Remember this event for One Nation Education? The one created by my friend/coworker for my student’s community in Haiti? There was a silent auction at the event, and Dexter and I bid on an outdoor fireplace with a grill attachment. We watched our bid with anticipation all evening long (although we didn’t plan to keep bidding), and to our surprise, we won! Dexter’s boss and his wife have had us over for fires in their backyard several times, which is always fun, and I’d wanted to get a fire pit for Dexter for a long time. Once we brought it home, the fire pit sat on our back patio for almost a month without use, until the Friday of Independence Day weekend.
Fourth of July weekend is always busy for Dexter since the cafe he works for is close to a weekend-long-festival in our city. miraculously, Dexter, Luke (our summer housemate and the assistant manager at the cafe), and Keriann (my sister, the cafe’s gelaterista) all had Friday night off. My summer job had ended that morning, and my freedom compared with the busy schedules of the three baristas garnered a lot of sympathy for them.
I didn’t want to spend a lot of time at the grocery store, so I had Dexter swing by the coop for some potatoes and veggie dogs, and I made a quick run to Fareway for some lemonade, ice cream, and onions. We had everything else we needed.
I took lots of kale leaves from the extras table at my CSA pickup that week so I could try out kale chips. They were surprisingly easy to make. While the oven preheated to 350*F, I rinsed, dried, and tore the leaves of 10 stems of kale. I arranged them on baking sheets and baked them for 12 minutes. They came out light, crispy, and slightly brown. I drizzled them with olive oil and salted them. Table salt worked much better than the kosher salt I tried to use at first.
Keriann really enjoyed the kale chips, but not enough to actually want her picture taken with them.
I also made up foil pouches filled with Yukon gold potatoes, onion, and green beans.
We quickly grilled some hot dogs, and waited for the potato pouches to cook. They took about 50 minutes to cook, and could have cooked longer if you wanted softer potatoes.
Dexter was pretty excited about the potato packets. I got a lot of wife points for these.
We also enjoyed our new backyard landscaping. Our backdoor planting area was a bunch of weeds and a few hostas at the beginning of summer. I didn’t really want to have the project of making it look better.
Lucky for us, our friend and neighbor Todd loves landscaping, and he agreed to do the work if we provided the money. We still owe him the money.
We also grilled corn on the cob. I think Dexter was missing his bro-ham (that’s what they say instead of brother…I don’t know why), so he was giving a traditional Wes/Dexter thumbs up pose.
Luke tried to coordinate so Dexter wouldn’t miss Wes so much. It sort of worked.
We also grilled peaches in foil pouches. We ate them inside with ice cream. It took a few hours for all our food to cook, but it was a great, relaxing way to share a filling meal on a beautiful evening.