Monday, August 03, 2009
I was at home when Mt. St. Helens blew her top. I got a call from Dave, who was working at a newspaper at the time, asking if I'd like to go with him and try to get some pictures for the next day's edition. We got as far as a hilltop overlooking the mountain near Amboy, Washington, and started snapping shots of what looked like one of the biggest natural disasters in Northwest history. That was 29 years ago, and it's hard to see now, much less imagine, what that devastation was like.
We thought we had our own disaster, though without the extreme consequences, the other night when Dave went out to check on the chicken he was roasting on the grill. He'd soaked a couple of hunks of hickory and put them on the hot coals, and an hour later found what looked like a blackened cinder (albeit still chicken-shaped) on the grill. Though when he checked the temperature, all looked well.
So he brought it into the kitchen and the house filled with a smoky, intoxicating aroma. The skin was caramelized and deeply smoked, and the flavor of the meat underneath was delicately laced with the same taste. Next time we'll do a couple of these birds, having one for dinner and using the other for tacos, salads and snacking on. And the stock, which is bubbling away on the stove right now, might be the perfect base for a fabulous paella that we'll be doing on the grill later this week.