Big news/tragic news – the Holland Grill gave it up. When I grill a whole chicken on the Holland Grill it comes out looking like a picture from a cooking magazine but the last one I did looked like one from a fire fighter’s horror story. The usually blue flame was orange and the bird was very dark on the outside but not quite done on the inside. I took it apart to give it an extra good cleaning and noticed that the steel enclosure was basically rusting through which I think is allowing way too much air into the flame box. We’ve had this for 12+ years so I guess that’s not too bad for a grill in Florida. I tried patching the holes with aluminum foil but it’s too far gone and just crumbling in place. The final straw was a pizza that didn’t turn out perfect, the season’s first cherry tomato pizza. We use the grill several times a week, all year long so we can’t live without it. Off to the closest dealer which just so happens to be on the way to my new surf fishing spot in Palm Coast – how convenient. I know they have a stainless steel version of the same model I’ve always used but it’s quite a bit more expensive and I’m thinking if I can get another 10 years from a standard version, do I really want to pay more for stainless steel? I don’t think so. I know I can buy a heat resistant paint for grills so maybe I’ll just give a new one a good paint job during assembly, before lighting it up the first time.
Grill update – my analysis was fine but we ended up with a stainless steel grill anyway. It will be delivered on Saturday. The guy made me a deal I couldn’t refuse. Well actually I could have but Nancy couldn’t. I started walking out when the salesman didn’t meet my generous offer but Nancy blurted out that we had to have it. End of negotiations.
Also a first for the season, Nancy made the first spaghetti sauce from the garden. In addition to three varieties of tomatoes, the sauce includes green peppers, basil, parsley, and oregano so the garden is well represented. Using that sauce and half a dozen really nice green peppers, variety Snapper for those who care, she also made a batch of stuffed peppers.
While name dropping varieties, I tried a new zucchini, Dunja, which is turning out to be fabulous. In 5 years of trying, the best I’ve done with zucchini is C+ and that’s stretching the grading system a bit. First nematodes got them and then boring critters that left larva to eat out the inside. The plants never really looked good but we usually managed to pick a handful that made it to the stove. This season and these plants are healthy and very productive. I don’t know if it’s just that I finally found the perfect variety or the conditions this year are just perfect. I’ll plant again in September in a different location and then we’ll know.