It’s Not As Easy As It Looks

I’m posting this from a remote site, Mission Beach in San Diego, with this group. As you may or may not recall, Kathleen and I were responsible for one of the group dinners and we made garlic bread, a salad with roasted corn and peppers, and chicken breasts stuffed with Prosciutto, basil, cheese, and roasted Poblanos. We had tried out (and posted about) all the recipes in advance. I did substantial prep work at home in advance, roasting all the peppers and butterflying the chicken. This should be a piece of cake, right?

Wrong. Here are the things we didn’t really fully take into account:

  • 16 people is way more than two. Turns out that if you multiply almost any simple task by 8, it becomes not just harder, but way harder. Roast and peel a Poblano pepper and a bell pepper? No problem. Roast and peel 4 Poblanos and 12 bell peppers? Your fingers get wrinkled from being immersed in pepper juice. Butterfly and flatten a couple of chicken breasts? Easy. Do it 14 times and you really start to appreciate the vegetarian’s choice.
  • Working in someone else’s kitchen is much harder than it should be. No counter space. Somehow they don’t have my favorite pots, pans, cutting board, or knives. Additionally, gas stove (gas stove-top is actually better than my home ground) and gas oven (takes MUCH longer to heat up, which kind of screws up the timing).
  • When you start cooking a group dinner after playing on the beach for 6 straight hours, you don’t realize how slowly and stupidly you’re going to do things until way too late. (“hydrating” after all the beach time by using iced Tecate may have played a part in this)
  • Plus, I’m posting on someone else’s computer, which is hard.

Possibly this comes across a little bit whiney, which would misrepresent the state of affairs here. We were on the beach for 6 hours, admittedly this put a big hurt on the cooks but it also made the audience very, very, hungry and appreciative of our efforts. (note to self: if you keep them out on the beach all day, you can feed them dog food and they’ll love it. you don’t need to try so hard.)

When I get back to the home turf, I’ll post more details of SD’11, and I’ll have a new recipe. In the meantime, it’s too bad you’re not here with us because the food is great and we’re having a blast.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Tecates, probably consumed before cooking even started.

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