Saturday, May 24, 2008

Holiday Weekends and Barbecues

This weekend is a holiday for Americans, last week it was a holiday for Canadians. For us it was Victoria Day which is often referred to as May 24th weekend which puzzles me as it is the 24th today so why wasn't it celebrated this weekend I wonder? For the Americans it is Memorial Day and a time when many of them remember those passed away in their families as well as members of the armed services killed in wars. Many people also spend their weekend at the barbecue and there have been all kinds of programmes noting that fact in the last week or so. Unfortunately, living in an apartment, we are not allowed to have a barbecue so make do with an indoor/outdoor grill which works very well. In fact friends of ours, who also live in an apartment, have an electric grill on their balcony which they like very much. We have thought of getting one, but haven't done so yet. One problem I perceive is having a power cord running through the balcony doors allowing any bugs to wander inside at will. I do NOT like bugs etc. particularly indoors. Good Morning America had Chef Mario Batali grilling up a storm yesterday, if you would like to see his recipes click here.

We had a phone call yesterday from our friends who are vacationing in North Carolina right now, apparently the weather has been great. In fact, looking at the weather map, the weather has been warm over most of the States but of course a lot of that has spawned tornadoes of which there have been many this last few weeks. The main reason they called was to tell us that the friend we went on a cruise with, is in hospital which is not very nice news. I am beginning to think NC isn't so healthy after all, our friends have been getting pretty sick over the past few years and we don't have too many left there any more.

I see Myanmar has finally agreed to allow some helpers in their country, I wonder how many have died because they didn't agree earlier. China is now talking of deaths up to 80,000 from their earthquake. They too have now asked for extra help but at least they sent in thousands of soldiers when the disaster happened and have allocated billions to rebuild the areas which were hit.

Yesterday I made the asparagus soup I posted and it was delicious. I can highly recommend it, very simple to make and worth the small amount of effort. I will be making more, in fact I may freeze some although the recipe calls for the tips to be kept whole, this won't work too well frozen as they will become a mush.

Tonight we are going to have an M & M Meats' Chateaubriand, they have them on special at the moment so we bought some extra yesterday. I have mentioned them before and they are really very good and good for the money. It will be cooked on our indoor/outdoor grill. I am not sure what we will serve with it, I have about one serving of asparagus left - guess where I will be going tomorrow? Yes, they are open on Sunday. We don't bother with dessert when we are on our own although we frequently have a Ferrero Rocher chocolate each after dinner. Being a Saturday, we will open a nice bottle of wine too, not sure which one. I would like to open one of our Malivoire Pinot Noir, but Matt is saving them for a special occasion???

If you are having a barbecue, this is a good salad to have with it. I have made it several times and we enjoy it very much. If you are not sure how to properly segment or supreme an orange the way the professionals do it, here is a blog entry with pictures click here which will help you. I tend not to cut the peel so square which wastes a lot of the flesh. I have posted this recipe before, but it bears repeating and can be prepared well in advance of the meal.

Fennel, Orange, and Parsley Salad
Everyday Food

Servings: 4

5 x medium oranges
2 x medium fennel bulbs (8 ounces each), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise
2/3 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tbsp slivered pitted black olives
1 tbsp olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Using a paring knife, remove the peel and pith of the oranges. Separate oranges into segments over a large bowl (to catch the juices), then add segments to bowl. Smoosh rest of orange to remove juice.

2. Add fennel, parsley, olives, oil; season with salt and pepper. Gently toss, and serve.

Have a great weekend.


  1. It is also a holiday weekend in the U.K. Here in France we will however have to wait until July 14 (Bastille Day) for another public holiday.

    The French are also now going in for bbq's. There are dreadful accidents though each summer with exploding grills so the gov run warning ads on tv.

    Having grown up in South Africa, a bbq is no stranger to me. Can't say that I like them though. Give me a beautifully-set table any day.

  2. Thanks for the link to my site!

    Just to be clear though, I guess it was just the angle of the picture (cutting an orange and taking snapshots at the same time is a bit tricky) but I dont cut the orange "square." If you look at the second shot, you can see the peel is curved. And I say as much in the directions.

    (Oh gosh, I'm a bit defensive! Sorry! LOL.)

    Fab blog btw!


  3. Marilyn you will have to visit North America and enjoy a barbecue over here, some of them can be absolutely fabulous, never heard of exploding grills though. There is no reason why you can't have a beautiful table to eat your grilled food. I don't think a braai is quite the same as a home barbecue.

    Rachel, having made the remark about the square orange, I saw what you had written in your comment - it is a bit difficult to show in a picture, I suppose a video would be better, but that's not easy. Thanks for the praise. I enjoyed your blog too.