Monday, June 30, 2014

Alspaugh Conclusion, Meal No. 1033, and a Movie Night

The last day of June was reasonably busy at the Roediger House. In the morning, Jake Alspaugh returned to put stain down on the center part of the porch that he replaced.

Here's a shot of the rubber roof repair above that, along the upstairs porch railing. This ought to remediate the water issue that led to the rot on the porch decking below.

A crew came for grilling of burgers tonight, which was Meal No. 1033:

And I got some cinnamon chip oatmeal cookies made this afternoon:

...which were then passed around for the first movie night of Season 7 of the Roediger Theatre:

"Grilled Juicy Burgers," from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks recipe magazine.

"Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Cookies," from Hershey's Kitchens.
  • PDF of the Roediger House Version can be found by clicking here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Meal No. 1032: Barbecued Chicken Thighs

A small crew here for dinner and I headed back out to the grill to produce barbecued spice-rubbed chicken thighs, which is not a common grilling item for me:

I also tried out a corn casserole recipe that's been floating around Facebook for a spell, and it was mighty well-received.

From Bon App├ętit, July 2013:
"Jiffy Corn Casserole," found on Facebook. Download a pdf version of it by clicking here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Meal No. 1030: Molasses-Mustard Glazed Grilled Pork Chops

It's always a good night at the Roediger House when the three Phillis siblings come to visit, and even more so when they also bring along their significant others. That's the grand feature of this Friday night, and we had ourselves a fine time going the fancy route of eating in the dining room and managing to find much to laugh about.

Dinner wasn't anything grand but I think it satisfied: grilled molasses-mustard glazed pork chops, pot luck macaroni and cheese, and seasoned green beans. The crew had to depart in time to get to an orchestra concert down at the Governor's School summer program on the campus of Salem College, so it felt like too short of a night.

But since all three are on staff at the Governor's School, I have high hopes I'll see them again soon.

"Molasses-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops," adapted by Nick Kindelsperger from Bobby Flay's Grill It! Found online at

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Meal No. 1029: Slow-Roasted Salmon

Slow-roasted wild-caught Alaskan salmon with Brussels sprouts and herbed freekah, topped with a chilled rosemary dijon cream sauce.

Thank you, sir. May I have another?

Preparation based partially on "Slow-Roasted Salmon with Tamarind, Ginger, and Chipotle," from Food & Wine, December 2011, p. 72, 74.

Chilled Rosemary Dijon Cream Sauce, from "Poached Salmon," in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 216.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Meal No. 1028: Peanut Butter Bacon Burgers

Amy Williamson doesn't care for peanut butter, so she got
a blue cheese bacon burger on her plate.

The rest of us enjoyed the heck out of this monstrosity.
Well, we each had our own, that is.

A review of key points about peanut butter bacon burgers:
  • Inspired by Yo Mama's in the French Quarter of New Orleans
  • First Made: Meal No. 180
  • Last Made: Meal No. 976
  • Homemade Peanut Butter
  • Fresh-Ground Beef from boneless beef short ribs and top sirloin
  • Homemade Classic Burger Sauce (recipe below)
  • Labeled Finished Burger: Guide to Meal No. 234
  • Some guidance, inspiration, and tips are based on Cook's Illustrated, No. 93 (July/August 2008), p. 10.

Classic Burger Sauce
from Cook's Illustrated, July-August 2008, p. 11.
4 T mayonnaise
2 T ketchup
1 tsp sweet pickle relish
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Porch Repairs, At Last!

It was just over a year ago that porch rot at the front steps finally manifested itself with a hole in the decking. After a second hole was punched by foot traffic, I simply moved the planters from my mother's house into strategic position over them in hopes that I'd soon get these things fixed. A little over a year later, I finally have.

Jake Alspaugh has now replaced that whole section of flooring in front of the front door, and it's been primed. He'll paint it in another week or so.

He's already put additional rubber and seal so that the run-off from the upstairs porch will now channel into the gutter, instead of between the gutter and the fascia board. It's really cost me dearly between the failure of my general contractor Peter R. "Pete" LaRoque to correctly install this, and with my own lethargic attention to it in a timely fashion.

Jake has also replaced a few rotted clapboard pieces along the porch on the south side of the house:

And he's remade the coal chute window well cover that's on the north side of the house, and covered it anew with a rubber topping:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meal No. 1027: Moravian Chicken Pie

I can't believe it's been over two years since I last made this Winston-Salem classic. But that's the truth of the matter. I've lost some of my touch with it, but it was still delicious when I made it last night for dinner.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Meal No. 1026: Sunday Morning Breakfast

It's rare that I make breakfast, but on this Sunday morning I was hankering for fried eggs and grits and bacon. And there it is:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Meal No. 1024: Stuffed Grilled Pork Chops

"Stuffed Pork Rib Chops with Plum-Pecan Relish," from Cuisine at Home, Issue 93 (May/June 2012), p. 26-27.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Meal No. 1023: Patty Melts

This was going to be the Tuesday evening meal, except there was that little HVAC crisis. Then, I left town to speak at a conference at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, and this was the evening meal when I drove back into town tonight:

I'm not traditional with these, especially since I do not care for rye bread. But on buttered and toasted sourdough with a classic burger sauce and caramelized onions, plus whatever combination of cheese slices I have, it doesn't take much to feel mighty satisfied.

Classic Burger Sauce
from Cook's Illustrated, July-August 2008, p. 11.
4 T mayonnaise
2 T ketchup
1 tsp sweet pickle relish
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Christmas in June is still up. And it's very nearly July.

I definitely have trouble getting around to things sometimes. This is a prime example. Even the public shaming of overhearing passersby comment on it has been an insufficient incentive to put this away.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

'Sup with the Sump Pump?

The visiting Tim Schwarz and I caught an afternoon movie today, The Edge of Tomorrow, but when we returned to the house, it was noticeably stuffy and warm in the kitchen. The thermostat showed it was about 84 degrees, well above the temp set for the AC, and it purported to be in a cooling cycle of the system. The outside unit wasn't running, however, and all my attempts to diagnose the problem (check the fuses, reset the system, check the power to the sump pump) all resulted in no change.

That meant an after-hours high-dollar call to Webb Heating and Air, who have faithfully and excellently taken over my HVAC service after Barnette Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., of Mocksville botched so many aspects of my system. Turns out I had the same technician who came out previously to fix something Barnette had royally screwed up, and he worked quickly and smartly to get the problem figured out and remediated.

Since the Barnette crew left an ineffective filter in the cellar air handler/furnace and also didn't seal that unit, there was a build-up of dust and trash that had clogged the condensate drain pump. Once that was cleared, everything was back up and running.

In the meantime, this kept me from whipping up any supper so Tim and I enjoyed more of that leftover chicken from the kamado grill.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Meal No. 1022: Chicken on a Throne

The Roediger House is in the middle of its annual summer visit by friend, colleague, and former student Tim Schwarz, who teaches down in New Orleans. This evening, the meal was also a chance to bring in one of his fellow Wake Forest graduate students, Bradley Phillis, who's back in town for the summer to teach at the Governor's School.

I figured a special kamado grill meal was in order, and set to work on chicken on a throne. Which is supposed to cook in only about four hours.

And which didn't finish cooking until after about seven hours. So we ate in two shifts: first, the macaroni and cheese and lima beans at the intended dinner time:

Then, around 10:30, when the chicken was finally cooked properly, we also served ourselves a sampling of it, with Alabama Great White Sauce to bolster its goodness.

Then, Tim and I enjoyed several meals off the leftovers. It's hard to beat a chicken sandwich slathered with more of that white sauce, when lunchtime rolls around.

Kamado Meal #29

"Chicken on a Throne" (p. 171-173), "Old-Fashioned High-Cholesterol Great-Tasting Southern Sauce" (p. 351), and "Alabama Great White Sauce" (p. 362). In Smoke & Spice, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. Boston: The Harvard Common Press, 2003.

"Best Potluck Macaroni and Cheese," from Cook's Country, April/May 2007, p. 11.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Meal No. 1021: Glorious Beef & Mushroom Stir-Fry

"Glorious Beef with Mushrooms," in Wok Fast by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison. Ten Speed Press, 2002, p. 87 (recipe) and p. 26-27 (marinade and sauce).

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Meal No. 1020: Herb-Roasted Salmon Fillet

Salmon based on "Herb-Roasted Salmon Fillets," by Luanne Asta of New York, NY. In Taste of Home, December 2013, p. 28.

Chilled Rosemary Dijon Cream Sauce, from "Poached Salmon," in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 216.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Meal No. 1019: Grilled Tuna with Soy Buerre Blanc

Pretty amazing meal for something thrown together when I drove in from Richmond after a week of work with the good folks of Saint Christopher's School.

Sauce based on "Sesame-Crusted Mahi Mahi with Soy Shiso Ginger Butter Sauce," by Ryan Nomura. Recipe found online at, through

Thursday, June 12, 2014

But How Pretty Are the Flowers Now?

Mighty pretty, to my eye:

After 8 Oriental Lily

Berry Dazzle Dwarf Crepe Myrtle

Brilliant Miniature Hollyhock

Calypso Daylily

Gay Butterflies Butterfly Bush

Golden Joy Asiatic Lily


Mini Penny Hydrangea

Nanho Purple Butterfly Bush

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Strutters Ball Daylily

Strutters Ball Daylily

Tango Crossover Asiatic Lily