This is the second day of my 44 birthday celebration. The morning began with breakfast for 12 people. I pull out the World War one Cast Iron skillet that Grover casted me off his original one. It is one heavy piece of cooking equipment to add to the arsenal but it produces amazing food.
I call this the “Kitchen Sink” and it has just about everything in it but…..the kitchen sink. We have seasoned potatoes, chopped onions, yellow peppers, lots of garlic, bacon, pork from the pig roast, hot sausage from Mt. Angel, veal chorizo, and the best ingredient…GOUDA Cheese.
This breakfast process takes about 45 minutes to do it right. The potatoes and the cheese need to be crisp and brown before serving. The garlic bites are amazing. We put a whole head of chopped garlic in this bad boy.
We serve this on the plate, and then Todd puts two eggs over easy on top and gives you a piece of toast. I was so hungry I didn’t get to take a picture because I was eating it like a lawn mower. We went on an unsuccessful Morel mushroom hunt (it was too cold). Then returned to prep for the big dinner.
Wayne made a wonderful Lamb roasting spit for the fire. Basically the lamb is tied to the spit in the open fashion so it can cook evenly over the fire. This takes approximately 3 hours. We drive a stake into the ground at an angle and put it at the precise degree we need. Nobody fell into the fire.
While this gets going. I retreat to the kitchen where the ladies are drinking wine and talking about hair color and fingernails.
Now when I say “Empanadas Cooking team” that refers to the lovely lady in the middle. Basically she cooks and works in the kitchen and the other two sit and watch drinking their wine and talk to Shery while she works diligently in the kitchen. Where is Alice?
Meanwhile the BBQ boys have are milling around the fire making sure their drinks are full and the fire is producing heat.
What I love about this type of cooking in the cold, is that it gets us all outside to enjoy the fire and friendship.
Where is Alice?
The lamb is putting off a very good smell. I am surprised that Grizzly bears have not snuck into camp. We turn it around every so often and took our meat temperature gauge to assure a smooth even cooked lamb.
Now about this time we realize two things. Wayne is no longer with us, and we have located Alice in the hot tub where she has been for 7 hours. When I say “Wayne is no longer with us” I mean mentally, not physically. He is now operating in that portion of the brain that only can be operated by killing 1 million brain cells to get there. Someone has stolen our charcoal from our sausage cook station and threw them in the fire. A minor set back that we recover from.
We had to recruit a new “Cut” man to begin to slicing up the finished lamb because our man was down. Trevor’s first question is if we had surgical gloves because he didn’t want to get the meat flavor on his hands. Todd and I looked at him like “Did you just say that?”.
We moved everything inside because it began to snow, and Trevor’s hands were cold.
We serve this meal family style. Everyone grabs a plate!
The Meat Savant makes his way to the kitchen after groping Trevor, his wife, me, and the dog. At least he is an equal opportunity groper, he does not care.
The meal is served and the glass of wine is poured. A great way to finish off the night.
The next day we found a comercial Traeger smoker bbq, that we used at our wedding. The company wanted to sell it, and we basically stole it. We could get four lambs in this bad boy. The three of us were giggling all the way home thinking about the deal we got. Look out people, we have entered the NFL.
We had a great time and I am thankful to have such good friends that enjoy cooking and eating as much as I do. I never even thought about the fact that I turned the dreaded 44. It was a great birthday.