As days go, it was rather unremarkable. Kind of hot, with a load of humidity added in. Not particularly my favorite, but after the harsh winter that most of us have just experienced, I know when to keep some of my opinions to myself.
The clouds looked full, almost heavy, if indeed a cloud can ever really be heavy. But with that being said, as so often happens here in the midwest, a late afternoon downpour was clearly on the agenda.
The rain came in full force. Not for long, mind you, but hard enough and just long enough for the clouds to wring themselves out and provide what is considered a gully washer by some of us more experienced folks around here.
The sun poked through those dried out, disappearing clouds almost immediately, bringing with it some of what had to be the highest dose of summer humidity so far this year. It’s as if nature knows that this sequence will energize and jumpstart all the nearby vegetation.
Everything around seemed to perk up with this quick dose of rain.
It was this specific sequence that tickled my brain as well, and got me to thinking a bit. Now, it’s true that I’m always thinking about something, and it usually includes a little of this, and a little of that. But this was a particular thought, that maybe we were actually slipping into summer, right now, on this very day. And when I think of summer, I think of picnics, fairs, and outdoor activities, many associated with some sort of convenience food hot off the grill, including those served on a stick. Stick food. Prepared on a stick, cooked on a stick, served on a stick, and by golly, eaten on a stick.
So that was now my focus, to get some stick food on the grill, which was already huffing and puffing its way to a hot time.
After pondering for a while, as any griller will do from time to time, I decided to take the lead of a certain little ticklish doughboy fella, famous for his giggle if not his manly physique. I started with a tube of the pre-made breadstick dough, providing twelve strips of dough, enough for a dozen skewers.
I gathered up some things that I knew would be fine with being shoved on a stick,
and then cut them into more of a stick shovin’ size.
Then there’s nothing to do but start threading all this stuff on the skewers, kind of “ribboning” the bread dough back and forth after every food item on the skewer. I used hot dogs, chicken and apple brats, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and red pepper. No particular order here. Some were all meat, some were no meat, some mixed with veggies, or even simply tomato and onion.
All these skewers were laid on the indirect side of the grill, at roughly 350 degrees.
Now you can imagine the sticky dough going on the hot grill, so you gotta have a hot, well lubricated grill to avoid the dreaded sticky dough pull. You know what I mean. As one who likes to cook out-of-doors, so to speak, I can assure you that one of the best sounds to hear is that sizzle when meat hits the grill. After about 10 minutes, go ahead and rotate the skewers to get a more even cook on them.
After plating your stick food, should you decide to not eat them right there on the spot, you can sprinkle shredded cheese over the hot food and let it melt over the skewers. Mozzarella was my choice on this day.
Now you’re stick food eatin’. You’re state fair, picnic eatin’. This is the stuff that you need, and want, when everybody’s just hanging out in the backyard, talking or catching up on each others lives. Easy to make, easy to eat. And by the way, you just never know how important of a skill it is to be able to eat your own personal stick food with one hand, all the while having your other hand free to do its own thing.
Because Life Is Better Wood Fired.