Monday, September 12, 2011

Fire Pit Experiments

Last night was "Fire Pit Night".  We'd been looking forward to it with much anticipation, mainly because of our star experiment.  See, since I knew we'd be cooking dinner over an open flame, I broke down and bought marshmallows for the non-Paleo girls in the family.  But Ballerina and I would want something, I reasoned.  Well, what's bite size and sweet that can be roasted on a skewer?  A banana.  But it will get soft and fall off the skewer, so what could be wrapped around it that would hold it together?  Preferably something that might shrink and get crispy as it cooks?  Ah!  Bacon!  I was feeling so very pleased with myself...until I googled my ingenious idea, and found it's already all over the internet.  Darn.  Well, so much for being original.

The skies were blue and clear as we walked home from church.  The temperatures have given way from sweltering-heat to pleasant, just right for sitting around a fire pit.  I changed out of my Sunday dress and built the fire.  Then I piled up a platter with our skewerable foods.

We couldn't wait for dessert to try our experiment (besides, it could be both appetizer and dessert, right?), so we started with those.

Ballerina was the smarty-pants who came up with securing her skewer with a rock.  She was multi-tasking (reading AP something-or-other while dinner cooked).  It wasn't quick to cook bacon over a fire, it turns out, but it was working.  My bacon shrank and squeezed off part of the banana, so I had to let it loose on my plate and return the rest to cook more.

They look pretty good.  I, however, do not enjoy "wiggly bacon".  I prefer mine quite cooked and crispy, thank you.  I started devising a better way to wrap the bacon around the bananas while we cooked the other courses of our dinner.

Just so you bite of Roasted Pepper Sausage plus one bite of zucchini are a delicious combination.  Soon after this photo, Actress had mishaps of gigantic proportions, as everything fell off her skewer, she spilled food all over her lap, and her following attempt at shishkabobbing involved skewering her finger with a hot prong (which she had already burned while baking at her dad's house that morning).  Then the wind picked up from nowhere and blew grey clouds over us, stirring up the ashes of our fire all over Ballerina and her AP textbook.  We decided to move the party indoors.

I turned on the oven and broiled the remainder of our dinner (including another attempt at the bacon-bananas).

It was interesting.  I liked the flavor combination, but I could never get the bacon to cook to my desired done-ness.  And I was so excited to give you a gourmet dish to try.  *sigh*

Yes, I realize bacon is cured with sugar.  Yes, I do feel a little pin-prick of guilt that I haven't been as religious about absolutely-not-a-grain-of-sugar-during-the-challenge.  


This morning's wod was a longer effort.  I love those little 6 minute AMRAP's, but you can't have those all the time, I guess.  The following took me 20 minutes:

Power snatch 45#
jumping air squats
knees to elbows (which ended up being closer to knees-to-armpits or even knees-to-chest)

I wish I could grip that pullup bar better.  I hate the feeling of my skin folding over on itself at the pullup bar.  I wear gloves, but they're not snug enough, so I end up feeling the glove folded over instead of my skin (which hurts less, but is still annoying).

And I admit, sometimes I feel a little goofy power-snatching 45#, because it's just the barbell with no added weights.  I console myself by looking in the mirror at my awesome muscles while I'm tossing that bar over my head.  By the end of the wod, I was starting to feel confident in my technique.  Power snatch is no simple movement.

I did manage to convince the front desk girl to find me a piece of chalk.  I keep track of my rounds by making hash marks on the floor (remember, it's a converted racquetball court with that black spongy-ish gym-floor-covering), then I erase them when I'm done with the disinfectant spray and rags they supply for wiping your sweat off their cozy machines.

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