Midwestern Greek Blackout Special

by Gabriel Hummel on November 15, 2010

greek flag black and white

What do you get when you cross a visit to the rents with a Midwest blackout?

Greek food.

Or at least that was the case when I went back to the fair French-ly named city of the mitten state and spent a good 6 hours prepping a four course Greek meal for the ages.

To make a long story short, I was in town visiting for my mother’s long fabled retirement from the world of teaching. Naturally, I took it upon myself to cook nearly every night of the week in thanks for paying for a large excuse for me to hang out with old friends, cook and eat a lot of great food, and spend more lovely time in airports.

I had long been waiting to make Smitten Kitchen’s Lamb kebabs, but due to my parents strong amounts of meat aversion, I opted for the poultry edition.

One manning this wouldn’t have been that big of a deal had I not decided to create a full blow feast of the meal. It started out with only the kebabs and some store bought pita bread, but it quickly evolved into homemade tabouleh, lentil soup, and hummus.

tzatziki and tabouleh prep

Clearly I had gotten in over my head, but since when does rational thoughts make their way into a kitchen?

I performed most of the prep work the day before and set most things in motion for the evening, so I had earned the right to traverse deep into the city for a sandwich with my friend Nick at Mudgie’s . Let me stop this writing gallivant immediately and cut straight to the point, the strawberry preserve and strawberry cream cheese sandwich with smoked bacon and baby spinach on toasted bread is one of the best damn sandwiches I have ever had in my life.

If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in Detroit, get your ass to corktown ASAP.

Fast forward to a phone call I receive during lunch with my mother informing me that power had gone out in the entire neighborhood and that they don’t anticipate it going back on for at least 24 hours.


Thank god for gas operated stoves and grills that are in semi working order.

I arrive home and slowly begin to wrap my head around the whole project that is about to unfold and begin to put the piece of the puzzle together.

“I need to get the grill working and then grab everything I need out of the fridge at once so everything doesn’t spoil…..oh shit I forgot the lentil soup and the lettuce…..fuck! And I forgot the damn tzatziki sauce.”

chicken kebab and tzatziki prep grill

After nearly blowing up the propane tank fueled grill and discovering that only one side of the apparatus cooks at full capacity, I dropped the skewers on the grill and directed my father to man the station while I went inside the kitchen to bring some method to the madness that was occurring around me.

Everything falling apart coming together, I was ready for an update on the grill that had two burners ready to go out faster than the era of glam rock.

“Perfectly cooked” my mother swooned.

kebabs off the grill

Everything got plated, and I proceeded to take pictures while my mother and father anxiously awaited the feast.

I then proceeded to slap about half a cups worth of tzatziki sauce on my father’s plate, much to his disgust as he hates, “anything creamy”.

“Tough shit, I have been making this meal for hours.” I readily responded

Its my Greek meal and I damn will cry if I want to.

family four course greek dinner

After sitting down at the table in near candle light conditions, I took a piece of grilled pita bread and grabbed a chunk of chicken with red onion and proceeded to dip it into the tzatziki……I then saw a glimpse of heaven as my vision went completely white and I was forced to close my eyes to intensify the experience.

As I regain consciousness, I look around the table to see my father practically licking the sauce off the plate and my mother going for seconds and thirds (a sight rarely seen).

Everyone at the table is swooning over the entire meal, as everything is ringing the drums of perfection.

“Forget Pegasus, this meal trumps the hell out of anything that they serve,”  recites my father.

“Beautiful meal,” states my lovely mother.

The meal was more than beautiful, it was astounding.

perfectly cooked chicken kebab

An experience battle strapped with memories and good company, exactly what good food should be all about.

I have to say, I am looking forward to my next culinary trapeze act, and hopefully I will be able to instill even more memories that will long go unforgotten.

Cheers to good times and good food


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ruthie November 15, 2010 at 10:26 pm

It’s all true.
Delicious, beautiful, fun,
and that electricity wasn’t even needed.
So,it didn’t come back on until the next day.


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