Beware, beware of hubris. Hubris is defined here as "over wienie pride." Do not ignore portentous omens.
My tentative, vastly hubristic menu plan was the following:
Assorted grilled Spanish and Argentine style chorizos (Spicy sausages)
Home baked cornmeal buns and rolls. Our friend, Bruce, would also bring teleras from the Panadería La Espiga. (If he could find the unmarked bakery in the maze of side streets. He couldn't. Ni modo.)
Assorted condiments, sliced fresh tomatoes, sliced red onions, chipotle mayonnaise, etc.
Salads: Mediterranean Bean Salad, which I made a day before.
American Style Macaroni Salad.(One of the best macaroni salads ever.)
Sliced Cucumbers and Onions in Sweetened Vinegar.
Grilled assorted vegs: (I couldn't get eggplant, but we had tomatoes, knob onions, baby zucchini, a couple of nopal pads (prickly pear cactus pads/leaves) and, not to forget, huge Portobello Mushrooms.
Dessert would be grilled pineapple with ginger rum marinade.
Drinks: beer, Tequila, various miscellaneous local brews, such as Tepache or Ginger Beer. We passed on the ginger beer and the nasty batch of tepache in favor of Grolsch and Agua Fresca de Jamaica.
Four friends were invited for the launching of the Kingsford. Two had last minute delays and couldn't come. (We then decided against grilling the assorted sausages.)
The day had had several such small disasters. First the early morning blackout; then as we started cooking the grilled vegetables, a chubasco swept in, "an evil trick of nature", announcing with great drama the beginning of the rainy season.
As we retreated from the downpour, swarms of flies took shelter in our entryway, sampling the tapas on we'd been noshing. (Oh; I forgot to mention the hitherto unadvertised Tortilla Española that our friend Ron had brought; and the bits of the three cheeses and Spanish chorizo we had to accompany the Gringo Viejo Tequila that Bruce brought, and the impromptu Pimentón tasting we held.)
Once inside, Susan wrung herself out, and we continued.
The grilled vegetables were kept warm in a low heat oven. Bruce braved the fading squall to toast the Cornmeal Hamburger Buns out on the barrel cooker. I proceeded to cook the hamburgers in an iron skillet, with modest success.
Then we sat down and ate.
The vegetables, first brushed only with olive oil, then grilled, were excellent. They had received a light brushing of a parsley-basil pesto lemon sauce after cooking. The Portobellos were especially flavorsome.
The hamburgers were disappointing, but saved by melting Cheddar or Smoked Provolone on them, and slathering the buns with Quick Aiolí or Chipotle Mayo.
As the rain slowed then stopped, I went out to make dessert: spears of fresh pineapple, briefly marinated in rum and "Sichuan" Ginger Syrup, then grilled. That was a great finish to the meal.
(Although we sent our guests off with zip-locs loaded with salads and vegetables, we still ended up eating leftovers for the week. That was a pleasure, not a problem.)
*Here, the leftover pineapple served over warmed Gingerbread.