reeking of oaksmoke

Wednesday night – I ran away from work today. Well, only in the physical sense, I suppose… as I actually did work-type activity, but from the comforts of my home rather than the cubicle. It was good, and I feel like, despite my Bush-when-he-was-in-the-Texas-National-Guard questionable work-ethic of late, I deserved and needed it. Now I sit here with the windows open, when they likely shouldn’t be – because the residual heat of the 100°+ day we had today here in brown Northern California hasn’t quite subsided yet – but I like them open, it makes me feel in tune with nature, or some such escapist notion. Yesterday I was at a conference in the city, and made the best of the hobknobbing time afforded me. I went to meet and greet, and both met and greeted to my satisfaction. I arrived home around midnight, and just didn’t feel like trudging into those oppressive aisles today.

Today I had planned on breaking in the new barbecue in a practice run, cooking a traditional meal for Sharaun and I the way I remember my grandpa doing it. My main goal was to figure out how to properly cook over the new grill, this being my first true woodfire barbecuing experience. But, the best laid plans… Anyway, we ended up supping with a good portion of our close friend base, and what had started as a “test meal” ended up more like my first official cook over the new contraption. Happily, things worked out fine. The meat was tasty, if just a tad more done than I’d like, and I could certainly taste the oak. I even cooked some pinquito beans to round out the authentic Santa Maria-ness of the whole thing. Overall, I was happy with the grill’s performance and the outcome – plus, it was totally fun tending the fire for hours prior to cooking (burned seven cuts of oak, more than I expected, but had a nice bed of cooking coals). In the end then: bravo.

I’m glad for the abbreviated week. Monday wasn’t busy at all, Tuesday was the conference, and Wednesday was today (you just read about it). Thursday is a regular day, and Friday we have a work-related getaway to the wine country for some good ol’ winesoaked camaraderie. Then, it’s Father’s Day and next weekend we’re off to Oregon to visit my folks again. After that, vacation while Sharaun’s parents visit one week, and again the next week as her sister and brother-in-law come calling. It’s all downhill until Labor Day folks, which is, you’ll soon find out, the much-anticipated beginning of my two-month paid “sabbatical” at work. Yes, the idea is autopilot from here on out.


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