Sunday, September 1, 2013
Rich is up and out early this morning to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and get in a bike ride. It is about 65 degrees and a bit overcast – perfect for a ride.
I am lounging a bit longer until Zeke takes a running start and leaps onto my bed to tell me it is time to get up. I find out later that he has done the same to both Pablo in the living room and Janel in a closed bedroom (he knows how to open doors!) Might as well get up and do a YAYOG workout. I already know what is for breakfast and I am trying to do a “pre-emptive” strike with the workout.
The kitchen is abuzz with activity. Dad is in charge of breakfast and is already frying okra and mixing it with scrambled eggs. It has been pre-determined that one party does not wish to have okra with his eggs (Rich). I, for one, am extremely excited to have okra straight from Eric’s garden. I find the skillet of the fried product on the stove and proceed to pick at it with only a little scolding from Eric.
My early pickings have created somewhat of a catastrophe. As Dad readies the final eggs, he realizes he is out of okra. Janel and I immediately chime in with a statement that we are certain is uttered in most households on a regular basis: “Just fry some more okra!” So he does.
Once again we sit down to share a wonderful repast. The eggs and okra are stellar and Eric has even provided me with my own little extra portion of okra. It is a thing of beauty especially when paired with his tomatoes. I have eaten more tomatoes in the past few days than I have in the past few years! They really are that good.
The day is spent lounging, reading, blogging, walking in the ‘hood and napping. Tonight’s dinner will be at John and Jackie’s house so even Janet can relax today. We take some time to preview the menu selections.
Rich coaxes Dad out to the backyard for a chipping contest. They set out a cup and try to see who can chip the closest. Sounds easy enough, right? There is only one problem – Zeke wants to play! He goes after each ball and somehow manages to pick up only the ones that are close to the target. Clearly the winner in this game is Zeke. The boys finally resort to seeing who can drop their ball right onto Zeke’s back…
At Happy Hour we walk over to the Camel’s home where John has been smoking a couple of HUGE pieces of meat all day on his fantastic outdoor cooking center.
We hang out both inside and outside of their lovely home. The backyard is especially lovely with super landscaping and a stone patio and fire pit. Very different than Arizona and very beautiful.
Jackie and John are excellent hosts and have prepared a Texas-style feast for us that includes smoked ribeyes that are individually cut off the roast and seared to the desired level of doneness, smashed new red potatoes, garlicky Texas Toast, Cucumber Salsa, Black Bean Salsa, Salad and Texas-style Baked Beans. What a spread!
When the roast is ready for slicing, John asks each person how they want their steak done. He then slices a slab and either presents it as is (for rare) or throws it in a smokin’ hot grill to sear it a bit longer. We stand with our plates out as he puts each steak on a plate.
We end our evening with great conversation, a rousing game of “Lighted Frisbee” for the boys and delicious cupcakes from a local in-home baker. Thank you so much John and Jackie for welcoming us into your home!