Calm before the storm

Today after a series of shopping trips for the previously mentioned supplies, I took my sister to dinner at Biscotti’s. She had to work this evening, so I figured I better feed her before she went. Since there was no way I was cooking anything (well, not anything that could qualify as a “dinner”), off we went.

The sweet potato-roasted red pepper soup was, as always, delicious. She had the beer cheese soup and pronounced it quite good. For dinner: parmesan crusted scallops with risotto and a lemon thyme buerre blanc for me, gemelli pasta with a cauliflower veloute for her. The scallops were excellent (so say us both), the pasta only so-so (according to her, but a gentleman sitting next to us said he liked it, so I suppose that qualifies as a mixed review). They also had a hazelnut-boursin crusted tenderloin on the menu, and that looked excellent, but I didn’t think my abilities would have matched my ambition on that. When my sister went to work, I stayed and had a capuccino to ensure that I maintained the proper caffeine level in my body.

Now, it’s time to begin work on some of the things we’ll be enjoying on Sunday. In the wee hours of the morning, I’m doing some maintenance work and replacing an application we’re using, and this damn server is giving me fits about moving the last four accounts, so I can tell this day is going to be another long one. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the four servers we have inbound did not arrive today, which means Tuesday for the setup of those. Plenty of recovery time from the Bash before then.

Laying in supplies

Usually – at least in some places – when you say you’re laying in supplies, you’re either preparing for winter or for a long siege (if you’re one of those nutbag militant types). In our case, however, it’s for the Big Bash. Food, accompaniments, and the supporting cast are rapidly filling up the fridge, freezer, and pantries. Since the painting I wanted done is done, it was time to turn my attention to laying in the supplies. This is done, of course, around handling some business-related items, including moving the final few accounts from my problem child server.

So, those who will be in attendance and not ask, what’s planned?

Thus far, we have:

20 pounds of shrimp
10 pounds of grouper
27 pounds of ribs (which seems like a lot, but is really six slabs of about 4.5 pounds each)
4-5 pounds of chicken breast
Burgers, dogs

I am still on the hunt for someone who can supply me with live blue crab on Sunday.

Beginning a little later today, I’m making cookies and brownies, mixing up the rub for the ribs, and making the barbeque sauce. Saturday’s plan:

Smoking the ribs
Making the guacamole, no doubt with assorted taste testers giving immediate feedback so it can be served appropriately on Sunday
Making the mango-papaya salsa, again with taste testers poking their noses into it
Making the fruit salad
Making the cocktail and remoulade sauces
Making the coleslaw
I might be able to sneak in a batch or two of bread and butter pickles as well

Then Sunday, it will just be putting it all out and firing up the grills.

Still unclear is just how many people will be here. We had roughly estimated somewhere between 30 and 40. Yesterday and today have both brought mentions of additional people coming along. No matter how many people are here, I think it will be great fun. If you’re in the area and at loose ends, feel free to join us. Email me at for directions.