I had company coming over this weekend. You know I had to wow them, so I planned a delicious menu that would also be easy for me to both prep and cook. I made a honey BBQ marinade yesterday and then put some steak in it overnight – I love marinades because I can do the prep work when I get home from work, throw tomorrow’s dinner in there and just let it hang out in my fridge overnight, getting tastier and tastier. I also made a fantastic compound butter with garlic and fresh herbs for the corn. Of course, I also had some potatoes wrapped in foil ready to go, too. Can’t serve steak without potatoes, now can I?
With my prep work done, I headed out to the backyard. I do what other people call a “spring cleaning” on the grill in my backyard fairly often; I am a bit of a clean freak that way. The first thing I do is break out my portable air compressor. I use it to clean out cobwebs and blow any gunk off. I am sure there are other ways to do this, but this is probably the manliest. And if, say, you are afraid of spiders, this will blow them clear and you won’t have to worry ‘bout ‘em. I used the compressor to do a quick blow-over of the patio set, too, since we’d be out there most of the weekend. Once they were both dust-and-bug-free, I scrubbed the grill top and the patio table til they shined.
With my grill clean and the next day’s meal chillin’ in my fridge, I was able to get a great night sleep.
In the morning, I headed out to pick up a nice Cabernet Sauvignon to go with the meal. I did some quick table setup: I put some nice unscented LED candles on the table in lieu of a flower arrangement because I don’t like the floral smell interfering with the smell of the fantastic dinner I worked so hard on! I’m not big on aesthetics, I guess, I am more scent-oriented.
After everyone got here, one of my friends made a comment about how clean everything was so I told them my air compressor trick. He told me I could actually start a pretty nice coal fire with it, too, so we decided to test out that theory. After about three seconds, I decided this wasn’t the smartest idea we’ve ever had and put the compressor safely back in the garage. We compromised and got out a hair dryer. Believe it or not, he was right. It worked like a charm, and it was like a little pre-dinner theater, including special effects!
I threw the baked potatoes on and sat with my company for awhile. That’s the beauty of baked potatoes, they take forever. The steaks and corn went on next, and in short order, everyone was complaining about how hungry they were. I just laughed, because the smell was even better over at the grill and it was difficult not to drool over everything. I brought everything to the table family-style and let the guests serve themselves while I opened the wine.
If you’re wondering how everything tasted, I’ll say this – there wasn’t a single scrap of food left when we were done. Now that’s the sign of a good meal.