Dad’s Grilled Red Snapper

red-snapper-5

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I’ve been recently waylaid by a rather unfortunate run-in with a bit of black walnut-shell. In perhaps the most unkindest cut of all, the blow was delivered by one of my beloved post-Thanksgiving turkey sammiches. (I knew The Fates could be cruel but who knew they had a taste for irony, as well?) The resultant series of appointments meant that I’ve not been around WordPress very much of late. Although there’s more work to be done, I’m happy to say that the worst of the ordeal is now behind me. I’ll be back at 100% before you know it but, please, I’m begging you, no more jokes about whistling merry Christmas.

Neither of today’s dishes — I wouldn’t really call them recipes — are in any way complicated or difficult to prepare. Given my current situation, they are just what the dentists ordered. In my mind, however, both are closely tied to the upcoming holidays. The first, red snapper, was a favorite of my Dad. It’s also my last post before Christmas Eve and I’ve a tradition of offering a seafood dish for those preparing a Feast of the Seven Fishes.  The second dish shared today, roasted chestnuts, was the very last Mom served on the holidays.

I’ve wanted to post a red snapper recipe for some time but it’s a little complicated. You see, snapper is endangered depending upon where and how it’s harvested. If caught by hook and line in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s OK to purchase. Red snapper caught in the South Atlantic, however, should be avoided. Ruby snapper — its Hawaiian cousin — is OK to purchase. (Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch). I’ve often seen red snapper for sale but, as a rule of thumb, if the monger cannot tell me where or how a fish is caught, I choose another fish or, in some cases, another monger. Over the years, I’ve passed up a lot of red snapper. That’s not so complicated. Well, stay with me.

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red-snapper-2

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Recently, my fish monger had fresh red snapper and I eagerly bought 2 fillets, one to be grilled that night and the second to be prepared the following night. See the opening photo? That’s  proof that I actually grilled red snapper. Unfortunately, it’s the only photo that I have because moments later my grill ran out of propane. I finished cooking the fillet on a grill pan.

That was a Friday 2 weeks ago. The following day, Saturday, we were hit with a snowstorm.(We’ve had snow on each of the past 3 weekends with more expected tomorrow.) I spent my day pushing the snow off of the walkways. For some reason, replacing my grill’s propane tank never crossed my mind — until dinner time. That’s when I made an executive decision. I wasn’t going anywhere and fired up the grill pan, instead.

Complications aside, this is about the easiest preparation for a dish that  I’ve ever posted. It’s not so much the fish but the memories that go along with it. Yes, it was  Dad’s favorite fish but he wanted it grilled. No matter the season, no matter the weather, if red snapper fillets were on the menu that night, Dad was at the barbecue getting the grill ready.

grandpas-barbecueAs I’ve mentioned in other posts, our barbecue was made of brick and built by Grandpa in the late1950s. Mention that barbecue and In my mind’s eye, I see Dad standing before it, preparing our main course.  Once, during a summer storm, Dad was wearing a trench coat over a pair of shorts, his bare legs extending beyond the coat’s hem. His right hand was tending our meal while his left hand struggled to maintain control of the wind-whipped umbrella. Now that’s dedication.

red-snapper-1Although I can’t say for certain what he was grilling on that foul weather day, it would be a pretty good bet to say that it was red snapper. That’s how much he enjoyed grilled red snapper fillets! I do, too, maybe not to that extent but I do enjoy red snapper when grilled.

The fish is easy enough to prepare. Season both sides of the fillet with salt & pepper before drizzling with olive oil. Light the grill and while it heats, place equal amounts of butter and lemon juice in a small sauce pan over low heat. Softly simmer the two while the fish cooks. Red snapper fillets flake easily so we, Dad and I, use(d) a fish basket to hold them in place on the grill. There’s nothing worse than watching part of your dinner fall between the spaces in your grill plates. Depending upon how hot your grill is, the fillets should cook in about  3 to 4 minutes for the first side and about 2 minutes for the other. Place the fish skin-side down to start. (See NOTES) Once finished, remove the fillets to a serving platter and drizzle with lemon butter sauce. Serve immediately with lemon wedges. See? Couldn’t be easier but oh, so very good!

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Since the red snapper dish was so simple to prepare, I thought I’d make this post a two-fer. Recently my Brother asked where my post for roasted chestnuts was located. Um … it wasn’t. I’d forgotten all about them. So, here’s another easy recipe that also means holiday to me.

On Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day, once the deserts had been served and the table cleared, while the adults dipped anise-flavored biscotti into their caffè and chatted, Mom would bring freshly roasted chestnuts, castagne, to the table. No matter how sated, everyone at that table managed to eat a few chestnuts, You see, much like the old Jell-O advert, there’s aways room for castagne.roasted-chestnuts-2016

Sometime that afternoon or early evening, Dad would use his penknife to slice an “X” in the rounded side of each chestnut. Later, they would be placed on a baking sheet which was then put into a 425˚ F pre-heated oven. After about 20 to 25 minutes, the chestnuts were removed and allowed to cool slightly before being served.

I wish I could be more precise but much depends upon how fresh the nuts are and whether all have been properly roasted. You see, a chestnut has a shell within a shell. We’re all familiar with the brown outer shell but the one on the inside will give you fits. It’s inedible, paper-thin, fuzzy, and can stick to the chestnut like glue. If your chestnut is roasted for tool long or too short, you can expect problems with that inner shell. Oh! There’s an added bonus to roasting them for too long: the chestnuts become rock-hard.

Now, there are those who par-boil their nuts before roasting but I’ve never tried that. Mom boiled a few and, once chopped, included them in her turkey stuffing. If I remember correctly, she didn’t fare any better with the boiled chestnuts than we did later that evening with them roasted. Problems aside, a few roasted chestnuts to end the meal are as much a part of my holiday feast memories as are those of the much-beloved platters of ravioli that began them.

Speaking of the holidays, we at the Bartolini kitchens wish you all a holiday season most memorable, with a new year filled with wonder and joy.

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Notes

The red snapper fillets can easily be prepared on a grill pan or under the broiler. In the first case, heat the grill pan as you would a barbecue. Cook the fish as if it were on a grill, skin-side down, for a few minutes before turning it over for about another 2 minutes. If you broil the fillets, place them skin-side down on an unheated broiler pan/tray about 4 inches under the heating element, They should be ready in about 4 minutes but keep a close eye on them. If you’ve used a broiler with seafood, you know exactly what I mean.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

braised-eel

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve so why not take a look back at a dish traditionally served on that night? I’m talking about eels and though I only remember it being served once when I was very young, peering into a sink full of eels definitely left an impression. You can see how they’re prepared by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

panettone-bread-pudding-1

Panettone: A Bread with Promise

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83 thoughts on “Dad’s Grilled Red Snapper

  1. Hello, John. So sorry to hear about your dental disaster. It’s reminding me of a bad time I had caused by a tiny piece of grit from a mussel. Hope all will be resolved. The snapper dish sounds the ideal dish – quick, simple, delicious and a sort of pre-antidote to festive ‘overwhelm’. Wishing you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Tish. I’m doing fine. Modern dentistry has come a long way. You’ve really nailed the description of this dish, “quick, simple, delicious …”. A perfect main when you’ve a family clamoring for food. 🙂
      Hope you have a Hapy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s fantastic snapper – someone was asking me about snapper recipes for Christmas a couple of hours ago, so I’ll be forwarding your post. I read somewhere and it seems to be true, that chestnuts are easier to peel when very hot, either roasted or boiled. I’ve boiled them for stuffing and I think it was slightly easier than roasted ones, but either way, peeling them when hot is painful! Feliç Nadal 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hope you friend found the recipe useful. It remains the only way that I prepare snapper. That’s the Catch-22 of chestnut peeling, MD. The hotter they are, the easier to peel. My long-suffering parents would peel as many as we kids wanted and be left with a bowl of warm chestnuts to struggle with.
      Happy New Year!

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  3. Dear John; thanks a lot for the recipes and the memories. Sorry about your mishap, hope you get better soon.
    As for the chestnuts, they are going into my turkey stuffing for tomorrow’s dinner, but I’ll save a few for roasting in your honor 😉
    I’m guessing this year the holidays will be a tad sad for you and your family, but I hope that you manage to enjoy them nonetheless, remembering the good times like only you know how to do.
    Take care and…Merry Christmas!!
    G

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Giovanna. I do believe that our loved ones never truly leave us. We carry their love and memories in our hearts for the rest of our days.
      I do hope you enjoyed the chestnuts and may your have the best of luck in 2017!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. John, as I probably mentioned to you over at FB, I have dentist-phobia, and totally sympathize with you… you poor thing!

    to have this happen right at Thanksgiving, and mess up your holiday season still – not fair.

    I also know that some sadness will permeate your family during this time of the year – having lost my sister-in-law just months ago does the same for us, but let’s concentrate on all the wonderful things we have, and hope for a 2017 with no dentist, no tears, no worries (yeah, I am aiming high)

    😉

    great recipe, by the way!

    Happy Holidays, my friend!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I remember your great dislike of all things dentistry-related, Sally. All facts considered, this was far less “discomforting” than expected. My only real problem are the dietary constraints. I bought that pressure cooker just in time and it’s kept me in steady supply of broths and now soup. I’m ready to start the pasta phase next. Frankly, I just may linger there for a while. You know, for my health. 😀
      I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and that 2017 brings you nothing but happiness. XOX

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so glad you mentioned the Monterey Bay Seafood Aquarium Watch . I’m glad it’s all over the country by now and people are paying attention to the list. I live an hour away from this beautiful aquarium . Your snapper looks fantastic. I am making cioppino for Christmas. Merry Christmas to you John and a happy and healthy New Year,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I’ve been referring to Seafood Watch for several years now, Gerlinde. I won’t buy any of commercial fish without first checking with them. It’s so convenient to have the app on your cell phone. Cioppino is a perfect dish for Christmas. I’m sure yours was delicious!
      I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, Gerlinde, and may 2017 be a joyous year for you and yours.

      Like

    • It’s a family joke – one that you may borrow — that the barbecue will survive a nuclear holocaust. Grandpa didn’t mess around when it came to building something — anything. If there had been a way to remove it, they would have taken it with them when the last of us left the two-flat.
      Grazie mille, Toni. Tanti auguri e felice anno nuovo.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Chestnuts roasting over an open fire……..that is truly a marvelous scent. They look terrific on the table, sometimes mixed with other nuts. They remind me of gifts from heaven (or whatever one may call it). We have no chestnut trees here but they do get brought in to our market as the earth tilts to it’s shortest northern day. The introduction of Chestnuts over a fire (in the hearth) is a fine compromise and a great gift for those virginal noses.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I purchase chestnuts at the Italian market and supposedly they’re imported from Italy. Just seeing them in the bin conjures up fond memories of holidays past. How can I possibly walk past without purchasing some?
      Hope your holidays are most memorable.

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    • Thanks, Stefan. The worst of the dental work is definitely behind me, although I’m weeks away from its end. I sure picked a bad time to bake biscotti. 🙂 As for the chestnuts, they give new meaning to “labor of love”, that’s for sure.
      I hope you and Kees are enjoying a very memorable holiday season. 🙂

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  7. Hi John. Not sure what’s gone on with your teeth but I can empathise as I have sinusitis which is affecting my teeth and my mood. My cocktails this year consist of painkillers and decongestants. I have to say this is a lovely post and reminds me of my dad, who died 18years ago, and would grill (we say barbecue) with an umbrella if he had to. I’ve never had snapper but I love fish so would love to try this, Today I have been wrestling with chestnuts from the garden for my turkey stuffing, and yes, I boil mine and wear latex gloves as I find it’s easier to try and get the skin off when you leave them in the boiled water. The things we do! Anyway, a very merry Christmas to you and thank you for all of your support. Here’s to a toothache free day! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, Amanda. So sorry to hear of your sinusitis. That can make one feel miserable. I hope you’re getting some relief. I’ve been amazed that there’s been very little pain throughout this ordeal. Modern dentistry sure has come a long way. My diet is still restricted and will be for several weeks to come but I can handle that. Luckily, I consider pasta and risotto to be “soft” foods. Yes, I’ll do just fine. 😀
      I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful holiday season with an even better 2017 to come.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Kathryn. Though only 1 tooth was initially involved, a few more were called into the fray. A true case of the cure being worse than the disease. Even so, the entire ordeal was/is far less painful than I thought possible. I’ve barely felt a thing, from start to finish. My diet remains restricted but I can deal with that. After all, pasta can be rather soft. 🙂
      I hope you and yours are enjoying the very best of holidays, Kathryn, and may 2017 be kind to you all.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ronit. The recovery is going very well. Now it’s a waiting game. As you very well know, sometimes the most simple recipes deliver the most flavorful dishes. Dad taught me well. 🙂
      Hope you enjoying the very best of holiday seasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dental problems are the worst! Hope everything is OK soon. Anyway, red snapper is SO good, isn’t it? It’s becoming rather difficult to find, alas, so I always snap it up when I see it at my fish market. 🙂 And I’ve been eying chestnuts at the grocery store the last week or two — it’s been years since I’ve roasted them. Don’t think I will this year, either, but the temptation sure is there! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, John. I’ve been fortunate. This ordeal has been far less uncomfortable than expected. The only real issue that remains is that my; diet remains restricted for several more weeks. So long as my pasta is too al dente, I’ll survive. 😀
      Yes, I don’t see much red snapper anymore, too. And I walk away if the monger cannot tell me its source. Too bad because I really do enjoy it. As for the chestnuts, I cannot resist them. They played a role in far too many holiday feasts for me to ignore them. They’re a purchase I usually regret after reaching the 3rd or 4th impossible-to-shell chestnut. All will be forgotten next year, however, when I see them in the bin at the Italian market.
      Have a fantastic New Year, John, to you and Mrs. Riff.

      Like

  9. Fisch/seafood is THE holiday meal here in France, and that lemon butter sauce is such a great idea! Hope you´re soon done with the dental work – the combination of painful/embarrasing/nerve racking and pricy is just SO annoying. And chestnuts…. well, they simply belong to winter and Christmas like a snowman or , well, Santa.
    Loved reading this, and a merry, merry Christmas to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Sabine. I hope yours was a most memorable Christmas. The worst of the dental issue is behind me and I’ll get through the rest (hopefully) easily.
      We always enjoyed seafood on Christmas Eve as a boy. There are so many more fanciful ways to prepare fish fillets but, to me, a simple lemon-butter sauce is second to none. At one time, while living in Detroit, we’d buy small bags of chestnuts from corner vendors not so much for the eating but a few in our coat pockets kept our hands warm. 🙂
      Wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous New Year, Sabine.

      Like

  10. John dearHeart – I really did not think you would post but what a fabulous twofer to receive! Well,, ’tis Christmas Eve here already and my eyes opened and ears pricked up at the mention of eels 🙂 ! Give me eels and give me black pudding at Yule and I shall be a happy camper!!! Oh, I won’t wish you ‘that thing’ going on today and tomorrow but oh so hope that the year to come will be a magical one for both you and for me!! Warmest Seasons Greetings to all reading the post . . .

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I really must get eels again– but not this year. I did enjoy them. As for “that thing”, things are going extremely well. Dietary restrictions aside, there’s been no problems whatsoever. I feel very fortunate. And, yes, I join you in wishing us both a very healthy and prosperous 2017! XOX

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  11. Oh, John… your poor tooth! I recently had that happen with a mushroom that was hiding a little stone in its gills. Cracked a tooth and, well, you know the rest. So very annoying, especially at the holidays.

    The simplest preparation – like yours for the snapper – is my “go-to” for most fish… maybe a squeeze of lemon, too, depending. And I have never had red snapper, so I will have to look for some locally, as we get good fish from the Gulf of México!

    And, who doesn’t love a good chestnut dish at holidays! Mark and I still enjoy simply roasting them in the fireplace, which adds a nice smoky flavor.

    Buon Natale, John, and wishing you great things for 2017!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, David. That tooth was only the beginning, I’m afraid, in a case where the cure was far worse than the disease. Even so, I didn’t experience any pain whatsoever — aside from dietary restrictions over the holidays — and now it’s just a waiting game before starting the final act. I’ve already got the prime rib for the celebratory meal. 🙂
      I hope you both enjoyed Christmas and may 2017 be a most memorable and joy-filled year.

      Like

    • Not to worry, Michelle. I had 2 bags of chopped black walnuts that I bought from the Honey Man in Michigan last fall. I wasted no time taking them all to the park for the squirrels. I won’t be going back to that well for quite some time.
      May you and Steve have a most happy new year!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You always have such wonderful stories to go with your recipes. I would love to have a grill like your dad’s. Josh and I dream of having an outdoor pizza oven that looks similar someday. The red snapper looks delicious as well, gotta love a good fish.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Gretchen. That grill was a work of art. While researching the book, I came upon a picture of another grill Grandpa had built before my time in the yard of a house that pre-dates the two-flat. It was more oven than grill and often used to bake bread. I bet today it would make a fine pizza oven. If he built it at all like the barbecue pictured in this post, it’s definitely still standing. The man built things to last. 🙂

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        • We may have advanced technologically, Cecile, but we’ve lost plenty, too. Both Mom and Zia recalled being little girls and making a point to go to a neighbor’s yard every week. He had a large oven and all of the women of the neighborhood would gather once a week to bake their bread. They’d sit at tables, chatting, with pasta dough and make orzo by hand while their bread baked. Mom and Zia were quite young and the women would give them pieces of freshly baked bread. Small wonder why they made a point of being there every week. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sorry John – I just found this… I love picturing the women talking and working on making orzo while the bread baked. In the island of Gozo, one of the three islands that make up Malta, there was a rock grotto where a few old women still went to do there laundry. Again – a communal thing. Now, people have to schedule play dates…. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing… but that’s another example of how things have changed.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. Firstly, that is a gorgeous brick barbecue. I bet the delicious smells from that grill drove the neighbours crazy! Also, loved the image of your father grilling during a summer storm. I have a sister like that – and people like this are precious, and I mean that in the best sense of the word.

    Thanks for sharing the snapper recipe. It’s been a long time since we’ve had snapper, and that lemon butter sauce is making my mouth water.

    Also, I just realized I’ve never had roasted chestnuts. I must get on that. Thanks for sharing tips on how to roast them. That’s especially helpful to a neophyte like me!

    And…I hope you’re recovering from the dental mishap. I hope that isn’t hampering your holiday season…?

    Liked by 2 people

    • That barbecue, Ruth, was a work of art. When researching the cookbook, I came across a photo of another barbecue in the yard of the house that was before my time and that predates the two-flat. More oven than grill, they often used it to bake bread. IF he built it at all like the barbecue pictured in this post, that oven is still standing somewhere. 🙂
      The dental problems are, for now, in a holding pattern. There’s not the slightest bit of discomfort but i do have a somewhat restricted diet. Not to worry. I’ve already planned my first “normal” meal once the dentist gives me the green light. 🙂
      Hope you enjoy a wonderful 2017, Ruth!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jeff. The worst is definitely behind me. Although there’s more to be done, none of it will be anything at all like the most recent “work”.
      This is such a tasty fish and simple way to prepare it. At the same time, it is closely associated with my Dad in my mind. I enjoy the memories it invokes every bit as much, if not more, than the actual fillet. 🙂
      Wishing you and yours a very happy new year!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your well wishes. All’s well, although my diet is still rather restricted. The final act has yet to be played but I’m not at all concerned. I’m very lucky to have a great dentist. Hope you have a wonderful 2017!

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    • Oh, Mary. I am so very far behind in my blog reading that I’m probably going to just draw a line in the sand and vow to do better in 2017.
      Prior to starting this blog, I really had no idea how much of my family lore centered around the food and its preparation. Back then, the more Zia and I talked about the dishes, the more their connection to our lives became apparent. I doubt we would have remembered nearly as many of either without its complement.
      As for the dental issues, well, the worst is over and now I’m waiting for the healing to finish before proceeding. Remarkably, it hasn’t been at all painful … well, not in the traditional sense. My holiday feasting was relegated to liquids initially and then soft foods. Oh, the pain!!!! I’ll survive. 🙂

      Like

  14. First, hope now you have a totally ache free Happy New year! Such a bother. I had a filling in one of my molars and the drill has gone too close to the nerve. I am hoping it will be OK, so not in mood for a root canal.

    Love the simplicity of the fish. Sometimes simple is the best with it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, Minnie. Welcome back! Thanks for the well-wishes, There has been no pain, only dietary restrictions due to the oral surgery and its after math. In a couple of weeks, I’l go back and this temporary stuff will be replaced with permanent. That’s when my fun will start. It will be a food fest!!!!! 🙂

      Like

  15. Sorry to hear about this, John! I hope by now you’re back in the saddle, or something close to it! I love the mention of eels in your post—I think a lot of Italian-American families have stories about them slithering around the bathtub around Christmas Eve…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Frank. Things are going very well. There’s not the slightest discomfort, other than dietary restrictions. These, too, shall pass …
      I only remember eels that one time. Believe me, if there was a follow-up, I’m sure I’d remember. I’ll never forget seeing them at the Italian market a couple of years ago. Nor will I forget the monger “preparing” them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. John, John, John…. you sound like me… banging yourself up… I’ve broken bones but, so far, my teeth have survived my accidents. I’m sooo sorry to hear about your ‘tooth problem’. (At first I imagined you had slipped on a black walnut shell… but then I came to the part where you talk about ‘the dentist’.) Poor John….
    I always love your stories so much! And the story about your father grilling outside in bad weather was as entertaining as any of your stories. Think about this.. if you had been born into a boring family, you wouldn’t have all these great stories to tell. I can just see your father… grilling outside… with his bare legs showing and his umbrella. Who wouldn’t love that guy!!??
    And I loved reading about the chestnuts… I have been thinking how, sometimes, my mother would roast chestnuts for us. Great memories!! ; o )

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a pair! Actually I’ve encountered few dental problems. This tooth has been on our radar for some time now but its breaking was never considered. Now that it did, I might as well get some preventative stuff done or face having to go through something similar in a year or two — and maybe again after that. I’m fine and will be better. Right now I’m planning my first meal once I get the dentist’s OK. If only I could get some good corn on the cob for the occasion. 😀
      That barbecue was the center of so much family life. Even in winter, we’d make a rink in the yard and our parents fired it up to to heat our cocoa. We’ve all said how we would have loved to take that thing with us when we moved away but Grandpa built that thing into the ground. It won’t be going anywhere this century. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of all the times in the year to NOT be able to eat… My poor friend. When I sprained my shoulder – and the time I broke my ankle – I had parties planned. And those parties went on as planned. AND – I could eat. (Not that I’m suggesting you break an ankle next time…)
        You cracked me up with your ‘corn on the cob’ idea! What a fabulous family you had — you all skating away in the cold and your parents making you cocoa on the grill. If I could go back in time, I’d want to have been adopted by you and your family my dear friend. ; o )

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I love that story of your Dad and his commitment to grilling — the recipe was the bonus in this post! Alas, no grilling going on over here, at least not on a barbecue as they’re not allowed in my building. I need to invest in a cast iron griddle for my stove top and then make that red snapper first thing! Next, shocking as it may sound, not only have I never prepared roasted chestnuts, as far as I know I’ve never eaten them either. That sounds like something I definitely need to correct. Now that I know I don’t need a fireplace to prepare them, I’ll make sure to pick some up next Christmas season and give them a try — I’ve long been curious about them.

    I can empathize somewhat in the tooth department. I’m having some (more) major dental work done in January (scheduled for AFTER my birthday, thank you very much) so the dentist suggested I get a required extraction done a month or so in advance. Long story short, I do not recommend having a tooth pulled a few days before Christmas … what was I thinking?! (Not that it stopped me from the requisite holiday season weight gain, sad to say.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t know how aI missed these …
      Well, Mar, I didn’t think things through and had not 1 but 4 teeth extracted a couple days before Christmas. What was I thinking???I am very thankful that I didn’t experience any pain before, during, nor after the procedure. Only problem is the diet of soft food — over the holidays!!! My birthday is next week and 2 days after I go in for more “work”. It should all be a memory in about 3 to 4 weeks. I’ve already got my dinner planned! 🙂
      I hope your “work” goes as painlessly as mine did. Good luck!

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  18. Hope you had pleasant holidays. Sorry to hear about your tooth (I believe that’s it?). Thanks for sharing about the red snapper. My son loves this fish and I did not know it was endangered, I will take that into consideration. And I love the barbecue that your grandpa built – and the story of your dad’s dedication to the grill was wonderful. My dad also roasted chestnuts, but I can never get the timing right. My dad used to have a special pan that he punched holes into the bottom. He said to let the air circulate. Not sure about that, but that was his way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app is a great one to add to your smart phone. I bring it up every time I’m at the fish counter. The oceans’ fish stocks are constantly changing and I try to avoid those fish that are in trouble. I know the chestnut pan you’ve described. In fact, I think I saw them at the Italian market I frequent. This place is the real deal, having live eels in a tank for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner. 🙂

      Like

  19. Christmas is of course now a blur in the distance but i do love your story and I sure can see your Dad standing at that BBQ. What fantastic memories. perhaps one day when I spend Christmas again somewhere cool i can try castagne after dinner. preferably with a nice limoncello

    Liked by 1 person

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