Thursday, December 20, 2007

Completely In the Zone

Greetings Readers

"I'm calmer than you."

The line from The Big Lewbowski from Walter (John Goodman's character)

Wow. Is it not amazing how one can feel after accomplishing something that you worked for. In this case - just one day.

As I blogged a few days ago with the Blog title "Something's Rotten in Denmark" I was bent out of shape about something that was small, but yet I could not let this slide no matter how hard I tried. it was eating my conscious away.

I mean - what is a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich without the bread?! (I will not go into that again - please read the post - Something's Rotten in Denmark)

Anyway, I was fired up after that incident and I guess I was on a mission to out do everyone else that was involved in the food bringing/making festive period. Nothing was going to bought pre-made from the store from me.

I mentioned I did a test run on grilling ribs this past weekend.

Sure enough that was what I decided on - Grilled ribs. But then, I decided to go over and beyond. I also made tossed salad and potato(e) salad. Damn straight I made all items. Hell, I can multi-task and cook.

I had to go to three different stores on Tuesday night to get the beef ribs. I don't do pork ribs, but that does not mean I would eat pork ribs, if not made by me.

I got the grill fired up at about 4:30 AM in the morning on Wednesday. I had my infamous Natalie Merchant stocking cap and a long white T-shirt on while cooking yesterday morning.

While I got the grill going (I used charcoal in order to get the best, I think, taste of ribs) I started the stove for boiling eggs and potatoes. Then, while that was going I started on the green salad (red leaf). I was watching the grill while chopping green onions, shredding radishes and cutting mushrooms for the salad. I wanted to put more in, but I had to be careful since the food that I was making was not just for me. I definitely held back on the salad ingredients.

The grill was really going about 30 minutes later. I did not realize how much meat I had on the grill. There was a lot of meat and I was moving and re-moving ribs from one part of the grill to another part of the grill. I was stacking up ribs on the top level of the grill. Yet, 5:00 AM I was the cooking miester of the Centennial / Englewood area that morning.

By the time that the meat got to a certain point where they would not cause a flare up I was back into the kitchen and got to work on the potato salad. Again, I decided to hold back and kept the ingredients to a minimum. I added the basics - Mayo, pickles, onions, eggs, and a bit of mustard (Damn, really a bit since there was hardly any mustard in the bottle!). Then, the rest of the ingredients are a secret since I have "the bomb" recipe. yeah right. Note: Yes, all the potato salad was finished yesterday so I did not have to waste anything and feel guilty that a country in Africa went hungry since I threw away food.

I also finished up the green salad at the same time. There was a lot I did and I was running around the kitchen, but at least I was not out of control nor did I feel overwhelmed.

I hate to admit this, but I was "In the Zone"! I was happy. I was content. I was at peace. While I was cooking I had the Ipod going - a bit of dance music and Tiesto. Still no TV so I was not distracted by the news or anything else that might cause me to burn something or chop off a finger while looking at the TV.

The charcoal actually burned down quickly to ash so I had to add some more to finish the cooking. Darn, I was so close, but oh well. This was the first time that I had the entire grill full of ribs and judging the amount of charcoal to use was just shot in the dark.

As I said - I was in the zone, I was just cooking, which I like to do. Especially when I have a goal in mind.

All in all everything went well, except for not having any mustard left for the potato salad.

After reaching my destination for bringing the food I plugged in the crock pots in order to keep the ribs warm. There is a microwave, but I will not use a microwave to heat up my ribs that I bought.

After everyone had their fill almost everyone said it was good. Not to mention that it smelled good. I was "a hit" and not to mention that my "spread" was the talk of the town. People were wondering did I actually cook and make all this. This guy can cook and yes I am proud to say that I can cook.

I did not take one rib home nor was there any potato salad leftover. Only a few spoonful of salad was leftover so that was great!

When I got home last night I put everything on the counter, laid down on the couch and I was able to go to sleep right away. I was at peace and I did not let anything "get to me" yesterday or "get me down". I know I made up for what I blogged about the other day, but mind you that was not the reason why I made the meal like I did. I just wanted the attention and to be "the talk" of conversation. After I woke up about 2 AM I moved to my bed and then the next the you know it was 5:00 AM.

Yes, sometimes I need to hear "nice" things. Whether from someone I know or do not know.

Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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