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Between Bites: Your Own Particular Brand of Nerd

It is the bare-knuckled truth that when you move to a new city you have to go forth and find a new crop of drinking buddies. As such, Mark and I hit a local BBQ festival this last weekend to load up on pulled pork, smoked brisket and a few more names in our local Rolodex.

A plastic cup of bourbon and a plateful of BBQ later, the wheels came off the bus. What had begun as a polite exchange of small talk with our table companions ended in us trapped, listening to a recital regarding the not-so-edge-of-your-seat drama of collecting Boston Terrier paraphernalia.

But, bless her heart, she was passionate about it – and we all have our geek-spots. Heaven knows, there is most likely someone out there who has a well-polished tale of getting stuck as I waxed poetic about Mr. Darcy vs. George Knightley or whether or not Peychaud’s is necessary in a sazerac. And I can offer you no help if you get Mark started on home charcuterie methods or, god forbid, the finer points of Excel.

But, perchance, if  you are one who can handle a hearty debate about the recent bastardization of s’mores, then pull up a barstool – this rye Manhattan with oak bitters is for you.

Jambalaya Skewers on Buns

Jambalaya Skewers

It is summer. The coolers are iced down, the plastic kiddie pool is a go, and it is time to put all manner of food on sticks. And, hell’s bells, do we ever love putting food on sticks. We’ve been doing it since man discovered fire and stuck his velociraptor haunch onto the end of his spear.

Jambalya Skewer Ingredients

And yet the handful of hundreds of thousands of years we have had to perfect the shish kebab does not seem to have gotten us very far at all. All too often, what ends up on the paper plate before us is a skewer of under-seasoned, shriveled meat smashed up against luke-warm, raw vegetables with blackened edges. But, bully for us, there are some very easy adjustments we can make to our kebab execution that will prevent this all-too-familiar summer buzzkill.

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