I like brisket but I’ve never made one before today.
For tomorrow’s party I cooked a 4.5 pound brisket.
First I let it come to room temperature (about an hour). I couldn’t decide whether to cook it in my large paella pan or cut it in half to braise in a Dutch oven. I decided on the Dutch oven so I wouldn’t have to fool with foil.
Then, following this recipe, I browned the meat in the oven while making the sauce.
I used fresh rosemary from my pots near the porch and chopped it in a small electric herb grinder. I used about half the herbs and spices since my piece of meat was about half size.
I replaced the wine in the sauce with bone broth because my family doesn’t like wine-flavored sauces.
The brisket cooked for 4 hours and came out nice and tender. I let it cool then put it in the refrigerator.
The sauce is delicious and very spicy. Instead of blending the sauce smooth I decided I like it chunky. Tomorrow we’ll heat up the sauce and serve the meat at room temperature.
When was the last time you cooked a piece of beef?
With Sug’s help I plan to cook on Friday afternoon and evening including preparing the dessert. I think we’re expecting about 25 people and not everyone is staying for dinner so some recipes will need to be doubled and others tripled.
The title sounds like a call for help because I’ve packed the month of May with enough tasks to fill a year. Thankfully my team — Charlie and Sug — plus my son and his wife are committed to a long, desperate summer’s worth of to-do lists. The fun will start in May.
More or less in order of what’s about to happen we’ll be doing the following:
The program is set, the menu is set, the guest list is set — time for the party.
We will need the guest room — my son’s old bedroom — for weekly visits from him due to his work schedule. He plans to stay overnight once a week instead of driving back and forth to the Eastern shore of Maryland, 2.5 hours away.
There are a few more items in the back room that need to be distributed or done away with. We’re planning to finish up the guest room (#9 on the 101 in 1001).
Charlie and I will be spending long weekend at beach (#24 on the 101 in 1001). Charlie has to play the piano for some meetings but I am just going along for the ride.
We’ll be staying on the Boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey, but plan to do a little touring on this long weekend.
Mother’s Day — I’m declaring this as my personal free day.
I only plan to do stuff I enjoy. I’m hoping to also have something special and delicious to eat.
I have spoken with our contractor who is getting ready to add a new surface and railing to our bedroom deck (#73 on the 101 in 1001).
We haven’t used the deck for a couple of years except for building projects due to the lack of railing.
When April began I had plans which included celebrating birthdays, going to the opera, and celebrating Easter — dates which could not be changed. We succeeded in accomplishing most of the things we set out to do and at least put a dent in the others.
My son celebrated his birthday in April.
Not only was he born in April but his actual birth-day was on a Palm Sunday so I always think of Palm Sunday as a day to also remember his special day.
We have been enjoying attending services of different denominations where Charlie has been asked to play their services. It’s interesting to experience the similarities and differences of various places of worship.
Charlie and I have finished five weeks of Argentine tango lessons. We have learned to walk tango-style — I walk backwards — in both parallel and cross pattern.
I can perform ochos and a thing called the “code”. One last class and we’ll try to decide if we should continue. Tango has been a weekly challenge in concentration and performance which I can highly recommend.
All in all April was a busy and productive month. We made some decisions for new projects which will be revealed in May.
April first is Monday so I wanted to start making plans lest the month get away from me. I try to set goals every month which allows me to make progress on the myriad projects and repairs we face.
I dedicate April to my loving son who celebrates his birthday early in the month.
I’m helping to plan a retirement party for the matron of honor at my wedding. Charlie and I will be providing the musical entertainment. We along with Sug will be visiting her in Serbia this coming fall.
Her employer is providing party favors of tiny, colorful Turkish (Serbian) coffee cups and saucers. I am making tags for each one tied on with a ribbon extolling her extravagant hospitality and grace.
We have tickets to see (hear?) Porgy and Bess at the Baltimore symphony. We have done this same thing years ago at which time Charlie was alarmed to find out it is an actual opera. Since the music was written by George Gershwin he was expecting something in a more jazz style.
When the soprano let out with Summertime in a coloratura range I thought he was going to head out to the lobby. Fortunately, our children were with us and they loved it.
I have high hopes for my April “To-do List”. I want to focus on the laundry room which was NOT part of our 2013-2014 renovation but on which I have been working for the past decade.
Three items that immediately pop into my mind when considering the laundry room are:
doors for the closet,
door for the entrance,
baseboard and chair rail trim.
Charlie will be playing the piano and organ for a variety of services and has enlisted Sug and me to sing with the choir.
Charlie and I started six weeks’ worth of tango lessons last Wednesday.
He’s doing great and my foot hurts from injuring it while we were in England last September. But I’m a trooper and will “keep calm and tango on”.