The Menu: Easy Summer Picnic (or Dear Lord Don’t Let Us Burn The Fucking Grilled Turkey)

June 26, 2014 By: Cristina Perachio - No Comments

“I recognize that shrub!” Rick exclaims as we park in front of a dark house on a tree lined street in Bozeman. I was dead asleep in the RENTAL CAR. It’s an automatic. Hallelujah. Some kind of compact SUV (because that’s a thing) and way too shiny and touristy looking for Rick’s taste.

“I wanted to wake you on the interstate because they’d laid down hay and it had rained. It’s just a real distinct smell but — you can’t just go from sleeping to sniffing hay.” Of course, not. Hay sniffer needs a definition I’m not prepared to assign right now. (Who Greg? God — that fucking guy. What a hay sniffer!) We unload the car and creep around the yard to the back door which is supposed to be open for us.

“God, I hope this is the right house.” RB says as we enter. At midnight. With our sleeping bags and a 15 pound turkey snug in a cooler. To what is hopefully the house of his friend Maria who was kind enough to put us up for the night in Bozeman. I imagined some frightened stranger shooting us on the spot for breaking and entering and delivering a turkey.

Thankfully, he really did recognize that shrub and it is the right house. In the morning, we sit down with French press coffee and I feel like a person again. We plan out the menu over leftover jalapeño rice and beans from the taco place in Missoula the night before. Maria makes fluffy scrambled eggs with salsa and fresh tortillas that I want to shove into my backpack for later.

Anytime Rick is planning anything (from my career trajectory to this afternoons menu) it looks more like the sideline scribblings a of a football coach than anything else

Menu (translated from football)
-Big ass chile crusted grilled turkey

Grilled corn on the cob with molasses chili butter

-Debra’s (Elk) Chili (a friend of Rick’s from Oregon. “I seem to remember liking it.”)

Cornbread pudding

-Salted caramel Southern apple crumble

Plus, for our two hosts, Rick plans to grill the Hungarian partridge and spruce grouse which he hunted himself (along with the help of his sweet little bird dog, Callie.)

Next stop is to pick up Molly and Skip before we hit the grocery store. We’ve made 4 separate grocery lists to divide and conquer. We hope to be cooking at the ranch in Big Timber by 2pm. Fingers, toes and grouse wings crossed!