Feast Nine – Red, White and Booze

So, here we are, deep in the heart of summer, arriving at the 4th of July weekend. You would think that being in the military, all that patriotism would kick in and we would spend our time reflecting on the meaning of freedom and the struggles of the past 200 years of the American fighting force to maintain our tenuous grasp on democracy. And ok, maybe there are a few people out there that do just that. For the majority though, myself included, this has devolved into just another few days that I don’t have to go to work, get the chance to drink a few beers and typically barbeque up some old fashioned American favorites for a late afternoon celebratory feast. Oh, and pyrotechnics. I have to admit, this has always been the selling point for me, I like things blowing up. It helps release my inner child. 🙂

But, aside from my observations on the human condition and the waning patriotism in American society, this is a post about food. Holidays are strange for me, whatever my culinary inclinations are throughout the year, I fall back to the traditional on holidays. I make tamales for Christmas, a turkey for thanksgiving, a roast (usually chicken) for easter and yes, I enjoy a barbeque for the 4th of July. However, here is my dilemma… a variety of factors are aligning against a traditional barbeque. Chief amongst these, the fact that my grill is in Colorado and I am in Korea. Ok, I hear you say, surely they have charcoal and metal grates in Korea. Indeed. While there are such available, the typical large scale meal that I would roll out for a holiday requires quite a bit of synchronization between items cooked on the grill, in the oven and on the stovetop. Normally, this would be a non-issue, a patio door or quick trip to the backyard my only obstacle. However, even if I were to acquire a grill for use, my nearest usable point of set up is 6 flights of stairs and around 350 feet from the rest of my kitchen. Coordination, while possible, is not optimal. So, I have decided that the two choices are either to make everything outside or to make everything inside. Easy choice for me, I’m not the biggest outdoors guy you will ever meet and my need for situational control will be better satisfied indoors.

That sorted out, I still want to maintain the essence of a backyard barbeque, traditionalism with a few twists here and there. So, I am laying out a menu of relatively simple dishes, staged for completion in an organized timely manner. Here is the sneak peak at this weekend’s
feast:

Spinach Artichoke Dip with Corn Chips
Four Bean BBQ Baked Beans
Roasted Corn on the Cob
Roasted Zucchini
Potato Dish (TBD, leaning towards a twisted aloo ghobi)
Beer Braised Short Ribs
Homemade Barbeque Sauce for the above
Apple Crumble (wouldn’t be the 4th of July without an apple pie!)

Oh and beer.

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