When it's too hot to cook inside or when we have a bunch of folks over, we fire up the big grill. (It is risky to ask 10 people to come over and then to find the power's out and you've got nothing to feed anyone -- the grill is the safest bet!) It's a beautiful thing made from a barrel and cleverly outfitted (thanks to some awesome customizing by our friends who sold us the grill when they moved away -- and then moved right back, but we got to keep the grill thank goodness.) It doubles as a smoker and has an extra 'arm' that holds a shallow wok or pizza pan. For ages meat never touched the metal. I simply don't know how to cook meat, or buy meat for that matter. We perfected our grilled pizzas, roasted veggies and were happy to have this metal monster, even not knowing how to use it for smoking or other carnivorous pursuits.
Meat here is plentiful, fresh, and delicious -- when you know what you are doing. With much help, we're venturing into meats and enjoying the results. On the menu recently? T-bone steaks! O grabbed the biggest one last night and finished the whole thing by himself. yikes.
And then there was the hours-long pasta dinner.....pasta in America is a quick and easy dinner. Not at 23 b. We made an ugly but delicious batch of genuine ragu and hand rolled pasta last week. Everyone participated and it took FOREVER. It was delicious and we'll do it again, I love home made pasta. BUT WE ARE NOT MAKING THIS SHAPE AGAIN. EVER. They ended up being 8 inch long hollow tubes. each one made one at a time starting with folding a blob of dough around a wooden skewer and rolling it out then TRYING to get it thin enough and then trying to get it off the skewer. never. ever. again.
By the time dinner was done we were too tired to clear and set the table so had a picnic on the living room floor.