, I find that I cannot stop the car entirely. It continues to move forward onto the grass regardless of the extreme pressure I apply to the brake. I figure that the car will stop due to the incline of the grass, but even that has less of a stopping effect than I expect. “Huh,” I think to myself. “This is typical of these Subarus.” Eventually I do stop, and from within the car, I’m able to view the car from outside the driver’s side door. I see that the front wheels have gone beyond the curb and are on the grass. This is strange since I didn’t feel such a large obstacle.

I get the car backed up and somewhat straightened out, and then leave the car to go inside the venue.

The woman who has hired us (my brother is also part of the planning team) is not there. But her three daughters are there. Two of the daughters are twins, and the third, non-twin daughter is the most lovely of the three. But I greet them and tell them how lovely all of them are.

They are emceeing the event, and it turns out to be an event for my birthday. “Gosh, I’m the guest of honor!” I suddenly realize. So now everyone’s attention is focused on me. A great cloud of smoke emanates from the emcee’s area from a large amount of incense that was just lit. As it approaches and I smell it, I begin to have the urge to sneeze. So I decide to exaggerate the sneeze to epic, cartoon-like proportion. I start the “Ahh, ahhh, ahhhh, AHHHH, AHHHHHH...” with dramatic crescendo and fight to keep my eyes from fluttering closed. And I really expect that I will sneeze at the end of all this. But just before the very climax, the urge to sneeze diminishes abruptly, and I expel the most pathetic fake sneeze the world has ever witnessed.

“Drat, I’ve let everyone down,” I think to myself.