Photos by MJ Klein & Hui-chen
When this old world starts a getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I’ll climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below don’t bother me, no, no
The Drifters, 1968 (I personally knew Mr. Bill Pinkney who recently passed away).
We love our rooftop cabana. It’s a great place to escape the heat and catch some air and relax with a cool drink. We like to cook up there and invite friends over to relax and enjoy the sights from 5 stories up.
Today, Hui-chen and I spent several hours “up on the roof” and I took lots of photos this time. After all I wouldn’t want to be accused of making it all up!
The only drawback is the amount of stuff that I have to carry up there every time we want to hang out on the roof. The floor below is our “party room” with all of the stuff we use on the roof. The good part of it that I get exercise hauling the stuff upstairs.
Fire lit, and the 12″ Dutch oven placed over the coals. It was very well cleaned from the last time I used it. Here you see that I have added olive oil.
This is the lid, and the tool that I used to handle the very hot lid. It works very well and holds the lid securely so it can’t fall. In this shot the lid is on the divot that I talked about previously.
I covered everything with store-bought spaghetti sauce. This dish wasn’t going to be a spectacular original creation, just something homestyle and easy to prepare. However, just cooking it a Dutch oven imparts a certain flavor to any dish that is hard to duplicate otherwise. For those of you who are interested in checking out just what you can cook in a Dutch oven, I suggest that you look at Byron’s Dutch Oven Recipes.
Lastly, I covered the top with grated Parmesan cheese.
This dish requires a lot of top coals. Most dishes require more top coals than bottom coals but today I’m using about 2:1 top:bottom. Top coals make it possible to bake in a Dutch oven. Cakes and even breads are all possible with a Dutch Oven. In this case I am trying to brown the top of the cheese and sauce.
That grilled flavor is hard to beat! Leaving the husk on it protects the kernels from ashes and drying out. The moisture inside the husk steams the corn and the burnt husk gives the corn a nice smoky flavor. Personally, I cannot stand the grilled corn served in Taiwan. The ears are stripped and then grilled with a sauce that is supposed to make up for drying it to death. It doesn’t work. That style of grilled corn is hard, dry and disgusting. But, I have had quite a few Taiwanese ridicule me for grilling with the husk on, even refusing to eat it because it couldn’t possibly be any good!
Meanwhile, one of our neighbors insisted on going through a gate where cars aren’t supposed to go. She pulled her mirror in so she could fit through the hole. Come on people, this defeats the purpose of living on a quiet street with no through traffic.
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