Yes, now that summer is over, we have a new grill and a new sunflower plant outdoors. Since we did not grill we ended up with spider parents and a thousand babies that my husband killed a couple of weeks ago.

He made a mess of the exterior windows, which I’ll take care of, and I also got us on “spider patrol” because lots of folks have had spider problems this year. The gnat population may have abated, a good thing for me but spider bites are worse.

The new grill. I tried to ruin it first time out with one of my favorite dishes, Lamb Robert from Chef Jacques Pepin. I cleaned the life out of it. Now I have the grates clean and a “dog towel” on top with bungee cords to hold it down to protect from weather. We’re in a wind zone.

Tonight I’d like to make skirt steak with a chimichurri sauce based on one from Tyler Florence. Also, a nice fresh salad chosen by my husband, and latkes. I’ve potatoes, flour, eggs et al, even scallions and may need some sour cream and perhaps applesauce, for me, breakfast with yogurt and a banana.

There are things I must do; list, and follow the list. My husband will be away for two weeks, his uncle died and funeral is over the weekend way away. He only has a day, I’m not going and he’s flying right back to work. Also, my father has cancer and will be undergoing treatment far away forthwith.

Next time my father and I meet should be later this month, husband the same. One thing I always wanted to cook for Dad is pancakes. He made them every week after church when I was a kid, with a small side of bacon or sausage.

Well, my husband now has a recipe that calls for beaten egg whites and I add vanilla and they’re tasty with my amber maple syrup. Plus bacon or sausage, of course. I’d love to treat Dad to these pancakes. How would I know my brilliant husband would actually listen and become a dilettante chef of a few key items?

He doesn’t know how to choose a dinner menu for a party, or shop, except for strange fruit or ice cream. He’s a last-minute guy who looks up a recipe and sees if I’ve the stuff to help him make it. Then he’s gung-ho. I don’t mind being sous-chef a few moments a week.

Yes, put a bit of the whites in to temper the mixture, then use the spatula to fold in the egg whites I just beat to stiff peaks for you. Yes, chef.

He mans the grill. Overcooks everything but now has the instant pen and I just tell him the target degree. He tries. His parents ran a dairy for 30 years and now a ranch. They eat all their meat well-done. I think that does a disservice to cattle. Medium well, not for me. Medium rare, taste what you’re eating if you eat meat, or anything.

Plain yogurt? Make a cold summer soup with cucumbers (English) in the blender or food processor with lemon, salt and pepper. Chill and serve. As an alternive solution, add vanilla to the yogurt, honey and granola and berries. Breakfast. Make it taste like something. Cheers, Happy Labor Day! Dee


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