Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pilot's and their BBQ!

So just a little background for the non-aviation folks.

USAirways- while I think technically based in PHX used to be based in CLT (Charlotte N.C.), for these purposes this was a CLT crew.

Continental- definitely a Houston based company.

"Centers" this refers to where pilots check in when they are flying across the interstate in the sky. For instance Kansas City Center- controls traffic in and round Kansas and parts of other states, I'm guessing Southern IL and such.....Centers give them directions such as altitudes if they need to change them and whatever else.

So we begin this story by saying that John never even mentioned this to me, it was through his buddy he was flying with that I found out about it. By chance before John left XJT he had an opportunity to fly with a guy he had met a few months early that was really cool. So John and his buddy are flying from Chicago to Memphis for the night where they plan to grab dinner at a BBQ place, since MEM is know for BBQ and all!

John and his buddy (XJT) check in with Kansas City Center (KCC)probably something like: Kansas City Center this is XJT how are you tonight?
KCC: Fine how are you?
XJT: Good, heading down to MEM with my buddy and going to grab some BBQ for dinner.
KCC: That's too bad because your flying over some of the best BBQ in the country right here in Kansas.
Random USAir: They must be going to North Carolina!
Random CAL: No they must be going to Texas!
XJT: Nope heading to Memphis best BBQ in the country!
Random USAir: Make them hold!

So as you can see from the short dialog BBQ is (apparently I never knew) very important to pilots! Which leads to a second point.....ANY food is important to pilots....especially if it's free!

Pilots are notorious for being cheap. John (if available) will eat as much free breakfast at the hotel then take as much with him as possible that won't go bad. The same thing for the Presidents Club (we splurged on a membership since he commutes) he will go in there and scavenge...fruit, cookies, peanuts, carrots...whatever he can find, and I know he isn't the only one to do this!

Since he has been on reserve and in one place almost every night since he started the new job I have been cooking (gasp, horror, and he's not dead yet!) and freezing things for him to take with and last night I can across the BEST recipe I thought I would share and it freezes well!!

Grilled Pierogies and Kielbasa

1lb Kielbasa (pork or turkey) cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard *I used honey mustard b/c I didn't have whole grain we thought it was great.
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Large white onion cut into 6 pieces *I didn't use an onion I HATE them
1lb frozen potato and cheddar pierogies (do not thaw) *I used 1/2lb cheese and 1/2lb potato that I got from a Russian food store in DEN and they were awesome!
Salt and ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley *I used dried stuff it was fine

1) Grill kielbasa on medium heat about 5min each side, set aside and keep warm.
2) Meanwhile toss onion and pierogies with 2tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill covered until they thaw ~about 5 min. Turn pierogies and onion grill for another 8min or so until cooked and onion is tender.
3) while pierogies are grilling whisk mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Whisk in 2tablespoons of olive oil.
4) Slice kielbasa into pieces and add to bowl with mustard dressing, add pierogies and (chop)onion and add to mustard dressing. Add parsley and toss.


  1. Hey! Pierogies and kielbasa are one of my favorite dinners! We were actually going to have that tonight, but ended up going out for Japanese ramen instead.