Saturday, June 16, 2007
We celebrated Father's Day today with my parents and John and Edith Lelak, the retired couple who provided childcare to our kids when they were babies (and have become very close friends of our family). I grilled like mad: smoked pork chops from Rieker's Meats (highly recommended; thanks again to George Hummel and Nancy Rigberg of Home Sweet Homebrew for turning me on to this great German deli in Northeast Philly), tiny Yukon Gold spuds (shaken in olive oil, coarse salt and pepper), slices of Vidalia onion (prepped the same way), and over a pound of Baby Bella mushrooms. We had chilled shrimp and smoked salmon for appetizers, on some classic German rye bread I got at Rieker's.
The shrooms and spuds were done in a thing Cathy got me that I at first didn't see much use for: a pan for doing beer can chicken without the can. It was a round metal pan, with handles, holes in the pan, and a well in the middle for liquid. I have yet to do a chicken on it, but it's great for vegetables: oil 'em up, season them, and drop the whole thing on the grill.
We popped a few beers (A-B Beach Bum Blonde that I intend to review real soon, some Tupper's Hop Pocket Keller Pils, and the new Shiner 98, a "Bavarian amber" that tasted pretty damned great (reviewing that one real soon, too!)), I had a tall iced glass of Fresca Citrus Peach with a big chunk of VOX vodka in it while I was grilling, and I had a nostalgic beer dessert: a Perkuno's Hammer float with locally-made raspberry ice cream. Dang, it was good, although the first bottle of my remaining stash I opened was a lactic gusher. (BTW, heard from Victory: the new-make Hammer is looking good, tasting good, and on-track for a late July release! Still no word on the new name; apparently the same problems are still haunting it.)
And then I just relaxed on my new hammock with my new dog. A pretty great afternoon with the folks and the kids and the wife. And the little dog. Cheers to all the fathers!