By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Gosh, isn't summer fun?
Oh, your Uncle LD could go right on screaming, because much as he loves the company of all his many dear friends, what he loves more than anything is PEACE and QUIET. And P&Q are not generally considered to be distinguishing characteristics of barbecues in New York City, are they? Why just look around you and you'll smell a lot of burning meat (or worse, those vegetarian substitues that smell worse than cheap pot) and hear a lot of dreadful music being played at top volume on crappy stereos, all wafting down from rooftops all over the city. Swoon-inducing, and not in the good way. Happily, no one ever invites Uncle LD to parties anyhow, so think of the pain he is spared while he sits alone reading AM Homes, HH Holmes, or "Don't Try This At Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs" by Kimberly Witherspoon . . .
But if your friends force you to attend such festivities, simply make up your mind to make the best of themone party at a time! Uncle LD talks with his pal Jim Bentley about Zen and the art of grilling meats, and the appropriate beverages that ensure a good party. Then Sonny Jim plays some of his favorite songs, Uncle LD plays some of his faves, and we head off to Blue Smoke for some brisket. In my dreams, right?
And keep this handy hint in mind for next year: As our old Baltimore friend Mr Burger was fond of saying, "The best way to start your Fourth of July barbecue is with a gasoline-soaked American flag." Hip-hip-hurrah for freedom of speech!
Next week: More Stuff You've Probably Never Heard
MUSIC FOR TORCHING!
As a special bonus, Uncle LD includes this yummy recipe for your next summer fete, though do please keep them refrigerated so he won't have to think of you dying a slow and painful death from food poisoning....
Serves six, unless your guest are greedy little piglets
One dozen Grade A Extra Large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup mayonnaise (if you don't make your own use Hellman's)
1 6-ounce can fancy crabmeat, drained
Zatarin's Cajun Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Coleman's Powdered Mustard
1 tablespoon minced white or yellow onion
About 1/2 teaspoon pickle relish
A few drops apple cider vinegar
1 Place eggs in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover them. Bring water to a boil, then remove pot from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Carefully place pot in sink, drain, then run cool tap water over eggs for several minutes. Drain again and let eggs cool.
2 Peel eggs, cut in half lengthwise, then gently remove the yolks with a teaspoon. Place in a medium-sized glass or ceramic bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork and mix with the mayo, onion, relish and vinegar, then gently fold in crab meat. Season with Zatarin's to taste, but err on the side of caution here.
3 Carefully spoon mixture into egg halves, place on pretty tray, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
4 Before serving, lightly dust tops with paprika.
Variations: Omit pickle relish and paprika and mix in a little finely chopped fresh parsley before filling egg halves. Use prepared Dijon mustard instead of the powdered sort and add a few drops Tabasco. Or forego the Cajun stuff, relish and vinegar entirely and season instead with a little salt and pepper, then garnish with capers instead of paprika. Or add a dash of celery seed. For someone worth it, garnish with tarama (smoked red carp roe).