We popped a bottle and then got into the prezzies.
CK brought me something fancy back from Scotland.
FJ got some special Tequila, and some toasting glasses from HB.
For Christmas dinner, we used to do a more traditional thanksgiving-style meal, but we’ve switched to steak. FJ and LeBeef picked up some bone-in ribeye from the Organic Butcher of McLean.
Dinner turned out great. CK serenaded us with her cigar box guitar, and then I went out with the dogs, and got a feel for my new rod.by rsiv with no comments yet
My uncle has been laid up recently. I thought his favorite meal might be a welcome change from hospital food so I went to the teets (‘Merica). Parker taught me a lot about the joy of cooking during holidays and at Bulldogs in Ocean City. He also taught me about jerk chicken. I gathered the requisite ingredients, and then went to EF’s photoshoot.
Hours and hours later, I got down to business.
I used a cheater marinade, but did grind my own jerk spice mix. I do what I want.
The different between good jerk and everything else is pimento wood. If you don’t get pimento smoke on your jerk, it isn’t jerk.
Kate and Dan made some excellent fried plantains and black beans and rice.
Heaven. Pro tip, guinness is what one drinks with jerk. I did also have some red stripe and ginger beer though. Treat yo-self.
Marteen brought a gift, and a very nice new gf.
Hope you enjoyed the jerk Parker!by rsiv with no comments yet
Thursday I had a little wine, and headed out into the cold. I got the smoker going, and threw in the ducks.
FJ got the turkey on the rotisserie.
If you’re still doing some holiday shopping, check out that pic above of my dad using his blo-poke. Its handy by the hearth, but also very useful for smoking/grilling. You can get one at Orvis, but they’re cheaper factory direct and the guy that makes them even called me to make sure I was happy with mine.
Then we headed inside to enjoy the meat and cheese we scored at arrowine.
FJ’s turkey came out great, and we didn’t have any rotisserie motor failures this year.
Otto is enjoying some sauce next to some champs that Kate will be able to saber next year (practice makes perfect…).
I know its been a while, but how about a (beer) cocktail recipe. I had this at McCormick & Schmick’s a couple weeks ago. Their version included sugar, or some sweetener. I prefer mine with straight pumpkin. Pour a guinness into a glass. Add about 1.5 oz pumpkin puree. Stir it in well. Top with some pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy.
This was my great uncle’s pipe.
My sister’s bf Ry brought me some holiday brown sauce, so I poured the guys a couple fingers. Then it was time for dinner.
Everything came out great. My cousin’s fiance came in a little late, so we had a second round much later that evening. It was great to finally meet Dan.by rsiv with no comments yet
It snowed in in VA on Wednesday, but we braved the cold and went out on the baby’s first errands anyway to prepare for Thanksgiving. We started at Heidelberg Bakery to get some sweets. I grew up in Arlington, but it was HB’s first visit, and she was quite impressed.
Then we swung by Arrowine for some cheese, meat, malbec, and sparkles. Arrowine has an incredibly knowledgable and helpful staff. I really only go around the holidays or when HB and I throw a dinner party, but each time is a treat.
Then for dinner my mom swung by Taste By Katie (and has been super helpful in general. I don’t know what we’d have done without her these first weeks home). I’d had some leftovers from when Katie catered my wife’s baby shower, but I’d never had her dinners. I was very impressed. The pork dish was delicious and substantial.
I capped off the evening with a little Russell’s Reserve.
Then it was back to the grind (sort of).
My sister and her bf came over for EF’s first picnic. It was a beautiful day out, and the Italian store sammies were great.
Then EF had a checkup, and all was well.
Shelier made the best leftovers I’ve ever had: duck and turkey pot pies.
EF watched her first western. Her great-papaw would be proud.
And I made a risky breakfast decision.by rsiv with no comments yet
This weekend was Homecoming at the ‘ol Alma Mater. HB and I rolled down early Friday to beat the traffic. We walked around Colonial Williamsburg for a few hours, and then hit The Cheese Shop. We had some local drinks, and some great sandwiches.
HB had to waddle up a little hill to see over the fence. As soon as she looked over, a goat barked at her very loudly, and she jumped about as high as a pregnant can.
The O’Conner Great Dismal Black IPA was particularly good. HB’s ginger ale was pretty good as well.
The next afternoon, we headed to Pierce’s. CW told me it was his first time there, and I couldn’t believe it. We did get attacked by some bees while trying to picnic outside, but when we retreated indoors, the bbq was just as good.
After stopping by some brothers’ house near campus to load up with beer and cornhole boards, we headed to the tailgate. This year we queued up on campus outside the lot.
C-Dubb and I hosted the Alumni Tailgate, which went over pretty well. More people stopped by than I expected, and we went though all of the brats I brought, and everyone raved about CW’s chili. We also hung out some at the undergrad’s tailgate. I pass out some cigars, met some new guys, and spoke with the brother that had made the smoker (he even taught himself to weld), and was also the DJ. He said he could help me make my own, which I’m quite excited about.
Last year, I was a little concerned about the state of our chapter after seeing the tailgate. This year, I couldn’t be more proud and optimistic. It seems like we have a great, diverse, group that can really throw down. After the tailgate, we got some Plaza to go. The manager still remembers us, even though we only seem him about once a year now.
It was a great weekend. I can’t thank CW enough for having us at his place in Williamsburg. I look forward to the 10 year reunion next week, and can’t wait for next year’s tailgate.by rsiv with no comments yet
Saturday I pretty much watched football all day. The WVU upset of Baylor was awesome. Sunday was a beautiful day, so I went over to my dad’s place to smoke some pork.
The pulled pork came out great, and we made more of a dent in the huge jug of bbq sauce I made for OGF.
It was a very fall time. The next day, I made a pretty big lunch salad.
Then HB and I went to Caribbean Plate in Falls Church. A Salteña and some yucca fries hit the spot.by rsiv with no comments yet
On Friday, HB and I headed down to Reedville for our annual pig roast. Back in college, we had a pig roast for a frat brother/roomate’s birthday. Ten years later, we’re still at it. After a rainy but beautiful drive down 17 and 360, we arrived at the bay, had some salty fried chickens from Little River Market, and did a little setting up.
Most of the guests had about a three hour drive after work, so we prepped the hog, did some quick raging, and called it a night.
Saturday we were up early(ish) to get the hog on.
We weren’t the only ones with our hands full…
HW fixed us up some delicious bloodies, and it was time for some breakfast burritos.
With the pig looking good and the coals low and grey, we threw some bourbon soaked smoking wood on and covered the pig with tin foil to saturate the hog with hickory. We grabbed drinks, camp chairs, and did some catching up.
Once we hit about 160 degrees, we pulled the pig. Getting the pig on the table is always a little precarious, but we handled just fine (this year).
With Special K at a high school reunion, Bobby Light took over the carving duties.
The last three years or so, I keep saying we’ve made the best pig yet. I definitely felt that way this year. The rub we use is perfect, and the bourbon/salt water injection we did the night before left a subtle delicious bourbon flavor to the meat. The pork was great, and Patrick’s corn puddin’ wasn’t messin’ around either.
Effie’s first taste of OGF.
I’m no veterinarian, but to the best of my knowledge, Lucy (the dog) is not pregnant.
If you haven’t had Li’s Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, you haven’t lived.
After the hog was butchered and everyone had their fill, we headed down to the dock for some stogies.
That evening, we somehow found the energy to keep partying. Lil Steve was coming off a long shift at the hospital, so he shotgunned a red bull or two.
We finally kicked the keg around midnight. We’ve kicked four or five kegs in the past, but as time goes on, more ‘festers move away, get busy, get pregnant, etc. The group can still throw down though.
I had the last drop from the last pitcher around 1:30, and called it. I had a few nightmares about a monster under my bed that night…
The next morning I was in desperate need of some coffee.
After some breakfast, we cleaned up the garage, and headed to The Crazy Crab. This year, with all the babies, it was the smallest group at the crab yet, but we had a great time. I won’t really try to explain the road pasta. You really had to be there.
Sweet tea and bloodies.
Sugar toads, hush puppies, and fried green tomatoes.
OGF is always one of the best times I have all year. I’m a pretty fortunate and lucky guy. I can’t tell you have often I have people come up to me and tell me how lucky I am, or how jealous they are of my close knit group of friends. ’14 did not disappoint. Even with kids, we had time to catch up, roast an amazing hog, have some drinks, cigars, and a really great time. Can’t wait for OGF ’15 Carova (or wherever it may be).by rsiv with no comments yet
Instacart is a food delivery app and service. I’ve used it about ten times, and I highly recommend it. Basically, you pick a store near you from their list, shop online, and in a few hours, instacart will deliver your groceries. I hate shopping, but love having fresh food at home, so instacart is super convenient for me. I generally order from whole foods, but for the BBQ the other weekend, I was able to order from Costco (without my own membership), and saved a ton. Its also great for figuring out what to make for dinner. They have recipes, or you can just browse online like you would in the store. On friday, I was browsing the meat counter (online), and decided on some lamb.
I’m not a chef, and I really only grill and fry. I end up with some pretty good food (if I do say so myself). The way I do it, is using high quality ingredients and keeping things simple. I love the complex foodie style dishes served over several courses at fancy restaurants, but for the amateur, a handful of high quality ingredients is the way to go. I salted the meat, and then rubbed some herbs de provence on too. I pan fried the lamb to get a nice crust on the meat. Then I grilled it, using some food to get a nice smokey flavor.
While the meat was on the grill, I threw some brussel sprouts in the pan and fried them. Then I covered them with some parmesan in a grill pan, and grilled them to melt the cheese.
When I pulled it off, it was about medium. I was shooting for medium-rare, but with the pregnant wife, safe is better than sorry. I topped the lamb with some fresh herbs, added the brussel sprouts and salad, and we were in business.
Pro Tip: If you get some whole foods on instacart, the dark chocolate sea salt caramels won’t show up, but if you describe them for your shopper, they should have no trouble finding them for you.by rsiv with no comments yet
This past weekend my wife decided to have her baby shower. I got out of dodge. My dad told me that my parents had a joint shower, and something about watching Georgetown beat Kentucky during the party. I decided to be less progressive. On Friday, we took the day off for a Father-Son Dove hunt up in Remington VA. A year or so back we had a lot of success hunting this section of power line that the birds use as a flyway. We shot a round of clays, and then went over by the lines to find some dove.
We saw a few doves when we arrived, which we thought was a good sign. We were a little rusty on the clay course, but we shook it off.
Its an optical illusion.
We didn’t see a ton of dove, but there were enough to bring a few down. Everyone managed to bring one down, but RP dropped his over the fence of a power plant and into a retaining moat.
After the round of clays, a successful hunt, a little father-son bonding, cleaning a few doves, and the enjoyment of a beautiful fall evening in the great state of Virginia, we headed home. The next morning, WinnDixie made us a delicious breakfast.
We got some provisions, and headed down the long road to Richmond.
The next morning we grabbed some much needed Wawa and hit the course.
I had the opportunity to play with The Commodore.
A lot going on in the pic above, below, the official beer of Fall in ‘Merica.
After golf, we had some Plaza Time.
I had an amazing weekend with the best friends you could ask for (brothers really). Its the kind of weekend that really makes one feel lucky and blessed. I can’t wait to get together again soon.by rsiv with no comments yet
It was beautiful out, so RP came over and we grilled. My parents brought me back some assorted forcemeats from France, so we pan-fried some duck terrine to top our steaks. The food was great, and we had some real talk.
The next day, we went to Paladar in Tysons for dinner because we wanted to eat outside. I had a very different ceviche (it had lots of different citrus in it, very interesting). We also were surprised by the uniqueness of their chips and salsa.
I took a moment to appreciate the huge tree in our front yard from the comfort of LeBeef’s convertible.
I endured a 2.5 hour eye appointment, only to find out I can’t get laser eye surgery now (and I probably will never be candidate). Then they dilated my eyes to add insult to injury. It was a very bright day out.
At least that evening was pleasant. Marteen came over (long time no see – business trip), and we grilled some tuna and salmon. Apparently, Whole Foods will season anything that comes out of their butcher shop for free. HB had this mango, coconut, habanero seasoned salmon filet that was delicious. Marteen opted for jerk spices, and I went with salt, and aleppo peppers.
Pictured above, snapshot and snapshot. On Thursday, on the recommendation of HW, HB got us some Taco Bamba. Not only was it delicious, its very affordable. We’ll definitely be back.by rsiv with no comments yet