I rarely take days off, and even when I'm off, I usually do something work related. Memorial Day this year, I actually took off. After a few hours of idle time in the morning, I decided to thumb my way through Steven Raichlen's "The Barbecue Bible".
Since last minute holiday shopping isn't a great idea, I decided to go to the store a whole four hours before I needed to cook. Isn't four hours pre-planning? In truth, I picked up burgers the day before, but after an evening of watching the "Band of Brothers" marathon I needed to cook. How does Band of Brothers equal cooking? I'm glad you asked.
In September of 2001, about a week after the 11th, my wife and I separated. Baseball season was so extended; the Yankees added a Mr. November nick name to their ranks. My friends and I got together every Sunday that fall. Mike and I took turns cooking, and afterwards we watched Band of Brothers, the Yankees, and on the nights both were on, we kept switching back and forth. Those weekly get-togethers stand out in my memory. All in all, they made for a relatively comfortable re-entry into single hood. Good friends, good food, good TV, and we might have had some decent beer there too.
So Memorial Day got me thinking of relationships. I prayed for the families of the soldiers over seas, and their families back here. I thought of friends I haven't seen, and things (like cooking) I really haven't done much. I also thought about the friends I am fortunate to have now through Best Friend's Dog Training, and how many of our clients have personal friendships with people they met because they all happened to choose the same dog training company.
I was shopping to make "Pepper Chicken Kabobs". I did great! I got everything (including Hungarian hot paprika) except....the skewers. I couldn't find them at 2pm on what is essentially BBQ day kick off. I started to think of my relationships and who I knew who might have them. I was drawing a blank. I thought of my Boy Scout training and I would have simply pulled some thin branches off a tree, scrape off the bark and use those. I then thought of the disapproving looks from my girlfriend and my guests. I don't think it would have gone well.
I added one part relationship to one part Boy Scout thinking (we are trained to think differently) and came up with my local Chinese restaurant. I order there fairly regularly, and have even ordered some kind of meat on a stick, which is kabobish enough for me. I didn't think they would be offended by my request. A few min later, I walked out with enough to complete my recipe.
If you're in the Bellmore area and are looking for Chinese food, stop by the place in the King Kullen shopping center. If you're interested in the Kabobs, turn to page 234 of "The Barbecue Bible". I highly recommend both.
Have a great week,