2018 Memorial Day Weekend Mega-Thread

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It's always fun to see what other people are up to on these big holiday weekends. Granted this one only applies to those of us in the USA. What are you up to this weekend? My buddy's wife is throwing a surprise birthday party for him under the guise of it just being a memorial day cookout. I got tasked with mac and cheese for 40. Combination of large elbow and corkscrew pasta, a cheddar sauce with shredded sharp cheddar mixed in. Topping is ritz crackers, panko, and parmesan.

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Smoking pork butt. Basically planning to serve pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw and an apple-onion chutney. BBQ sauce is apple-chipotle. Probably also serving a faux cheese soufflé dish too. This year looking for an presentation where I can pull the food together, put out buffet style, and focus on fun (eating and drinking) rather than being the cook-and-bottlewasher.

My group is a lot smaller... less than 10 people.
 
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Nice.. my buddy is smoking two butts for this get together. He was also going to do some slabs of ribs and said when he opened the packages it smelled like death. Apparently the use by date was not accurate.. lost $60 worth.
 
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I hope he returned the bad meat. I once would take the loss but no more. There are some ethnic and/or discount stores that seem to have issues with honesty regarding meat quality. In one market I insist on smelling the meat before I buy. That is forbidden by one of the meat managers due to “health concerns “ so I simply put up a fuss until he gives in. Usually there is a reason he doesn’t want the consumer to smell first. I’ve even pulled a half-cooked ham out of the oven and returned to store that I wasn’t 100% sure was bad when opening but became convinced once to started heating up. The manager was aghast how I actually walked in with a hot ham and demanded refund... but on smelling the roast had no option but to comply. I don’t eat bad meat, nor do I eat the financial loss no matter how small it may be.
 
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There are some ethnic and/or discount stores that seem to have issues with honesty regarding meat quality.
Can't speak to discount stores, but here in my area the Chinese and Latin (mostly Brazilian) markets are the ones where you can actually see and smell meat before you buy. The supermarkets have everything pre-wrapped (or hella expensive). I find that the Brazilian butchers also know where everything came from and when, and they love to chat with a knowledgeable customer.

Sorry to hear this isn't the case where you are!
 
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Pork especially fresh packaged pork that hasn't been frozen can smell some when you open the bag. I wipe it down with a damp rag then let it rest on a rack for a bit. The odor goes away more often than not.

I made salsa yesterday and some lobster salad today. Looks like lobster tacos, corn, chips and salsa on this rainy day.
 

phatch

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Lightning and hail today. More forecast tomorrow. Used my cast iron grill on the stove. Made grilled salad with tahini dressing for lunch.

Black bottom cupcakes where the timer reset from a power bump during baking.

Grilled hamburgers and za'atar fries with harissa toum on the cast iron and wok respsectively. Wok makes a good fryer.
 
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