Salting Meat

grilling One of my aspirations is to become as good a cook with meat as my Dad is.  His tri-tip is just about the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  (Though those Ollalieberries I had yesterday from my neighbor’s yard are up there too.)  I admire those who can just take a steak, throw it on the grill, and end up with something tasty rather than tough.  The people who seem to produce the best meat are those who are able to do very little to it.  Some of my best results with chicken have been when I just put a bit of salt/pepper and oil on it right before baking it. 

Here’s an article on someone who experimented with salting different kinds of meat at different times.  He invited some friends over and did some blind taste tests.  Apparently this guy found it’s best to salt chicken a day before cooking it, and steak/pork does well if you put some salt on right before searing it.  I’d be interested in any grilling/meat cooking tips you have to offer.

Also, here’s a link to a summer grilling guide on the same website.  I haven’t read through it yet but it looks to have some useful info.


A few thoughts on friendship

This picture is the only one I had readily available of my groomsmen and I from the wedding.  It is a bad ripoff of a ska cover but it will have to do.

By some strange coincidence both of my parents are moving in the span of a week this month.  This weekend we’re moving most of my Dad’s stuff and next weekend my brother and I are flying out to Vegas to meet my sister and her husband to help out Mom move from Vegas to Sacramento.  In about an hour I’ll be at my Dad’s helping him move, and three of my friends will be there helping.  Of all the family members involved in the move, I am the only one with friends that will be helping (with the possible exception of my niece’s boyfriend when we get to Sacramento).

This could turn into a very long-winded post so I’ll just keep it short.  I’ve seen a lot of people who, as the years go by, have less and less close friends.  Responsibilities increase, free time and the ability to just hang out decreases.  I think this is “natural” given the kinds of lifestyles we live.  I know I don’t spend very much time with my friends during this stage of my life, and unless I am intentional about it that won’t really change.  I don’t want it to be that way. 

Even at the height of a friendship, when you’re able to hang out all the time, I think it is the rare individual who will show up at his friend’s Dad’s place at 9am to help him move.  The fact that I have multiple friends that are willing to do this speaks volumes about the kind of men they are.  While I will not have particular fun during the task of helping my Dad move, I think I will actually enjoy it because I will be spending time with several of the greatest guys I know.  This goes for my friends as well as my brother and my Dad. 

I know the word “blessing” gets thrown around a lot but I really am genuinely blessed to have these guys in my life.  I’m happy I can look at my wedding pictures and see all those men standing next to me, five years later, are still a big part of my life.  They’re still the kind of friends I know I can call for anything, anytime.  The kind of friends that wouldn’t just help me move but would come to help a family member move.  Not everybody has friends like that at this point in their life and I am very grateful to have them, even as our lives change.  I hope I can say the same thing five, ten, twenty years from now.


Tales of Brotherly Cruelty 2: Action Figures

Cruelty is too strong a word for this story but it wasn’t exactly nice.  Action figures and toy lines generally came with two teams.  Transformers had their Autobots and Decepticons, Go-Bots had Guardians and Renegades, Barnyard Commandos had R.A.M.S. and P.O.R.K.S., MASK had…well…MASK and VENOM…  There were so many awesome toys to be had, but I usually thought one side was better than the other.  Of course Dave and I could not both collect the same team.  So once I decided which team I wanted to collect I made sure Dave collected the other.

I do remember having to sell him on the toys I didn’t want.  With TMNT stuff I had him collect the turtles and secondary characters I didn’t want, but we both had goodguys and badguys.  Dave never really got to choose which toys he would collect.  I made the choices for him.  I would try to convince him that the team I wanted him to collect was good or cool or better.  I don’t know how many time I cajoled him into getting a toy he didn’t really want with his allowance, or to put stuff on his Christmas list that complemented the stuff on my own.

I don’t think he was ever really convinced by my salesmanship, but I think he just decided it would be easier to go along with me so we could just play already.  I made sure I got my way and I would not relent until he gave in and accepted the role I gave him.  If he refused, there was always my favorite punishment/enforcement method: punching him in the shoulder until he gave in.