Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Tue, 16 Aug 2005
How dinner became a photo shoot...

I'm slacking a bit on the blog. We've had a busy summer - a conference every month, a good sized house project, and some unexpected health stuff. This weekend was one of the first quiet weekends in quite some time, or so it felt.

Sunday afternoon we were pondering what to have for dinner. It all started with Compli. Julie found it earlier during the weeks grocery shopping, and it sounded interesting. The only problem was that we didn't have recipe compatible with the use of Compli, and the use of the grill. We've had limited use of our deck (the house project) and so we're trying to make up for lost grilling and eating outside time. Some Googling produced a reasonable sounding recipe. Julie wanted to take Abigail to the pool, so I did the food prep. The brining was pretty easy, and I finished that before they left for the pool. I sent Elisabeth for a nap, and Michaela sat in a part of the kitchen working on a Python turtle graphics program. That left me to prepare the rub. Julie thought I was a little strange to want to work on it right away.

Growing up, we barbecued a lot during the summer. My dad usually did this, and it was a common sight to see him doing the prep for dinner either late in the morning or early in the afternoon. Then there would be a break and Dad would do all the grilling. I have a powerful and pleasant set of memories about this. Almost without fail, I think of my dad when I am grilling.

I started out by crushing fennel seeds with a mortar -- Julie wanted to bag most of the spices in the rub, but I wanted to try it -- one more reason why I got the job. It was great to smell the fennel as the pestle cracked the seed cases and released the spices. Michaela caught the smell from her perch behind the Thinkpad, and told me so. The fennel was followed by sage, which was pretty short work.

Things slowed down when I got to the rosemary. Julie sent the girls to pick some rosemary from the garden (our garden has been reduced this year, due to a different house project). Of course, if you send three young children to pick rosemary, you are going to get a sizable amount in return. The rosemary took a bit longer. I found it hard to really keep all the little leaves lined up so that I could chop them nicely.

When I finally finished, I decided that I was going to snap some pictures of the rosemary, and that was when the trouble started. The rosemary was innocent enough. From there, I moved on to photographing the rub as it was at that moment. After the rosemary, I needed to chop some garlic. About halfway through one of the pieces, I got the idea to take a few photos, figuring that a knife halfway through a sliced clove of garlic would make for a cool picture. So I shot various angles, and looked for reflections against the blade. Then I noticed that the light from the kitchen window was being blocked by the blade, and I took a bunch of exposures trying to capture the subtle change in light caused by the blade. In order to do this I felt that I needed longer exposures than I could reasonably handhold. So out came the tripod (although I used it as a monopod).

From there on out, each completed step ended up getting photographed to death. Fortunately, there weren't that many steps left. Julie and Abigail came back from the pool, noting the pleasant smells in the air. There was some surprise that I wasn't done with the cutting yet. Once they heard that I was taking pictures, they seemed to understand the delay a little better.

The actual grilling went fairly well. I had a small problem with the grill being too hot, but I eventually solved that, and got all the pork chops cooked. We doubled the recipe and did some pork tenderloin as well (pork chops are pricey). Was it worth all the work? Based on the reactions of the diners, I'd have to say it was. It's hard to say which made more of a difference on the results, the brining or the rub. All I know is that this is the second time that we've brined something and had it turn out fantastic. Although if I was making this recipe again (and I definitely will if I have anything to say about it), I would dial down the salt and pepper in the rub just a little bit.

I posted a Flickr photo set, so if you want the visual version of the story, you can go have a look.

[09:57] | [family] | # | TB | F | G | 3 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
You can subscribe to an RSS feed of the comments for this blog: RSS Feed for comments

Add a comment here:

You can use some HTML tags in the comment text:
To insert a URI, just type it -- no need to write an anchor tag.
Allowable html tags are: <a href>, <em>, <i>, <b>, <blockquote>, <br/>, <p>, <code>, <pre>, <cite>, <sub> and <sup>.

You can also use some Wiki style:
URI => [uri title]
<em> => _emphasized text_
<b> => *bold text*
Ordered list => consecutive lines starting spaces and an asterisk





Remember my info?

twl JPG


Ted Leung FOAF Explorer

I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, not those of my employer.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Now available!
Professional XML Development with Apache Tools : Xerces, Xalan, FOP, Cocoon, Axis, Xindice
Technorati Profile
PGP Key Fingerprint
My del.icio.us Bookmarks
My Flickr Photos

RSS 2.0 xml GIF
Comments (RSS 2.0) xml GIF
Atom 0.3 feed
Feedburner'ed RSS feed

< August 2005 >
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 910111213


Macintosh Tips and Tricks

Blogs nearby
geourl PNG

/ (1567)
  books/ (33)
  computers/ (62)
    hardware/ (15)
    internet/ (58)
      mail/ (11)
      microcontent/ (58)
      weblogs/ (174)
        pyblosxom/ (36)
      www/ (25)
    open_source/ (145)
      asf/ (53)
      osaf/ (32)
        chandler/ (35)
        cosmo/ (1)
    operating_systems/ (16)
      linux/ (9)
        debian/ (15)
        ubuntu/ (2)
      macosx/ (101)
        tips/ (25)
      windows_xp/ (4)
    programming/ (156)
      clr/ (1)
      dotnet/ (13)
      java/ (71)
        eclipse/ (22)
      lisp/ (34)
      python/ (86)
      smalltalk/ (4)
      xml/ (18)
    research/ (1)
    security/ (4)
    wireless/ (1)
  culture/ (10)
    film/ (8)
    music/ (6)
  education/ (13)
  family/ (17)
  gadgets/ (24)
  misc/ (47)
  people/ (18)
  photography/ (25)
    pictures/ (12)
  places/ (3)
    us/ (0)
      wa/ (2)
        bainbridge_island/ (17)
        seattle/ (13)
  skating/ (6)
  society/ (20)

[Valid RSS]

del.icio.us linkblog



Listed on BlogShares

Locations of visitors to this page
Where are visitors to this page?

pyblosxom GIF