The Hampton Smoker

What's up wtih what's going down? Does a tree falling on the ocean with no one around make a sound? Barbecue, BBQ, Bar-b-que. It's all in how you sell it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Stand and Deliver

Roasted Portabello Mushroom Strata
Not even sure where to begin on this one. The wife and I spent Wednesday to Sunday providing personal chef/private chef services to 35 people at a 17 bedroom home in the hamptons. In the middle of that, on Friday, we cooked a rehearsal dinner bbq for 60 a torrential rain/wind storm. I seem to do all my cooking in the rain these days.
The clients were a lovely young couple named Peter and Page. They got married on Saturday evening in East Hampton, which is where the wife and I got married. They rented a strange, old 17 bedroom house out on the way towards Montauk, that was off the water and had a tennis court, pool, jacuzzi...the works. Of course, we didn't take advantage of that stuff-- we were racing against time.

The wife and I arrived at our kitchen in Long Island on Weds. night/Thurs. morning at 5am to put together 3 cold salads and fresh-baked oatmeal cookies for lunch for 15-20 people to be delivered at that day 11:30am. That afternoon we shopped and got ready to cook eggs, bacon, muffins and more for Friday's breakfast for 25-- as well as 4 salads for Friday's lunch for 30 people....and all the food for the bbq dinner for 60 Friday night. Just the two of us. Did I mention that we did all of the pantry shopping for the 30 people, too? Yikes.
By the rehearsal dinner on Friday evening, we were just about toast. Fortunately, we had our amazing friends Ann and Mimi come on Friday afternoon/evening to act as servers/runners, and my great friend Robert of WhiteTrashBBQ as my extra pair of hands and general asset around the bbq pit. Most importantly, he kept me on ice as I got more and more wet and frantic. Thanks, buddy. We staggered through Saturday breakfast and lunch, and helped the mother of the bride host brunch on Sunday, and then we were done. Except for clean up. Ugggh.

The exhaustion I felt Sunday night as I unhitched Large Marge and began to turn home to go to sleep is indescribable. At several points I was more tired than I've ever been in my life. I think we slept maybe 2 hours each night. At one point last night, as we were driving home I hallucinated a cougar loping beside the car. Uh, yea.

Every part of me is in excrutiating pain-- my knuckles are split and raw from repeatedly washing my hands and bashing them against steel and wood. My joints are stiff and achey. I have cuts, burns and bruises on my hands and arms. Water stings them. My body is a minefield of mosquito bites and my brain is stuck in a blank loop.

Man was this fun!!


Blogger WhiteTrashBBQ said...

Fun? Fun? FUN?

You call that fun?

It's not fun until you trip over the horse piss hole in the driving rain with a full pan of hot baby back ribs in your hands causing the tin foil covering to flip up and spread hot grease, rub, marinade and assorted meat juices all over your neck, exposed chest, shoulder and favorite Nautica shirt as you maneuver across the yard in the dark of night with rain bouncing off the meat and whippped up into your face on your way to the over crowded kitchen.

Now that's fun.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Only a truly passionate cook would come away from an experience like that with the words "Man that was fun" following a litany of physical ailments.

But I cannot agree with you more, there is just nothin' like it.

8:39 AM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

WOW - you deserve a week of rest and recuperation. Glad everything went smoothly (except the weather), it sounds like you guys did a great job. I agree - it does sound like fun!

11:43 AM  
Blogger Backyard Chef said...

Yes, WTBBQ, I call that fun! I recall a 'waterfall' of pork juice sluicing down my arms as I moved the pan to the top shelf, too. Man, that smelled so good as it sizzled on the baffle. Your shirt was fu*ked!

Kate-- I did have a blast, but when the alarm was going off at 4am Friday morning, there was a different littany coming out of me, I'll tell you that much!

Mebeth, a week of rest and cocktails would be lovely-- unfortunately, I don't think my boss wants me putting up my feet at my desk. I wonder how he'd feel abou the drinks...hmmmm...

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

Thanks for checking out my blog!

That cougar hallucination is priceless. I hope you're resting up nicely.

10:48 PM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Now that is one busy, exciting, exasperating weekend! Live on the edge, man!

1:29 PM  
Blogger J said...

hi, that strata looks awesome!

4:27 AM  
Blogger Mona said...

BC, that sounds incredible. congratulations on such a feat! whoa! 17 bedrooms? 60 guests? c'est incroyable. i'm very impressed. will you fly out to california for my wedding, if and when it happens? sounds like you guys did a killer job. and by the way, i'd like to order some of that strata to go please. thanks!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Terry said...

Hey Backyard, that looks good my man, how do you like the smoker?

Was it worth the wait? We just came back from Florida which was a trip in it self. For what we paid to eat at Disney World, I could make a fortune selling barbecue.


9:12 PM  
Blogger WhiteTrashBBQ said...

U recovered yet? I want some new blogging!

12:46 AM  

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