It is ungodly hot. I mean ungodly. And to boot, our apartment complex, which claims to “provide grills on the premises” actually doesn’t. I take that back, they do – they provide one nasty, grungy, rusted-out grill for every four buildings there are. And said nasty, grungy, rusted-out grill is so rusted out that it has literally collapsed in on itself and now houses bird nests with accompanying poop.
I had been planning a nice surprise for the Ryan in the form of a cookout for a few days before I managed to make it to the leasing office and give them a nice dose of “Wtf, guys?” Their reply: “Yeah, some of the amenities for our tenants are in need of upgrading.” Yathink?? But, alas, with the recent heat wave and the heat indexes reaching 111-115 degrees (along with humidity!!), it seems that the lack of grills on our complex worked in our favor. The Ryan is a big heat sissy (as am I), and would rather stay where there is A/C during the summer months, and, well, really any day above like 69 or 70 degrees.
We have not been to a single barbecue or cookout this summer, and I was craving good ol’ hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, etc., like nobody’s business. Not exactly the exemplary “low calorie” meal I’ve been trying to achieve, but damnit, it’s only summer once a year so PHUKET!
As a surprise, I decided to buy the ingredients for burgers, s’mores, and homemade lemonade. I also bought veggies for grilled veggies and I cheated and bought Giant egg and potato salad, cuz, you gotta admit – the stuff is awesome. I also did the most girlie, romantic, disgusting, mushy, gross thing in the world: I made him work for the food like a poor dog on the trail of a Milkbone…with tiny clues leading him around the house in tiny, adorable, colorful cards inside of tiny, adorable, colorful envelopes.
I know, right? Gag me with a spoon. This one was hanging on the front door when he got home. I was, of course, outside giggling under a tree where he couldn’t see me.
Then came the kitchen table. Ignore the metamucil in the background – it’s actually for our cats (that whole raw diet cats need fiber thing).
Then the bathroom mirror (Ohay, the orange from the kitchen has made it into the bathroom too :O)
Then outside. I had to wrestle some kids for their chalk..MWAHAHAHA! (Just kidding, I bought it at CVS. I now have like 15 pieces of chalk because I needed one color.)
The fourth note instructed him to call me – which he did, and as I was walking like a big doofus back to our apartment (with manly carnations in hand), I instructed him to go into the coat closet where I had stashed all of the non-perishable ingredients in a large reusable shopping bag. This note was attached to it, and the Ryan was very excited for burgers. Because he’s a man. And men like burgers.
I had made homemade lemonade ahead of time..let it be known that 9 lemons sacrificed their citrusey lives for that tiny little bit of lemonade. Actually, less. I put like 4 cups of normal cold water in there to dilute. Really, those 9 lemons only gave me 1 cup of lemon juice. 😦 To fill that entire thing would have been a lemon travesty.
I marinaded zucchini, red bell pepper and mushrooms in some balsalmic vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper, and I set them in the pan to slow roast. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the burgers were going to town on the grill pan. 🙂 After the burgers were done, I also grilled some asparagus. I love that grill pan. $20 Calphalon at Target for the win!
And in our living room, I took the awesome Mexican blanket we have and I laid it on the floor. I took our side table and put the lemonade, veggies, potato salad, condiments, buns, plates, and utensils on top of it at one of the blanket corners. Then I got all gross and lit some candles and led the Ryan out to the living room with his eyes closed for a nice, quiet, air conditioned romantic picnic dinner thingo.
The cats begged for food..sorry it’s kind of smoky – our stove vent doesn’t actually vent to anywhere so much as just swirl smoke around. Cool, huh? Also, it was dark! :O
And for dessert – s’mores. We have a gas stove, so we ghetto fabulously roasted the marshmallows over the flame. I tried to make them in the broiler…and learned that graham crackers CAN turn black!
So, even in the middle of summer, you can have a great barbecue – inside!
Sorry for nothing too fancy – the Ryan and I have been busy. Storms knocked out power last weekend, and while we maintained it, our friends didn’t. Our air conditioned apartment became a haven for our friends, and all of the grocery stores (except Giant! VIVA LA GIANT!) lost their perishable items. Additionally, we found out Saturday morning that this coming Saturday morning we have to move into a new apartment. Same complex, different building – they’re finally fixing the leak in our ceiling. So, it has been packing, planning for the 4th, and helping out those without power since Saturday. I hope if you were in the vicinity of the storms that you didn’t get hit too hard!