Lookbacks to 2020, the year in grilling

Some delicious tomahawk steak with my mother. As you can tell we like it pretty rare!

Even if in the last year I only had one catering gig, I did not feel as though I got left behind in developing my cooking skills. At the beginning of quarantine, like many, I dived straight into my cooking. After learning how to make several new pasta dishes from scratch (aglio e olio w/ shrimp being my favorite), and a few week attempts at making meringues my rolling boil of a cooking attempt died down to meek simmer. The reason being is that I suddenly found myself only able to worm into pants with elastic. But I found one haven out of one piece of bad news that 2020 brought: my oven in Pennsylvania stopped working…

The old-fashioned breakfast sausage (AKA country sausage) with the new-fashioned romanesca (fractal-formed cousin of the quotidian broccoli)

So armed with only a grill, I endeavored to make many of the meals my girlfriend and I shared. Our favorite staple quickly became thick sliced zucchini ‘steak’ and pork chops. And of course steaks and normal vegetables were easy choices. But in order to make what was a collection of what felt like side dishes into a full meal was going to take more effort. I tried grilling bacon for example, but I found it looked much prettier in photographs than it tasted. But the first difficult grill challenge I took on was to grill a whole chicken.

As I have had a huge amount of experience roasting chicken through the years, I spatchcocked the bird, rubbed one of my typical spice mixtures on it (salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and garlic) and through the bird onto the hot section of the grill face down for an initial char. After leaving for a few short minutes, flipping it onto its back to sear the back. Then to finish it up, put it on the upper racks to slow cook in indirect heat.

I really need to be better at photographing food, because this looked 3 times as delicious in person!

But the real achievement last year was baking in the grill. As you would expect the primary issue with doing this would be managing heat control. This was not so easy due to cold weather and hard wind conditions. Regardless, I found the trick was heavily greasing the cast iron skillet, and applying indirect heat. The recipe was just a typical blueberry peach cobbler recipe in which I substituted frozen fruits for the more typical fresh fruit ingredients.

Pre-heat the grill to the temperature the recipe specifies for, and set it so that the temperature is as close to steady-state as possible (without tweaking, won’t gain or lose heat but stay as the specified temperature). Now pop the cast iron with the cobbler and topping on the grill altogether. Resist the urge to open and check on it too often. In about 20 minutes into cook time, rotate the pan 1/3 rotation to assure even doneness (this is where you get to sneak your peak in). Repeat this step in another 20 minutes, etc. and cook until top is appropriately browned.

My favorite part of the whole experience: watching it bubble on the grill as I could smell all of those wonderful cobbler smells. #bubblebubbletoil&trouble

New Direction

Second Obligatory Post

I know, very exciting! Normally I would say that it’s hard to follow up a first act, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue in this case. Also, you may be asking why the penguin. Because all of our market research finds that cute animals with photos that match our color scheme do well! Well… maybe it’s the first photo from the collection we found that fit the mood we are trying to set. Speaking of market, we at Stone’s Throw now are developing three websites so it looks like we will have to up our interwebs game. One site is for a very experienced and specialized personal trainer’s new jump into the world of cyberspace and providing a larger part of his service to his dear clientele. Another one of the sites is a digital portfolio for a very accomplished opera vocalist who has decided she needs a stronger internet presence. Both people involved are brilliant, so it just means presenting them in their best light.

In fact, I made a little prototype of a social media video of yours truly showing off a really cool work station centered around a Murphy bed designed, manufactured and installed by #resourcefurniture. I then specified for upper cabinet storage above as well as a little bit of lighting hanging from the ceiling and a small desk light. Think my favorite part of the video is watching the open iPad as the desk is collapsed. Sadly, this belongs to a client and isn’t my work desk. At the end of the day, it would be pretty cool to just fold your desk/papers out of site to keep them out of mind and replace it with a cozy little bed.

#newyearnewdirections #happypenguin #beinthewatermyfriend

New Direction

Hello World! AKA not another design blog!!

Welcome to my first post… I know I’m disappointed to haha. 2020 has been a long year with it’s ups and downs. So what am I writing? Another design blog? Perhaps, maybe just felt my design practice needed some sort of website to go along with it. So read, enjoy and feel free to ask questions. I look forward to making 2021 a very different year for myself and those I work with. So hopefully you get a little entertainment out of this new exploration.

So let’s see what this year brings in this world a general administrating for Architects, designing apartments, designing a websites, drafting for cabinet-makers, and whatever odd-job comes my way. I’m sure it will be better than the last!

#zerotohero #stonesthrowco #toabetteryear