Friday, June 10, 2005

Desserting the Grill


Don't any of you EVER tell my wife, The Feared Redhead, that I compared her to a rodent, but she has to be the world's happiest guinea pig, since I test all my new experimental food recipes on her, and most are successes. Last night was no different. She wanted something from the grill, and I didn't feel like coming up with a new entree, so I cooked my shrimp tacos as I've mentioned. But I did feel like trying SOMETHING new, so I ventured into new tewrritory: grilled dessert. The result was a hit, so I'm sharing it here:

Candyaki Fruit Kebabs

This dish gets its name from the fact that the sauce reminds me of a teriyaki sauce in color and how it’s made, even though it has a completely different flavor.

To make this recipe you will need:

Bamboo skewers
Fresh fruit (I like using apples, bananas, nectarines, and pineapple, but feel free to experiment.)

Candyaki Sauce:
20 oz. bottle Coca-Cola
1 cup dark rum (Myers is fine, you might also try a lighter spice rum for extra flavor. I used a black strap rum that’s so dark, it’s essentially spiked molasses.)
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup lime juice (key lime if you can get it)
1 tbsp. grated ginger or ginger paste
1 tsp. cinnamon

Vanilla ice cream


Soak bamboo skewers for 30-45 minutes in cold water.

Cut the fresh fruit into chunks. You want the chunks to be big enough to stay on the skewers, but not so big that they don’t cook through. It’s also important that all the fruit be cut into chunks of similar size for even cooking.

Insert skewers through the fruit, alternating chunks of different fruit.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the Coca-Cola, rum, lime juice, ginger, brown sugar, and vanilla. Heat the sauce to a low boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer, letting sauce reduce.

Place the skewers on a grill over medium high heat. Transfer saucepan to grill next to skewers. Brush skewers with sauce frequently, turning each time to avoid burning. Cook until the fruit is cooked through and coated with sauce and the coating is caramelized.


Remove fruit from skewer. Place fruit over vanilla ice cream, spoon the excess sauce over the top. Makes 4-6 skewers.

*Not Safe For Diabetics

Escargot Away!

With it's damp, mild winters, Oregon is heaven for gastropods. The banana slugs are huge. It's a matter of perverted pride and humor here.

So last night, I opened the grill to cook up some of my shrimp tacos, and right in the middle of the grill was a snail. And all across the grill were snail tracks.

Now, I was duly grossed out and spent a good deal of time scrubbing the grill, but I was also impressed. This snail had crossed the gap from one bar of the grill to another.


The last two mornings, as my carpool partner and I have walked from his truck to the door at work, we've been followed by someone with criminal intent. I know this to be so, because I saw them shadow our movements, hiding behind trees as they did. They're looking for a chance to rob us blind. I've gotten a good look at the thief, and know from bitter experience how quickly this criminal can victimize you. He already has a reputation, and his picture's on file:

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This is a Steller's Jay. It's our West Coast equivalent of the Blue Jay, and like the Gray or Canadian Jay, we refer to it as a Robber Jay. I've had these little buggers swoop in to a table at a campsite and steal food from a plate less than a foot in front of me. They're related to crows, and they're brazen, shamelsss thiefs.

I also think they're gorgeous.