Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 4th Grilling at Freddy's Bar

Kimchee burger with ssamjang—simple and delicious grilled food to celebrate July 4th with friends
Despite the threat of Hurricane Arthur my grill-mate Pat O’Shea and I burgerred and dogged people from 2–7PM—on the main menu, kimchee dogs and kim-cheese burgers served with shaved radish and carrot slaw with a good slather of tangy sweet ssamjang sauce. Other patrons pitched in proudly.

Mr. Rick James brought his Jamaican jerk chicken—slow-and-low smoked to perfection over fresh thyme leaves. It had just enough Scotch Bonnet to sweat the brow. Other patrons brought fresh summer sausages, Polish kielbasi, home made franks and dry rubbed chicken. And for the lone vegetarian, I made portobello mushrooms with sweet corn steamed in foil tents. There’s nothing like catching up with friends over a grill.

The rain subsided, but it was a welcome reprieve from the heat (and heat rash) that NY has had lately. Skies were clear by around 5PM. Driving rain just days before had flooded the Gowanus area and reaped disaster to parts of Massachusetts with a hail. The sky was electric. World Cup played on the big and small screens to screaming fans—Brazil beat Columbia at a steep price as star player Neymar went down with a fractured spine. The reigning Coney Island hot dog eating champ, Joey Chestnut, proposed to his girlfriend before he won the contest yet again.

Meanwhile, I thought a 64 oz jar of Napa cabbage kimchee would be enough, but we ran out by around 4:40PM—youz’ guyz snooze, ya’ loooze. But I made some new Kimcheelicious fans, they’re running over to Court Street Grocers to get a jar or two. They liked that fact that my kimchee is vegan, but has the same deep flavor that traditional kimchee has. The coals were out by 7PM, which gave us just enough time to catch the fire works and down a few beer. This is Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn. As the rents rise sky high, and more people move here, these same people are actually are killing the diverse neighborhood that they seek. Give me the simple life... as the songs goes. You won’t find it flipping luxury condos and co-ops. You might find it flipping a burger. Something sweet is just down the street with the company you keep.

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