Sunday, June 29, 2008
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Well, my final is over and so I'm officially out of hibernation! I'm supposed to be working on one of my school papers, but instead I've been planning our upcoming Fourth of July BBQ! I'm very blessed to have married into a family - the first American since Pidgeon's Aunt - whose thrilled to share in the customs of my heritage. This means, we all now celebrate Thanksgiving and July 4th! As you may recall, I hosted Thanksgiving dinner in the apartment last year (more than 40 people folks!) and it was a great success. But, since we don't have a grill and only a tiny mirpeset (balcony), we had to find a new location to play host for our BBQ. Fortunately, Pidgeon's folks have both a beautiful garden and a Weber, so plans were made and this morning my mother-in-law and I discussed the menu.
First thing she asked me was if this was going to be an American style BBQ. I said: absolutely! That means, no pita, no hummus, no babaganoush, NOTHING middle eastern should appear on the table. I'm now in charge of picking up hamburger and hot dog buns (yeah! I haven't had a bun in AGES!) We also discussed grilled corn on the cob, American hot dogs, chicken drumsticks slathered in BBQ sauce, American hamburgers (minus the bacon cause we're kosher) and ALL the fixings. That means sauerkraut, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, sliced pickles, sliced onions. I nixed the mayo cause I just don't like mayo on my meats and my mother-in-law nixed the relish cause she doesn't like it. Then I asked if she wanted me to make coleslaw and french fries, and she decided to make real french fries (we're all about the frozen kinds that you bake in this house) cause it's supposedly better for me and the baby. Whatever. As long as I can have some fries with my hot dog, I'm a happy lady.
I think I'll surprise her with my Mother's coleslaw recipe, it's delishous, and maybe I'll also make a macaroni salad. I have to find a good recipe for that though, but it would also be delicious! Next, it was on to the dessert discussion. Personally, I'm a big BBQ pie gal. I like either cherry, blueberry or apple. I offered to make the pies - will probably just make my Aunt Amy's apple pie and my sister's blueberry pie - and then my Mother-in-law requested brownies. Now, I'm not really a big believer in brownies at my BBQ, unless they're special and well in my condition that ain't happening, but I'll honor her request and will make my snowdrop brownies especially for her :)
She's going to also pick up the watermellon and Pidgeon and I will look for some parve vanilla ice cream cause you can't have apple pie without vanilla ice cream ala mode. And voila, a Fourth of July BBQ comes together! Wow, I hope I don't pack on the pounds. I've got 3 weeks to go until my next Dr. appointment and I don't want to get another tongue lashing!
I'm so nostalgic for the July 4th BBQ's of yore, when I was really, really little and my brother wasn't even on the scene yet! When Aunt Amy and Cousin Neil would come out to us (with Cousin Larry too) in Queens and my Dad would BBQ in the backyard. Those were the days before my parents had a back porch, and the grass in the yard was nice and green and manicured. My parents would set up the sprinklers in the lawn and fill up the crocodile baby pool with the little slide, and we would all spend hours playing in the water. Meanwhile, as our parents supervised in their hippest 70's gear (we're talking funky sunglasses and lime green dresses (my Mom) with bell bottom pants (Neil's Dad) my Dad would come out in HIS BBQ gear.
That consisted of the cleanest and holiest white Hanes T-shirt he could find in his drawer, a pair of loose fitting shorts, knee high sports socks with green and yellow stripes underneath the knee, and his favorite pair of sneakers. Ah, if only he had worn this outfit JUST to BBQ. As I later learned, this also turned out to be his sleep away camp visiting day outfit (complete with galoshes in case it was rainy or muddy at Camp Moshava/Hillel/Morasha/Mesorah, etc.). A bit embarressing when you're 12 years old, completely endearing when you're 5.
Sometimes, Dad would let me help him get the charcoal going. That meant he let me hold the lighter fluid bottle about 10 feet away from the grill. When he was ready, he'd walk over to me to get the fluid, and let me hold the spatula. I usually got bored with just holding the spatula and ended up getting all wrinkly in the pool with my sisters and cousins. My Grandparents used to come too, and Uncle Benjy A"H, and we would just spend the day in the back yard eating and having a great time. Since we always started our BBQ extra early, sometimes we had time to drop by the Fried's and crash THEIR BBQ. Daneel would be shooting hoops in the driveway and my Dad would join in, while I tried to pick at their cherry tree. Those were great summer memories.
Sometimes, I just want to be 5 again. Life was so simpler back then!
Well, I'm really hoping that P"G this baby will also have some great summertime memories. Granted, it will be really different from mine since we're living in Israel and only a minority here celebrate the American holidays, but who knows. Maybe we'll spend our Fourth of July's in the States with my family? My folks have a Weber now too, and well, Dad still has those tube socks but maybe I can convince him to leave the galoshes in the hall closet.
Speaking of Dad, he just called to say good morning but I was downloading, The Very Best of the Beach Boys off of iTunes and our VOIP connection was pretty lousy. Now that I'm all done with 30 of the very best Beach Boys tunes (another surprise for the BBQ!) I think I'll call him back.
Yom Tov from Baka!