Day 3: Memorial Day Cookout

We made it to the cookout. It was sweltering.

The boys were too hot to eat and spent most of their time hanging out in the water table and kiddy pool. Gerry had his brat as promised, but tried to eat a second one of a different style and couldn’t finish it. It was a little yucky. We both had some of this delicious salad his culinarily-talented brother made. I had three plates of it. I waited and it wasn’t being eaten so I just dove right in again and again. He made a delicious ginger dressing to top it and I wanted to get the recipe but forgot. It was just too hot to remember anything.

Other than the small salad, 2 bags of grapes we brought, and some broccoli and peppers with hummus, the meal was pretty much as the f-i-l indicated: lots of hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, ice cream and cupcakes. I tried to eat a hamburger but the texture was confusing to me because it was one of those store-bought, pre-made patties I’ve never really liked. After a bite, I put it down. Shep picked it up and had a bite, too, but told me it tasted funny, so he put it down, too.

…I’m not sure what happened to that poor burger.

It is amazing to consider how meat-driven the whole cookout was. I think everyone had a least a hamburger OR a brat, and some kids had multiple hot dogs. Last year, I think I had two hot dogs myself. It may be the grilling culture, and I agree there is nothing quite like the smoky aroma of a good hunk of meat grilling over charcoals or an open fire. But that is a lot of meat. Especially if it’s only balanced out by chips and a bun. and ice cream!

We’re having a cookout at our house in a few weeks for G’s birthday, so we were trying to think of some plant-based items to grill alongside the expected hamburgers and hot dogs.

I still love a great burger, so we’ll definitely be investing in some high quality beef and hand-making the hamburger patties. I’m not sure where to buy it yet. Maybe Earth Fare or Trader Joe’s. I have a little bit of time to figure that out. As for hot dogs, I’ll just have to find the most natural option and go with that. I’m not sure that trying to get a veggie dog would be either convincing to the hot dog lovers among us, or even much healthier.

I’m learning a lot of those plant-based convenience products are highly processed. Not exactly whole foods.

I have 3 veggie burger recipes (cashew and red lentil burger, vegetarian pecan and mushroom burgerthe OH SHE GLOWS veggie burger) I want to try between now and then and the best recipe will make its way to the party, too. May have to cook them inside, though. They tend to fall apart on the grill.

If none of the burgers turn out, my fall back plan is portobello mushrooms on the grill with a delicious marinade we discovered last fall. We’re also going to grill some corn on the cob and some vegetable kabobs made up of whatever looks good at the farmers market that week. I’m thinking peppers, onions, mushrooms and maybe some zucchini. I have to read up on what veggies grill well.

Oh! To celebrate a milestone in our whole foods journey, I really, really, really want to try this restaurant that opened downtown: OLIVE, an urban dive. Gerry went there for lunch with some co-workers and loved it, so I think it would be a wonderful location for a dinner celebration date. Note to self: Ask Gerry very nicely if we can pretty please go there in a couple weeks, before Ollie comes.

Brainstorm: Pretend we decided to name Oliver after the restaurant. Free meal?

Food Journal:

Gerry — 3 blueberry muffins, half coconut- half cows milk, apples, carrots, peanut butter, granola, pineapple chunks, 2 brats, serving of salad with mixed greens, walnuts, strawberries, cucumber, feta and a ginger dressing, ranch tortilla chips, chocolate cupcake with s’mores topping and buttercream, 2 craft beers, 2 small pina coladas, vitamin water, homemade popcorn, 1/2 c. guacamole, tortilla chips
Shep — 3 blueberry muffins, coconut milk, 1/4 a peach, 1 c. grapes, water, 1 bite of hamburger, homemade popcorn, orange juice
Archie — 3 blueberry muffins, coconut milk, a fruit pouch, strawberries, 2 real fruit ropes (Clif Kids), water, buttercream icing, some potato chips, an oatmeal bar, a pear/carrot/apricot pouch, homemade popcorn
Erinne — 8 oz. tea, coke, 2 blueberry muffins w. butter, glass of OJ, bowl of leftover fried rice dinner, 1 bite of hamburger, 3 plates of salad with mixed greens, walnuts, strawberries, cucumber and a ginger dressing, some chips, half a key lime cup cake with lime curd and buttercream icing, vitamin water, 1 whole avocado, half a large tomato, tortilla chips, 8 oz. tea

Our meals today were fairly lopsided, and the boys didn’t eat as much as I’d like, but I have to attribute that to the chaos of the holiday, the heat, and just general toddler unpredictability. Gerry’s making some homemade popcorn right now for them to enjoy while they relax, and I am having a bowl of guacamole and tomatoes for my evening snack and possibly dinner. I haven’t decided. I’m not sure what’s in the kitchen for the taking.

For the most part, i haven’t felt more hungry than normal… maybe even less hungry, and it was really nice to be able to eat last night’s leftovers for my lunch. The fried rice was even better reheated. I still want to figure out more breakfast options and a way to get my butt in gear earlier in the morning. All in all, today was a “free day,” so I can’t be too disappointed.

Although, I really wanted a good burger!

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