Our warm and summery weather continues – perfect to barbecue for the last night of Rich’s mom’s visit on Saturday. When asking her what she’d like for dinners, her main request was a Banzai Burger – ground beef (or, if you can find some that aren’t going to kill you with chemical byproducts, veggie patties are good with this as well) marinated in pineapple teriyaki sauce (for this application, we trust Lawry’s), then grilled and served with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, grilled pineapple slice and mayonnaise on your burger delivery bread product of choice. I tried something a little different this time – I added the teriyaki to the ground beef as I was shaping it into balls to later smoosh on the grill instead of forming patties and pour the sauce over to sit overnight. The burgers were tasty and moist, but needed a touch more flavor, so next time I will work about a half bottle into the meat AND pour the remainder over the balls/patties for the overnight rest. We rounded out dinner with a black bean panzanella (some of my French bread croutons with black beans, feta, romaine, peperoncini, roasted red and yellow peppers, red onion, sun-dried tomato and English cucumber, tossed in a light vinaigrette), buttermilk potato salad, baked beans (again, I cheated and doctored up some canned beans), Arnold Palmers, and a good, cheap chardonnay over ice. We had the windows open until just after dinner when Rich decided it was time for AC before jumping into the shower to wash the smoke from grilling the burgers off; so tall glasses of ice laden cooling beverages were much appreciated – though our other dinner guests Bob and Don were good and stuck to our trusty (and tasty) Lake Michigan Tap Water.
This morning, we were up and about fairly early so we could take Rich’s mom home and return before it was too late. The gods of holiday weekend traffic were with us, and we sailed through Chicago coming and going with little to no trouble – other than those visiting drivers who don’t understand the large, flashing NO CASH/IPASS ONLY signs and invariably come to an embarrassed halt when they find no place to toss their coin and the gate remains resolutely on the horizontal position. We tend to look on these refugees from lands with no turnpikes or toll roads with (mostly) understanding – tho’ if you’ve reached the Northern edge of the tollway system and STILL haven’t figured the whole deal out, you are likely to become an object of general scorn and derision.
We DID have time on the way to Anderson to stop at the Wind Farm to catch a few shots – here’s one of Rich and his mom that I plan on playing around with in Photoshop.