spicy mac & cheese, green beans
BBQ steak, mustard greens, french fries.
I am grilling steaks for dinner tonight. The rusty steel barrel barbecue is a permanent fixture outside the front door, seemingly impervious to the wind. It stands alone as one of the few features in the yard not wired and bolted down- yet it holds its ground throughout the summer, only going into hiding for the harshest of gales. The humble barbecue is a miracle worker. It can be a modified coffee can or it can look like a Cadillac, but as soon as that smoky heat infiltrates your hot dog of questionable origins, or that burger(?) you found at the bottom of the deep-freeze it does something magical. This is not the high-art of grilling, but with some properly applied condiments and the heady scent of briquettes still clinging to your clothes, that hunk of meat tastes pretty darn good.
The favorite saying around here is “it’s a harsh continent.” This applies to everything from the weather, to the selection of breakfast cereal at the morning table and is a perfect explanation for the meat I can order from the Big Base food supply. The tough assortment of mystery cuts come to me individually vacuum-packed and frozen, concisely labeled “beef steak.” I have discovered that extensive marination is the best way to go about preparing these cow pucks for the grill. After a day spent hanging out in red cooking wine, soy sauce and a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, my little steaks are ready to cook. Serve them with some expired french fries and pre-chopped mustard greens (thank you freezer) and you’ve got yourself a nice Antarctic barbecue.