Thursday, July 28, 2011

All Fired Up: Bazooka BBQ 2011

Do you remember how junior high was the most awkward and devastating period of your (my) life? Your elementary school friends dumped you because you were pretty uncool (yeah, I didn't get the memo that high-waisted KMart jeans and men's bowling shirts weren't "in"), you spent most lunch periods in the library reading up on Tarot and practicing ESP on the librarians, and your locker was sandwiched between Mikey, the bully with a Napoleon complex who called you fat to your face, and that girl who kept a bowl of melted M & M's on her top shelf that somehow managed to spill all over your English book.

Ugh. I need a drink just thinking about it. 

Luckily, in 8th grade I met the amazing Kimberly Martin who made the end of my Junior High years much more tolerable....even sort of fun. (And, bear in mind, I did manage to make some awesome friends in 7th grade as well; don't worry, I wasn't a complete outcast).

Kim has been a constant in my life since we were 14; some years more constant than others thanks to college, crazy 2-year relationships (ahem, ME) that somehow manage to isolate you COMPLETELY from your friends and loved ones, and distance. Now she lives in Brooklyn and last week she came for a visit! SO MUCH TO CELEBRATE! Again, this post promises to be picture-heavy and longer than most, but it's definitely worth it!

In keeping with the summer theme, we threw a Bazooka BBQ to honor Kimberly and re-unite the fearsome foursome (high school was so much friendlier than junior high).

Excerpt from a note written by Kimberly to me in high school, circa 1996 (used as the image for the BBQ invite)

THEN (circa 2000 or 2001?) Me, Kim, Jared and Craig

NOW (circa last Wednesday) Kim, Jared, Craig and me

Those outfits were unplanned. I think it's all those years of practicing ESP...we just sort of knew what to wear. I would also like to mention that I am much happier without orange hair.

The barbecue menu was a doozy, but luckily everyone contributed and we had enough food to feed an army of Spanish Conquistadors. There were homemade hamburgers, kaleslaw, veggie kebabs, and every kind of fake hot dog you can imagine. The event was highlighted, however, by the delicious homemade desserts; strawberry rhubarb pie and rainbow cake.

The hamburgers were made from a recipe I found in my early days of veganism. I used to live in Jared's living room and instead of sleeping I would watch one of two channels. One night/early morning I stumbled upon a cooking show. This guy was making all these vegan dishes and I was immediately drawn in, despite the fact that something seemed a little weird about the whole show. TURNS OUT it was THIS GUY, which explains the weirdness. However, this recipe is flawless. I have made it so many times and every time it is amazing. 

Seven Seasonings Sausage Burger

4 3/4 c. water
1/3 c. yeast flakes
3/4 c. pecans or walnuts
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. coriander
1 1/2 Tbsp. basil
1/2 c. Bragg’s liquid aminos or unfermented soy sauce
3 3/4 c. 1-minute oats
3/4 c. cracked wheat
1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds
2 tsp. sage
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. savory (optional)

1. In a large pot, bring 2 3/4 c. water and cracked wheat to a boil and cook for 15 to 30 minutes.
2. In a blender, blend the remaining 2 cups water, yeast flakes, liquid aminos, sunflower seeds, nuts and the seven seasonings. Blend well.
3. While constantly stirring, add the blender mixture to the boiling bulgur wheat and water. Return to a boil. Slowly add the oats to the mixture while stirring. Continue to cook and stir for 2 - 3 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, cover and let stand until cooled. Form mixture into patties and bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes, then flip patties and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Just a note: I never have savory and thus usually don't use it. I did purchase some specifically for the burgers this go around but I didn't notice a huge difference. In the past I have substituted almonds for pecans or walnuts, as well as an extra 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds when I didn't have almonds, walnuts or pecans on hand. I kid you not, every time I make this it turns out amazing-- substitutions and all!

Burgers, Kebabs and Beer. Perfection!
The always delightful Matt provided the veggie kebabs. The night before he had said he would bring 30 pre-made kebabs for grilling. Due to the fact that we were in a bar and it was late I sort of assumed it wasn't real, but you know what assuming does?!

Photo and Kebabs courtesy of Matt
The Kaleslaw (which was actually called Kale Salad and sounds way less fun) was an online recipe located here. There are no pictures to be had of this salad, but let me tell you, it was great. And the next morning it was even BETTER. I substituted the tofu/tempeh for Field Roast Apple Sage Sausages because I had some in my fridge. I fried them in a little bit of sesame oil before adding them to the salad. Crispy!

And now for your viewing pleasure an array of photos taken throughout the course of the BBQ. Thanks to everyone who sent me their pictures since I kind of just stood at the grill for hours and drank beer. (Best BBQ ever!)

The pool in all its glory. 

Jared reading a sexcerpt from Humans, by Robert Sawyer to kick of the BBQ
...Totally not uncomfortable...

   Just started grilling!                                       4 hours later & a little worn out
Of course, as aforementioned, the desserts were truly the stars of the BBQ. Well, the desserts and Kim.  We started the evening before making frosting, pie crusts and chopping the pie filling.

I had baked the cake the afternoon before and frozen each layer. That evening I made a cream cheese frosting and while I frosted, Kim chopped fruit and worked on the pie crusts.

Just Kim, slicing and being all domestic


Tower of Rainbow Goodness

Yes Please!
The rhubarb was grown right in my very own backyard! The strawberries were from Safeway, but that's okay; as I have said before it is practically next door which means it is kind of like being in the garden---proximity wise. 

The morning of the BBQ we baked the pies, put some finishing touches on the food and prepared for the BBQ itself. Here are some more BBQ Pictures:

Relaxing on the porch: Amanda, Kim and Jes

Just BBQing

What with all the "swimming" and high energy games it was only a matter of time before everyone was STARVING for some homemade desserts! Kimberly and I were happy to oblige.

Completed Pie and Completed Cake

Kim's beautiful Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - She's got TALENT!

The Rainbow Cake (Dedicated to NY)
And that, folks, is the Bazooka BBQ. Kimberly has since flown back to Brooklyn and the Heat Dome. WE MISS HER TERRIBLY AND THINK SHE SHOULD COME BACK! However, until she does, I will begin preparations for my trip to visit HER and embark on a Green Tongue Travel post.

Keep reading for crepes, garden parties and Portland adventures!



  1. Thank you so much for organizing the best BBQ ever! I had such a fantastic time, and I'm missing you terribly already! I can't wait to explore vegan Brooklyn with you in a few months! Love you!

  2. @Kimberlia I cannot WAIT to visit! We are going to paint the, green? With Envy. Because we are so COOL! I'd say it's about time for coffee...