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A Chamorro Barbecue

November 3, 2011

“Chuck!  We’re having a barbecue for a friend leaving the island!  You should come!”

These were the words of Sharon, a work associate and island native.  She’s the nicest lady you’d ever want to meet, with a pair of cute-as-a-button daughters and a pretty cool husband (Mike) who takes me out fishing from time to time.  They’ve been very nice to me, gracious hosts and tremendous ambassadors for the island they were born and raised on.

On the way there, I’d planned on hitting Tarzan Falls for a photo shoot, but the combination of the time it would take (3 hrs)

and the condition of the trail (muddy as heck – as evidences by shoes thrown over the wires after being destroyed in the muck) kept me from exploring.

Perhaps another day.

Mike and Sharon’s house is on a high ridge at the center of the island, overlooking a golf course.

It’s a nice setup, made even cooler by the fact it’s the house Mike grew up in as a kid.

That’s pretty neat – to know his kids are getting the same sort of experiences he had growing up.  Rare in this day and age.

Anway, Chamorro barbecue is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  Mike pulled out about 50 pounds of meat, including beef, sausage, turkey, oysters, crab, three kinds of fish – I’m sure I left something out.  No hamburgers or hot dogs in sight.  He had a rack cooker going with three separate levels – oh – and a couple gallons each of jambalaya and oxtail soup going on the side.

If the pictue looks smoky – well, it was.

This was a small gathering, per Mike – just a going away party for his across the street neighbor.  I asked him how many people would show; he said he’d invited about 15 or 20.  50 lbs of meat for 20 people !?

Well…A funny thing happens when folks see smoke rising from  a Chamorro yard.  They drop everything and investigate…

(Man enters yard, sees barbecue, pulls out phone, dials.) “Yeah – it’s me.  Stop making dinner.  Barbecue at Mike’s.”

Within a half-hour, I counted 55 guys in the side yard.  The women were inside, a similar number.  They walked, they drove, some on Guam Bomb Golf Carts.

Pretty much everyone brought something, including cases and cases of Bud Light.

Before long, every horizontal surface in the kitchen and patio area were literally covered with food, and there were at least a dozen coolers of beer to be found.  It was the loaves and the fishes, Chamorro style.

I’d brought nothing, as I’ve no food specialty to offer.  Instead, Mike pressed me into service cooking up panko-fried wahoo – chunks of fresh sweet white fish dipped in egg and panko crust and pan fried in an immense skillet  adjacent to the BBQ pit.  He had a second BBQ going on the other side of the house to process the vast quantity of protein for the hungry crowd.

I wish I’d taken a photo of the spread, as it covered the gamut of things locals like to eat.  Red rice and a specia sauce made of soy, onions and peppers called finadene, which is slathered on meat.  Waay tasty – along with about eight different dessert choices.

Being on a diet and riding a motorcycle, I didn’t want to eat too much of the food (although it was awesome) or take too many pulls of the Bud Light.  I left about 5 hours after I arrived,

well fed and much richer for the experience.

Thank you, Sharon and Mike.  it was an experience I’ll not soon forget.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2011 7:31 pm

    screw dieting!

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      November 3, 2011 7:46 pm

      I weighed 165# upon leaving high school and 175# when married. Made it all the way up to 250# in late 2002 – too heavy. I’ve been having problems with my lower back (courtesy of a misspent youth practicing aerials on skis and jumps on dirt bikes), and the extra weight is hell on it. I’m down to 197 as of today, with a goal of 185 by year’s end.

      I’m on a regimen of acid reflux and blood pressure meds; the 38# lost so far has afforded me a 33% reduction in BP med and an 85% reduction in reflux medication. The combo of eating less, drinking less and taking fewer pills eases monthly expenditures.

      It takes less plonk to get a good buzz on – and – my Sportster will be quite a bit faster (about 10%) once I’m astride it.

      And finally…

      I’ve a wee bit more stamina with which to give the Pheebs a proper rogering. Us old guys need all the help we can get.

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