tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal

31May/110

Mismatched Memorial Meal

Dear E,

Memorial Day weekend in Seattle doesn't bring with it the same "it's summer!" feeling as it does on the east coast... but the weather was nice, you requested fru-fru drinks (that we were happy to supply and enjoy!), and N smoked some beef!

mai tai
N's mai tais

N made a pitcher of mai tais with the appropriate garnish. I love maraschino cherries more than one should!

Early Saturday morning, N prepped a grass-fed brisket and the big green egg. He was a little worried and skeptical, having never smoked a brisket before (other than as pastrami). He went for the simple seasoning -- salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika -- and smoked it with oak wood for a few hours. It ended up tasty with a slightly over soft texture. Definitely passable -- I liked it.

brisket
brisket

Along with the brisket, I made a pea salad. I had been daydreaming about a light pea salad for a week and I happened across this recipe which sounded promising.

pea salad
pea and radish salad

I swapped out the feta for ricotta salata and added some baby greens instead of the pea tendrils. N didn't like the salad -- he said it needed to be either sweet or savory but walking the line of both wasn't doing it for him. I think feta would have been better than ricotta salata. I thought it was a refreshing salad.

Along with the brisket and pea salad, I made a semi-southern style potato salad.

plated
plated

I didn't really like how it came out. I made a few changes to my family recipe -- left the skins on the potatoes, added bacon and diced dill pickles, used a lot less celery, and swapped half of the mayonnaise for sour cream and vinegar. It ended up too sweet for my taste.

We even attempted a new game this weekend, Amun-Re (BGG)!

amun re
Amun-Re

The week after we played Ra, N did some searching on boardgamegeek and discovered Amun-Re, also designed by Reiner Knizia. He thought Amun-Re sounded like a good game and ordered it... or so he thought. Instead, Priests of Ra (BGG) appeared on our doorstep. Oops! I flexed my superior internet ordering skills and ordered Amun-Re for him.

Amun-Re is another auction style game. It took us a while (almost 2 hours?) to make it through the "old kingdom" phase while we were learning the rules. I think it is interesting how the first phase of the game we build and farm only to have the farmers and civilizations and our player ownership disappear -- until the "new kingdom" phase when we all attempt to land-grab certain kingdoms. The game did not have a lot of downtime and I think it will play much more quickly when we try it again.

The power cards were a little confusing since they were not obvious in their meaning -- I'm going to print power card cheat sheets to use during play for the next time. I also dislike the process of calculating points but I think that's just the nature of the beast.

We finished up the evening with a Bohnanza nightcap. It had been a few months since we'd pulled out the bean game and it was fun to end the night with it (even though I lost both games!).

bohnanza
the bean game!

I do love the bean game.

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