Arghh….Wednesday already. That means that I’m probably somewhere between Frankfurt and home and my vacation is drawing to a close. Maybe I’m sipping on a Bloody Mary. Or maybe I snoring obnoxiously, disturbing all the other passengers around me.
To round out my week of guest posters, I’ve chosen Adam of The Unorthodox Epicure. I’m not sure when I found Adam’s blog, but I was instantly hooked. Over the following few days, I had to go back and read all of his “Confessions”. Some are serious, some are quite funny, but they all give you an insight into Adam’s mind and how he views the world. You may agree with him or you may think he is out of his mind, but he’ll definitely make you think. This might not be fair to bring up, but whenever I think of his blog, I always think of his hotdogs for Thanksgiving post ( I could not stop laughing after that one) or his “My Way” and other burger considerations. Definitely worth checking out. So read on about his latest “Confession” about how no means no and then pop on over to The Unorthodox Epicure to get more insight into his quirky mind.
Oh, one more thing before I hand you off to Adam. If you like what you’ve seen the past week from Adam at The Unorthodox Epicure, Jen at Juanita’s Cocina, and Christine at Texana’s Kitchen, I am pleased to announce that the four of us…The Texas Crew…The Quatro Amigos will soon be launching a joint blog where we will be combining our skills and talents (or lack there of) and focusing strictly on Texas foods. So stay tuned as more details on that will be coming. And now here is Adam…
I was somewhat intimidated when Jason invited me to lend a post for his Germany trip. This guy has a fan base that I only dream about, and his followers include a lot of Egg owners. I’ve learned that Egg owners are right up there with Corvette owners (who typically have Vette shrines in their garages); Harley Davidson owners (who tend to worship their bikes, literally); and ‘Dead Heads’ — Grateful Dead fans, who live a certain Jerry Garcia type of lifestyle. And then there’s Jason, who can whip up awesome appetizers, a main course and dessert on this Egg thing -and- he knows what brand of Scotch to serve alongside. Plus, I’ll bet he’s a ZZ Top fan.
I’m just a guy with a Weber Q and a pit. Plus, as I mentioned in my blog not so long ago, I’ve taken a liking to cheating in the oven (the ‘indoor steel box,’ for all you Griffin’s Grub regulars). Still, I’m honored that Jason felt sorry enough for me to give me a shot.
Confession No. 55 — No means no. So do about 8,000 other phrases.
It’s pronounced and spelled the same in multiple languages and easily understood in many others. It won’t net you many Scrabble points, but the word can have some major implications in real life. It’s a word so simple that it’s commonly the first one children learn. Yet many of us tend to avoid at all cost pulling it from our vocabulary bag.
In my many years of reporting news, I’ve heard the word ‘no’ sliced, diced and remixed at least 5,000 ways. Politicians, such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, are experts at it. I learned this first-hand during an interview with him a few years ago.
Me: “Governor Perry, you have insisted that community college employees should not be entitled the same benefits as employees of four-year universities, although both are considered to be state schools. Knowing that community colleges have made hundreds of thousands of people job-ready — which has contributed significantly to our economy — is there any chance you’ll reverse your course?”
Perry: “This subject is really starting to make me angry. Community college presidents who disagree with me need to stop the name-calling and quit trying to settle this through the media.”
Coaches and players are equally good at distorting the word ‘no.’
Me: “Jeff (Russell), the Texas Rangers missed the pennant by [X] games this past season — the same number of blown saves you had. Do you feel responsible for the team not making it into the postseason?”
Russell: “It’s a team game.”
Yeah. Right. Sure thing, Jeff. Cloud the issue, just as the 19-year-old intern attempted to do at my work this past week when I told her to name her price for a modest project involving her exceptional artistic ability.
“Well, I’m not really sure how busy I’m going to be at school this year,” she told me.
Keep in mind that this person is entering her second year at the university level — with 11 a.m. class start times, regular imbibing of adult beverages in smoke-filled dorm rooms and deep under-the-influence debates about why socialism is utopia. This young artist happens to be going to school on scholarship for her talents with pen and ink, and her intellectual prowess (she was in the top 5 of more than 400 high school graduates). Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to use the second shortest word in the English language.
There are plenty more code phrases for ‘no,’ many of which I’ve heard or used multiple times.
- I’m really tired tonight.
- We’ll get back to you.
- Well, I’m not sure. My step-nephew is turning 13 on the day of your party, and you only turn 13 once.
- Ask your mom.
- My head hurts.
- I’ve had a tough day.
- Um, I’m not sure, but my wife comes home later. Ask her.
- Why didn’t you remember our anniversary? (This actually means ‘hell no.’)
Despite its negative meaning, ‘no’ is an extremely valuable word. Had I used it, instead of ‘maybe,’ I could have avoided the alarm system, water filtration unit and hardback encyclopedias. I might have been able to eschew the various missionaries who have knocked on my door in efforts to convert me. Perhaps ‘no’ would have saved me from a myriad of multi-level marketing presentations or timeshare pitches.
‘No’ might also go a long way to convincing me that tonight, only cuddling will be allowed.
Like what you’ve read here? Please, join me on Facebook, where the weirdness happens every day.
When I was a child, grilling steak generally meant throwing a T-bone onto the stainless grates and serving them well done alongside a baked potato and a salad. Of course, we always had a bottle of Worcestershire sauce and homemade ranch dressing (it was sold only in make-it-yourself packets back then). These days, we carefully consider the cuts. My wife’s favorite is a London Broil, topped with garlic and butter. The flank steak, which is more readily available in Texas than her home state of New Jersey, has a beefier flavor and is much more tender.
Marinated Grilled Flank Steak & Baby Bellas
With the right cut of beef, only a handful of ingredients and a few minutes on the grill are all it takes to have a restaurant-quality main course, and side.
3/4 cup – Dry red wine
1/4 cup – Vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons – Dark Soy sauce
2 teaspoons – Freshly ground black pepper
1 – 2 lb. Flank steak
10 – Baby Portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup (1 stick) – Butter
4 cloves – Garlic, minced
Rinse mushrooms, then slice in half (from top to bottom). Run skewer through 4-5 mushroom halves. Repeat with remaining mushrooms. Place skewered portabella mushrooms on top of steak in non-reactive container.
Mix all marinade ingredients. Pour over steak and skewered mushrooms. Allow to marinate in refrigerator at least 4-6 hours, or overnight, flipping container occasionally to distribute marinade.
Preheat grill to medium-hot.
Discard marinade. Grill flank steaks and skewered mushrooms simultaneously, about 5-7 minutes per side on the steak — until it is medium-rare. (The mushrooms might take a little less time, depending on grill placement.)
Remove steak and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. While steak is resting, combine butter and garlic in small saucepan and heat on medium until melted and garlic is aromatic. Slice steak thinly against the grain, and drizzle with garlic butter.