For the second night feeding the boys, we grilled burgers and sausage and ate outside. We invited Chris and Ann over to talk marketing with the college kids, and then Brian and Liz came over to play catch and we asked them to stay, too. All 8 of us squeezed around the table on the porch, which gave it a fun party feeling. It was a little chilly to be eating outside but I don’t think any of us noticed, in part because Ann, who is always cold, was sitting by the open window to the kitchen, where I accidentally left the oven on at 480 degrees long after taking the potatoes out…

Liz mixed up some more wonder concoctions in the freezer–a sort of strawberry margarita improvisation–and the guys drank a lot of beer. We grilled 14 1/4 pound hamburgers and 10 sausages and every single one was eaten. I also made a huge salad and some oven fries, and Ann brought a delicious cake from King Arthur.

The oven fries were an experiment, and worked out remarkably well. I usually parboil potatoes that I’m trying to make crispy in the oven, and the few times I’ve skipped that I’ve regretted it (see the chicken dinner back in December where the potatoes took an extra 45 minutes to cook). But I forged ahead, cut 8 big bakers into wedges, rubbed them around in oil, salt and pepper, then baked them at 450 (later cranking it to 480) for about….45 minutes?


When I pulled them out to test them a lot of the wedges were sticking; they hadn’t crisped up enough to release from the pans. That was when I cranked the heat up. Basically just keep baking them until they release from the pan without too much trouble! I dusted them with some truffle salt (another product sample from my magazine days) before serving.


Dinner—the best shot I could get in the midst of the utter chaos (fun chaos) at the table:



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