Friday, February 13, 2009

Pre-Wedding Jitters

As you regulars know, my brother Terry and the lovely Annette are getting hitched tomorrow, so you can imagine that things are approaching that frantic stage where everything must come together just so.

You might also recall that I am BBQ'ing a small herd of unfortunate chickens to feed the celebratory crowd. In addition, I have cooked up a 4 gallon pot of Minorcan style clam chowder. It's red by the way ... the color of real chowder ... we're not making milk soup here.

(That should fire up the white chowder clan ... heehee)

I asked the folks at the seafood counter in Publix if they could find me some bones and parts for a little fish stock.
"Oh, we don't filet anything so we never have any bones lying around" the fish guy said as he leaned over a glass counter full of filet's on ice.
"It all comes fileted."
Who knew?
I didn't have time to run to a real seafood market, so I bought a few shrimp and some catfish nuggets for my stockpot.

That's the stock cooking in the photo above. There's datil peppers, catfish, shrimp hulls, a bit of onion, black pepper, a clove of garlic, and a bay leaf in the pot.
Later, I strained out the solids and added the broth to the huge pot of clam chowder.
The dogs enjoyed the mushy fish and shrimp hulls.

This morning, Mrs. FC was giving shrimp a quick boil to add them to "shrimp rounds" for the wedding feast. I don't make this dish, and to be honest, I like shrimp as "just shrimp", but this is a popular appetizer wherever we take it.
It involves some herby cream cheese surrounded by boiled shrimp, with a dish of datil pepper relish in the center.

Since I was trapped in the kitchen yesterday, cooking chowder and prepping for the big BBQ day, I decided to try out a recipe that had been dogging me since I stumbled upon it last week. In the 2007 Southern Living Annual Cookbook, there is a recipe for "Crockpot Apple Crisp".

It sounded good, but I just couldn't see how anything in a crockpot could get crisp ...

... And I was not disappointed.

What I mean by that is that the top did not get crisp. The stuff was delicious anyway. The tartness of the Granny Smiths and the sweetness of the brown sugar goo was fairly awesome.

There was no vanilla ice cream in the house though and this caused me some consternation.

Now THAT is a grill.
My good friends at B.K. Cypress Log Homes volunteered their company BBQ grill for my cooking mission today. This was a lifesaver as my smaller version has light shining through the bottom due to years of service, heat, and rust.

After this post, I'm going out to fire up my charcoal and begin hours of outdoor cooking under a clear blue Pure Florida sky.
If time allows later, I'll toss up a picture of the chicken cooking.
I'll have to taste test it often as it finishes off this afternoon.
Poor me.


Susan Rose said...

I know we're all invited to the wedding feast, but you didn't post the address... ?

Sayre said...

That taste-tester job must be quite a burden... I feel very sorry for you (NOT!).

Your cooking efforts will be just fine, I'm sure. I'm always drooling when I visit your site and you have a cooking post. I might have to have shrimp for lunch today.

Happy wedding (and Valentine's) day tomorrow! I hope it doesn't rain on you (we're due for storms tonight).

Anonymous said...

Hope the wedding goes on without a hitch. Hee hee.

I've discovered a new datil sauce. Ever hear of Datil Dew? It is sooo good.

Have fun this weekend.


Just the Right Size said...

Good luck tomorrow at the nuptuals! I'm sure everything will be fine and there will be lot's of good food!

BTW, if you want to make that apple crisp again without it getting soggy, put 1 or 2 paper towels over the top of your crock pot before you put on the lid. It doesn't touch the food, but acts as a sort of sponge so water/condensation that normally collects on the inside of the lid won't drip back down onto the crisp.

Dr. Know said...

Aren't you supposed to be at school - not playing around with pig roasters and weddings?

Good luck to the soon to be couple.

Bill said...

All I can say is, it is a good thing I checked today at lunch time. I've gotta go home now and have some chicken...

Deb said...

Good luck with the big feast! If I was in the neighborhood I'd be tempted to crash the reception, with all that yummy food.

Laura said...

Oh, I'll be right over! I'll bring a big present and toast to the newlyweds if I can chow down on that BBQ and the shrimp dishes! :)

And I think I have the SL 2007 cook book, I'll look for the apple crispless recipe. Thanks for the tip!

Good luck tomorrow, and best wishes for a long and happy marriage to your brother and his new wife. :)

Oh, and you're right, that IS a decent lookin BBQ grill. Ours looks much the same as you described yours... with holes and rust. It was time for a new one... last year!

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Ummm,not only did you not post the address,but you neglected to tell us what time to be there.
And that's a manly grill,fer sure!

Dani said...

It's gonna be so great!! Can't wait to see all the pictures next week.

Aunty Belle said...

HAppy nuptials!

Congratualtions to the happy pair.

What a fine bro ya' is, FC.

Wishing all yore clan the best of everythang!

edifice rex said...

Good luck with everything!

kathy a. said...

sounds delicious! best to the happy couple.

robin andrea said...

You're such a good brother. Annette's lucky to be marrying into such a loving family. The food looks delicious. Best of luck to the newlyweds.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks y'all. Look for a wedding post with BBQ Grill pics included on Sunday morning. Tomorrow will be kinda busy so I probably won't get a, wait a minute. I do have apost in reserve.

Look for Bear and Armadillos on Saturday. Wedding post on Sunday.

Thank you for all the well wishes and kind words.

Cathy S. said...

Sounds like it will be a great day. Congrats to the newlyweds.

kathy a. said...

i have to say -- southerners know how to cook for a crowd. if i was to try 4 gallons of soup, it would take every pot in the house, and possibly some from the neighbors. my cousin did have a BBQ wedding at the posse grounds of her more rural area [salinas, for robin's info], but i haven't personally known anyone with a private rig for big BBQ since i left SC. is someone running the deep fryer for hush puppies?

Doug Taron said...

best wishes to bro and bride.

>It's red by the way ... the color of real chowder ... we're not making milk soup here.

Forgive him for he knows not what he says. I've just spent a week in the Keys ordering conch soup. Which was quite delicious. But it was soup, not chowda. My Sox are Red, my chowder is white.

Freste said...

Dammit I shoulda sent my feedbag to you today. Those chow photos are merely STUNNING. Harumph...
Congrats to the happy, excited, anxious couple!!!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Drooling and I just finished dinner. I think I need some iodine.

I can almost hear the caveman grunts when that grill hove into view.