So… this was my fridge, right before people started showing up for the barbecue (note the now ubiquitous bag of kale). It’s a pretty big fridge, but we still had trouble getting the door closed. And what are crunk berriez, you ask?
Here’s the thing about hosting parties — I always overcompensate when it comes to supplies. This time wasn’t actually that bad. There wasn’t that much leftover meat, the leftover corn and watermelon got finished in a day, as did any leftover baked goods. The one big mistake was when it came to buying berries. We had so. Many. Berries. Which was how we ended up with a pimp cup full of them.
We also made: hamburgers! There was really no exact recipe for this, aside from mixing the ground beef with salt, pepper, and onions before making them into patties. But I got a few grilling tips from my dad, and now feel slightly more competent using the grill. Now, I will share these tips with you:
– Handle the patties as little as possible before grilling. This will prevent bacteria transfer and keep the patties from getting tough.
– The patties will shrink on the grill, so make them substantially larger than you think you have to. This is doubly true for turkey burgers.
– Keep the patties thin to make sure they cook quickly and evenly all the way through.
– Burgers are ready to be flipped when the meat doesn’t stick to the grill.
– If you want well-done burgers, wait until the juices run clear in the middle before taking them off the grill.
– Toast buns over indirect heat. Unless you like the ashy grill marks (some people do!).
We also grilled corn in an adobo lime rub. I have a lot of the spice mix left over, and I’m excited to use it next time I make chicken.
For a healthy option, I made a salad with kale, spinach, sliced strawberries, radishes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, modeled after this salad (except…parsley? As a salad green? Too much). I wasn’t really sure how the bitter greens, sweet berries, and acidic vinegar would turn out, but it was delicious! Especially the combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Apparently this is a very common pairing in Italian cooking, and with good reason — I don’t know why, but strawberries and vinegar taste amazing together.
Other than that though, we kept to barbecue staples. Chips and peach salsa, watermelon, goblet of berries. Your usual assortment. For dessert, we had the blondies, the tart, and a concoction Alex made by blending blueberries and strawberries and then mixing them with Cool Whip and sticking it in the freezer. It totally overshadowed my baked goods. We ate it with forks straight out of the tupperware.
Sometimes the simple things are the best things. And even if I spend long hours over the oven only to be outdone by Cool Whip, I’m ok with that. As long as I can eat the Cool Whip out of a tupperware container with my friends while watching fireworks after putting away a great meal, I am totally cool with that.