Downtime for Mikey.
I’ll be by the sea listening to the surf, smoking a cigar, looking at the world through my uber dark sunglasses.
No cares, ‘cept for the cooking of some tasty morsels of the sea for our dinner.
Out of here with my lady, my cigars and my music in tow.
Time to put my toes in the sand for a bit.
Wish you were her . . . (old joke)
Many people know the magical story of my winning of a beautiful CharBroil grill back in September of last year.
I never win anything but somehow I won this amazing grill.
This isn’t a story about the winning but one of the grill itself.
And yeah, it’s awesome.
I have named him ‘Ted‘.
This Tru-Infrared grill has changed my thoughts and feelings about gas grills in general.
It used to be that gas grills produced dry burgers and drier pieces of burnt chicken but that has all changed.
I remember ‘working the dancefloor’ with so many grills over the years because of hot and cold spots.
The ‘dance’ would add another 20 minutes to my cooking times because every single piece of chicken or beef cooked differently.
The grill I currently own called ‘Ted’ has changed my mind about gas grills.
I cook breakfast on the sideburner (not stinking the house up with bacon grease) and rotisserie pork shoulders for supper.
There’s no more ‘working the dancefloor’ with this grill.
All surfaces are equal.
Cooking times are less, burgers and chicken are always juicier with some serious char marks.
This grill gets quite hot, folks.
My oldest daughter, Sarah and future SIL, Jonathan, bought me a Charbroil rotisserie for Christmas.
I made a pork shoulder last week that was simply amazing.
It was like crunchy bacon on the outside, tender and moist on the inside.
The thing is, I did nothing.
I watched in amazement as this huge churning chunk of meat came to fruition.
Charbroil has changed the life of my family for the better.
When Dad is cooking something on the grill these days, it IS special.
My thanks go out to all the wonderful folks from Charbroil especially, Michael Williams of the Charbroil Social Media department.
Michael has been a wonderful representative of a company that I will forever endorse.
We have traded many emails [how many, Michael?] and I would feel comfortable having him to my house for a nice meal someday.
Think about it, MW.
For all your grilling needs?
Look no further than Charbroil . . . .
Awesome company, awesome products, the best in support.
End of story.
A year ago about this time the talk around town (and Facebook) was all about Pamela and me going to Australia.
It seems like yesterday but it feels like years since we were talking about it.
That said, here I am still reminiscing about the 2 weeks in time that I will not soon forget.
I began writing about our journey a while back and stopped short for reasons that now elude me.
Let’s just say that life sometimes gets in the way.
Please forgive me.
My last post got us to Townsville in Queensland where Moe and Mark live.
I remember descending into the small airport and thinking, “So, this is where we Skype every weekend,” not knowing that there was much more than meets the eye behind this place called Townsville (aka, Paradise).
After taking a badly needed shower, Pamela and me proceeded to do what you do on holiday.
We sat our asses in the backyard and had a few drinks, a few cigars and talked about our flights over.
The QLD sun was hotter than I thought it would be and I found a slice of shade to sit in.
I kept mentally pinching myself as if to notify my tired brain that I was really sitting in Oz;
being that far away from home can disorient you into believing you’re not really there.
I got the piss taken out of me 244 times that afternoon. (yeah, I counted)
The plan for the day was to chill out for a bit and go to Mel and Steve’s
(Moe and Mark’s daughter and son-in-law) later that day for our first authentic Australian barbecue.
The details of our first afternoon are a bit foggy but I do remember shitting my pants on our drive over when Mark went into the first Aussie roundabout I had ever encountered.
I mentally made the sign of the Cross knowing I was about to die because he was going the opposite way that people in the States go.
After getting through the roundabout I once again made the sign of the Cross and began a deeper understanding of the phrase, ‘DownUnder’.
Please pass me the vegemite.
We arrived at Mel and Steve’s and got a tour of the place which was under some serious renovation.
With the help of Caleb and Lucas (M&S’s sons) we toured the house which was in a transition phase.
In about six months this place would be a palace.
I still badly want Mel’s kitchen which was any true chef’s dream.
Appetizers came out; Prawns (huge ass shrimp for you folks in the Northeast, but they’re sweeter than shrimp), Cabana and cheese (Cabana is like a really nice mild but spicy kielbasa), fruit, veggies and more than one could ever eat. [just you wait for my description of the amazing Brie in Victoria]
But Steve had a plan for me in terms of Australian beer.
XXXX Gold: (rat piss in a can, and Steve told me I could just toss it, which I did)
Toohey’s New: (not bad but reminded me of Sam Adam’s lager, which I hate. I drank it though)
VB Victoria Bitters; once again not bad but not much better than Toohey’s.
James Boag; a total winner for me, hands down. A great beer with flavor and strength to boot.
With multiple beers under my belt I watched in amazement as Steve grilled our food.
The smell coming off the grill should be made into a MAN cologne. [truth]
Snags, lamb chops, steak and grilled onions made my stomach yearn for some food.
Snags, btw, are beef sausages and not available in the US.
The aroma of grilled snags is simply wonderful.
Steve also made some snags w/ vegemite.
How do you spell AWESOME?
We sat and ate a BBQ that just blew my mind (and our caloric count for the day)(like I was counting, right?)
Life was very good that night at Mel and Steve’s.
To them we were in a sense strangers but they made us feel like family.
And maybe we were; I like to think that.
The blazing sun had set hours before we got done eating and it was time for yours truly to look at the Australian night sky.
Me, Mark, Steve, Caleb and Lucas went out into the front yard.
“There it is,” Mark said.
As he was pointing, I saw it.
I’ve loved stargazing for as long as I can remember but never have I wanted to see something as bad as this.
“The Southern Cross.”
I gazed at it, totally spellbound, tears forming in my eyes.
My first night in Oz was now complete.
That was until Mel brought out the Pavlova.
to be continued . . .
ps. Snags and eggs? I love you.
Click on the Diner picture above to achieve greatness in the kitchen!
Fabio is some kind of awesome.
Love this guy.
Trust me, the short video is amazing . . .