Crumbs From Memorial Day Weekend

Well, I was wrong - in spite of my predictions on Friday, there was nary a drop of rain the whole weekend. My wrong made everything right in the al fresco dining department - such magical weather for all the outdoor feasting one could ever hope for!

Here are some of the highlights from my long weekend:

Sunday night it was an impromptu get-together with friends at their place, where we dipped simply grilled shrimp into a green sauce that took me all of five minutes to make in a food processor.

Here's what you need: 1 bunch cilantro, 1 small handful of fresh mint leaves, 2 cloves peeled, smashed garlic, 1 plum tomato (or 12 grape tomatoes), ½ chile pepper, seeded and deveined, 1 2-inch hunk of peeled fresh ginger. Throw it all in the food processor and whiz until completely pureed. I like to add a squeeze of lime here as well. Don't forget the salt!

This feisty, no-fat sauce zips up shrimp and other grilled goodies. Give it a whirl.

We also sampled a variety of tongue-popping, flavored white fish roe, from Tsar Nicoulai in San Francisco. I'll have a full report, with pics, by tomorrow.

Monday's gathering was more involved, with planning and collaboration. There were pork ribs to take on - and we decided on the brilliance proffered in "How to Cook Meat" by John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger, which suggests dry-rubbing those babies and cooking in a 200-degree oven for 2-3 hours, THEN placing on indirect or low heat on grill, so they get crusty. The good -and-crusty ribs also get a lavish brushing of wet sauce of your choice. We were a messy bunch but very happy chewing on bones and getting our rib groove on.

There was a sweet ending to the evening - a berry buckle to be precise, pulled from "Recipes From a Very Small Island" by Linda Greenlaw and her mother, Martha Greenlaw. I plan to share details of this killer summer dessert later this morning, so come back shortly, ya hear?
You GOTTA try this one.

We feasted on all these goodies using biodegradable bamboo plates, a fab new product by a company called Bambu Home. I am waiting to hear back from co-owner Jeff Delkin, who's based in Shanghai, where it's 12 hours ahead of Washington time. Stay tuned for more background and local availability after our interview!

Show and tell time: What tender vittles did you enjoy preparing or nibbling over the long weekend? Do share the details in the comments area below.

By Kim ODonnel |  May 30, 2006; 9:41 AM ET Entertaining
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"1 small handful of fresh leaves" - Maple or Poplar?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30, 2006 11:20 AM

You got me! I will go back and fix that. It should be mint leaves. Thanks for the sharp eye...

Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | May 30, 2006 11:30 AM

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