Sometimes the simplest devices are the ones that trip you up! For my birthday, my Dad and Step Mom sent me some cool kitchen gadgets from one of my favorite stores, Sur La Table. One of the items is this super cool looking vertical skewer rack that is basically a place to hang your finished kebabs so that your guests can serve themselves from it by sliding pieces off of the ends onto their plates with these cute little serving forks.
I ran right out and bought some cod fillets, sweet onions, roma tomatoes, zucchini and under ripe mangoes to make my kebabs. I was already thinking about how my kids would flip out over their cool hanging dinner and how they would eat bite after bite of perfectly grilled goodness just so that they could use the neat little fork to slide the pieces off of the dangling skewers. I imagined my friends coming over for dinner and oohing and aahing over my masterful presentation of gravity defying bits of meat and veggies.
Alas, it was not meant to be…
It was entirely my own fault. In my excitement to show off my flavor combining prowess, I neglected to think through the mechanics of dangling food on a stick. Tragically, I placed the very softest and most vulnerable items, the mango and tomato at the bottoms of each skewer. They grilled up so beautifully, they were ever so slightly charred and wonderfully glistening with the tropical sauce that I had dutifully brushed on at every quarter turn, but they were doomed. No sooner had I hung the last kebab when I noticed that the others looked oddly unbalanced, upon further inspection I realized with a gasp that half of the food was missing. Thankfully, the thoughtfully designed rack has a grooved drip tray on the bottom and it was precisely there that the missing items were deposited.
No harm done (except to my ego of course) I simply scooped up the lost items and stripped the remaining morsels from the skewers on onto a platter. The food still looked pretty and tasted great so I just chalked this episode up to user error and resolved to have another go at vertical dining as soon as possible.
So to my Dad and Step-Mom, the kids thank you for the hilarious faces I must have made when I realized my mistake. They laughed all through dinner and re-told the story to each other for the rest of the night. Despite this setback, I love the gift and I aim to do it right next time.