I offered to provide dinner in addition to technical consulting.
Dinner would be Calypso Pork, from a recipe from a British cooking show called "Ainsley Harriott's Barbecue Bible", done by an English chef of Jamaican origin. The TV series dates back to sometime in the late 90's. The Calypso Pork recipe grabbed my imagination when it was described:
2 tablespoons of minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of Muscovedo sugar
(I used demerara sugar because it was what I had)
a pinch or two of allspice
2 tablespoons of pineapple juice
2 tablespoons of corn oil
(the chef suggested any oil except olive oil)
2 tablespoons of RUM!
(should have been Jamaican dark rum, but I used what I had)
Combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly
Add pork chops. Marinate for a few hours (3 and a half in my case).
Barbecue the pork chops -- approximately six minutes or so per side, on low heat.
I got the ingredients in the afternoon, scaled up the quantities to feed five people, and got the meat marinating.
When my friend arrived, we found that the drive he took out of the malfunctioning computer system was still good. We determined this by connecting the drive up to an interface device designed to connect to an IDE or SATA hard drive, provide power, and provide a data connection through a USB cable -- a must-have geek tool. When we connected up the drive, we found that we could read data from it, a highly desirable outcome, which meant that we were all set to copy over the drive contents to the high capacity data drive that my friend brought along for just this purpose.
Unfortunately we had problems getting the high capacity backup drive to work (refused to be recognized under either Ubuntu Linux or Windows XP despite repeated attempts), so we ended up only copying some critical files onto a flash drive. We agreed that my friend could borrow the nifty USB-to-IDE-and-SATA disk drive interface device for a while.
It being late in the evening, I barbecued the pork chops, and served them with roasted potatoes and a romaine lettuce salad.
Verdict -- this recipe is a definite keeper. I had never made this before, but everyone, even N1S, thought it was pretty good. The combination of flavours in the marinade worked well with the pork -- the ginger added some bite, while the rum blended everything else together into a savoury-sweet combination that accented rather than overpowered the meat.