The evening’s warmth was tempered by a soft breeze. Buck and I set up six green plastic chairs in a circle in the breezeway. I marinated chicken while he swept the breezeway and the soon-to-be dining room, which is currently furnished with an old round glass-top picnic table.
Red-white-and-blue placemats and a runner, anchored by bowls of fresh watermelon were the only visible symbols that we were, indeed, commemorating Memorial Day.
Buck fired up the grill while I strung Caprese tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant and zucchini chunks on metal shishkabob skewers, and brushed them with olive oil.
Our guests arrived. We sat in the breezeway and visited until the coals were ready. Buck held up the grill rack, and I threw on some hickory chips. Soon enough, a thin white smoke stream rose toward heaven, and it looked like we were electing a pope
I threw on a whole chicken plus a skewer of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, along with the vegetable skewers.
There was noise and laughter, as usual. We lit candles and ate our dinner. Our guests had brought a tasty salad, crispy and cold. Just right. The chicken was good, but the grilled vegetables were so wonderful, we vowed to make them a staple of summer suppers.
After supper, we toasted marshmallows, then went for a walk in the gathering darkness.
One little child, holding my hand, looked up and said, “Can I have your house when you die?”
Her sister, a few steps ahead of us, called back, “No, me! Me! I want her house when she dies!”
Bless their mercenary little hearts, to me that conveyed the most sincere expression that the house has captured their imaginations.
“Well, girls,” I told them, “I’m glad you like the house, but it’s going to be a long, long time before I die, and by that time, you will be grown up with your own dreams, your own families, and your own wonderful homes.”
Here’s the general recipe for this mediterranean version of grilled chicken:
Mix together 3 TBSP. chopped fresh rosemary, oregano and thyme, 3 TBSP. plain yogurt, 1 tsp. grated lemon rind, the juice of half a lemon, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 3-4 crushed garlic cloves. Loosen the chicken skin and rub this mixture between the meat and the skin (whether you’re using a whole chicken or various cut up parts). Cover & refrigerate several hours, then sprinkle the chicken with pepper and grill.