Saturday, December 11, 2010

Grilling in Winter: Usually

I've noticed that I enjoy grilling a lot more than I enjoy writing about grilling.

There haven't been many missed opportunities since my last post, to get outside at noon on Saturday and Sunday: but today's one of them.

There's a winter storm in progress - not much of a one, but there's been a bit of wind and snow. That wouldn't be so bad, but I've been running a fever - and my wife said that I wasn't grilling. After about a quarter century, I'm learning to listen to her. That's another topic.

That's what the grill looked like a week ago, after my son shoveled it out.

It'll have to be excavated again - maybe tomorrow: or more likely next weekend.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Grill is Dead, Long Live the Grill!

The flame on my grill faded a week ago today, and wouldn't light at all on Sunday. I took part of the grill apart and confirmed that no propane was coming through - at all.

Later, I had an informative talk with a young man named Marcus at Fleet Supply here in Sauk Centre. I learned a few things about grills, LP tanks, and troubleshooting. And, that quite a lot of air had gotten into the tank I had brought in to be filled.

Returning home, I attached the tank - and still had no gas coming through the system. I'd demonstrated, though, that the tank itself was okay. The problem was somewhere in the two feet of tubing and equipment between the tank and the grill's manifold.

Given time, I'd probably have isolated the problem and corrected it. Quite likely by replacing the regulator.

But I don't bend as well as I'd like to, and I still don't have a completely adequate sense of touch in the thumb and first two fingers of my right hand - a legacy of carpal tunnel syndrome several years back.

More to the point, I run several blogs and have been doing a bit of work for a production company this week. Troubleshooting that grill would have been an interesting set of tasks - but it would also have taken me quite a bit of time. Which is something I didn't have a lot of.

Besides, this was a great excuse to buy a new grill.

The new one is a Char Broil, like its predecessor. Eventually I may get a higher-end unit: but this is fine for now.

My new grill has four flame areas in the fire box - double the number of the old one - and a side burner. There are lots more things to break down on this one.

Including an "electronic ignition." Right now, it works fine: producing sparks at a great rate. I've no idea how long it'll stay functional. I've found a few things I can try in a troubleshooting guide on the Char Broil website, though: which I'll try to remember.

Today I used the new grill for the first time - and over-did the burgers by a bit. Which I often do, anyway. This grill definitely burns hotter than the old one did.

About the old grill? I'm keeping it around. If I don't find out what kept it from working, I'm pretty sure that my son-in-law can. In which case, I'll have two working grills - for those rare occasions when I get ambitious and try something besides burgers. Or, in case I want to grill lots of burgers at once.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Bricked-in Shed Door, and Rain

One more frustration. The new patio looks great - but there's still a little work left to do. Like getting the bricks pressed down to their proper position.

That's left the shed door shut. Since bricks come up to within a couple inches of it - and are a fraction of an inch higher than the bottom of the door - it's going to stay that way, at least until Monday. The grill is still outside - but the LP cylinder was put in the shed. Which is where it'll stay for the weekend.

Sure, I could do something drastic about the door. But I'm not that fanatical about grilling each weekend.

Besides, it's raining a little.

Related post:

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Patio: Worth Waiting 20 Years

My wife is finally getting one of her wishes: a brick-paved patio in back. And I get to grill out there. Maybe this weekend: although that depends on how much they get done today.

We've wanted something like that, ever since we moved in about 20 years ago. It took a lot of saving, and an inheritance, but I think it'll be worth the wait.

- Later -

What's frustrating is that it looks like I'll have to wait until next weekend, at least. Looks like the bricks didn't get packed (?) and so I don't want to leave anything heavy standing on them. Like a grill. Or me.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Easy Griller: Five Years Online

I launched the Easy Griller website five years ago, on Memorial Day weekend.

Back then, it was a sort of micro-site, sharing a domain with my 'flagship' website, Brendan's Island. It's changed in the last half-decade:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gas Meter Moved, Website Updated: That's Progress!

Two more-or-less-unrelated things happened today.
  • A crew from our gas utility came, moving our gas meter and re-routing the gas line
  • I updated the Easy Griller website
Both of those events have something to do with grilling: and both are long-overdue.

Back in March, I assumed that our gas utility would take care of finding the utility lines and spray-painting our yard. It's that 'call before you drill' thing that's mandated here in Minnesota.

Time passed. About a month later, we started asking questions. Turns out, a supervisor at the utility hadn't been letting work orders leave his desk. I had a nice chat with one of about 10 guys who were out in our part of Minnesota, sorting out the mess that supervisor had left. As the fellow I talked to said, 'he isn't working with the company any more.'

The good news is that the - ah, relaxed? - supervisor apparently hadn't destroyed any work orders. He'd just left them at his desk.

So, we had spray paint on our grass. I waited for the crew to come out and do the digging it'd take to relocate the gas meter.

I should be pretty good at waiting by now: I've had a lot of practice this year.

Another phone call. I explained that the original coat of paint was disappearing as the grass grew - and that they'd need to come out for a second coat. Oh, yeah - about moving the gas meter?

Another fellow came, touched up the original lines and added a few more (May 25, 2010) - and yesterday a couple young men came with shovels, a DitchWitch, and assorted other tools.

I get the impression that some homeowners they've been talking with aren't as friendly as I was. Me? I'm delighted to see that the utility is following through on this project.

If all goes well, work on the new patio will start next Tuesday.

I'm looking forward to that.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

False Alarm

The flatbed I saw, getting ready to unload, is delivering supplies to our neighbor across the street, north.

Frost is out of the ground by now, for the most part, so it's time to get outdoor work done. The joke around here is that Minnesota has four seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring and Road Work.

March Winds: in April

It's been two weeks, about, since I spent a nearly-sleepless weekend getting tax-related reports ready. For some reason, it takes me longer to bounce back from that sort of thing now, than it did when I was in college. In the early seventies.

Since the last post, I've gotten a new spatula. Not the $4.29 Char Broil model I mentioned before. I went a little more upscale and got one at Fleet Supply: a solid number by Grill Zone that set me back a little over $5.00 USD, after tax.

I think it was worth the extra expense: the spatula blade and core of the handle are a single piece of stainless steel, with hardwood bolted on the handle to give insulation and a better grip. It should last a while.

I grilled burgers again this weekend. There was so much wind that I had to get a sort of tiny bonfire of matches going before the LP gas would light. And that was with #1 daughter holding the sandbox cover up to provide a wind break.

The burgers were a little over-done, but I think I'm handling the transition to summer grilling pretty well. And learning when to keep 'enough' from becoming 'goo much.'

Oh, boy: I think material for the patio is being delivered.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

So That's Why It was Hard to Light!

The grill's been harder to light the last few times. I didn't think much of it: wind and weather make quite a difference when starting the fire.

Then, about four minutes into today's session, I noticed that the grill wasn't hot. It wasn't even warm. No surprise, really: I was out of gas. Or, rather, the LP gas cylinder was.

The burgers were defrosted before the fire went out, but not by much. My wife finished heating them on the stove. They turned out fine: but without that grilled taste.

Refilling the cylinder was no problem. I just took it over to Fleet Supply, on Sauk Centre's Beltline road, and enjoyed getting out of the house.

I've been getting nine day's of tax preparation done in two this weekend. Which is another topic. ("Lemming Tracks: Tax Time Surprise," Apathetic Lemming of the North, (March 20, 2010))

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Three Hundred Dollars for a Drink Mixer?! If You've Got the Budget: Go For It!

"Hot Products for Outdoor Entertaining"
Outside Views - Blog on Casual Living, (March 11, 2010)

"Our homes are expanding as our Patios are becoming a continuation of our residences. As the weather begins to warm it's satisfying to arrange those outdoor BBQ's with family and friends. Its time to get ready to create a perfect outdoor entertainment setting, whether it be for large family gatherings, small intimate get-togethers under the stars, casual entertaining or spur of the moment patio picnics. Before long you and your guests will be relaxing in the serenity of your own backyard.

"An outdoor kitchen complete with a grill can be the centerpiece of outdoor entertaining. One hot item that will certainly keep you cool is the Margaritaville® Explorer™ Cordless Frozen Concoction Maker™..."

Casual living says that they're "The Voice of the Leisure Marketplace". I'll let you decide whether or not they speak for you.

The post tells how wonderful the Margaritaville® Explorer™ Cordless Frozen Concoction Maker™ and Margaritaville Key West Frozen Concoction Maker are. There's a Margaritaville frozen concoction maker, too.

These are items I'm pretty sure my household won't be picking up.

Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against Margaritaville® products, Frozen Concoction Makers or other consumer versions of mechanical drink mixers. If someone wants to pay $299.99 for a Concoction Maker, and can do so while meeting their obligations: great.

Me? I'm the Easy Griller. My next big purchase is likely to be a new metal spatula for the grill. I could spend something like $20 on a fancy one: but I'm more likely to go with something like what Char-Broil sells for about $4.29.

The products extolled in that post are attractive: and may very well be worth getting. Particularly for folks who entertain.

The author showed a working knowledge of how food, drinks, and people work together:

"...Just as the kitchen tends to be a gathering spot during parties, your outdoor kitchen will also provide this same meeting spot. As you are grilling sumptuous recipes such as this Island Shrimp in Cilantro Tomato Blush, your guests will be standing close by visiting and enjoying the aromas that emerge from the grill...."

Except that, in my family, grilling is when my oldest daughter is likely to come out and spend some time with me.

And I don't, as a rule, do "sumptuous recipes." Flame-grilled burgers taste great on their own: and are something I can do without devoting a significant fraction of a day to food preparation.

But, some folks seem to enjoy the preparation as much as they do eating the food.

Everybody's not like me: which is just as well, particularly for the folks who manufacture and sell Margaritaville® products.
Sorry: I can't let this go without comment:

"...As the weather begins to warm it's satisfying to arrange those outdoor BBQ's with family and friends...." That apostrophe shouldn't be there. The writer obviously wanted to use the plural form of BBQ - which is BBQs, not "BBQ's".

That apostrophe is used for the possessive form of a word: like "the BBQ's lid." If there was more than one BBQ, it'd be "BBQs' lids."

I suppose I should be grateful that the words were spelled correctly.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Something New Coming

Last year, 2009, this household was in crisis mode, financially. The head-on highway collision, wedding, death, and too-close-for-comfort almost-fatality didn't do much to relieve the stress. ("2009: This Year Was Not Boring," Through One Dad's Eye (December 31, 2009))

Well, that was then, this is now. The freeze on non-vital expenditures is off. And, happily, we didn't need to use our reserves.

What, In the Name of Sanity, Does This have to Do with Grilling?!

For most of the two decades we've been living in this house, we've been going to do something about the corner of the back yard where I grill. This year, we're able to do something about it. Pure thoughts, clean living, avoiding debt, and marrying a woman who knows how to manage a household all helped. The last two points, anyway.

As soon as the weather permits, plus about a week, I should be grilling on something other than occasionally-damp sod.

Since this is Minnesota, that could be anywhere from later this month to some time in May.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Grilling in the Minnesota Springtime

Ever wonder why so few people who live in Minnesota lapse into poetic ecstasy on the subject of springtime? This video may explain why:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Spring: Minnesota Style

I'm able to see more of the base of the grill now.

It's springtime in Minnesota: which isn't the blooming-flowers-and-chirping-birds event it is in some places. (See March 3, 2010, Sauk Centre Journal Blog, for photos.)

At this rate, by the weekend I may have to decide whether it makes more sense to stop down snow in front of the grill to provide solid footing, or scrape away what's left and hope the sod isn't too sodden.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Winter Grilling: (Not Quite) Everybody's Doing It!

A while ago I started looking for examples of other folks who share my interest in - or willingness to - grill outside in the winter. Here in central Minnesota, that takes determination, stubbornness, and maybe a touch of insanity. I'm not sure what the mix is.

Or maybe it's the way burgers taste when they're grilled that has me standing in the snow.

Anyway, here's another article about outdoor grilling in winter. An excerpt, actually:
"Enthusiasts embrace winter grilling"
Daily Herald (Chicago) (February 24, 2010)

"Mother Nature recently dumped more than a foot of snow on us, blanketing backyards and covering outdoor decks with cold white powder. Then the winds blew, creating drifts that blockaded sliding glass doors and made the path to the grill treacherous.

"But that didn't stop Scott McCadam from strapping on his boots, pulling on his coat and grilling prime rib for dinner.

" 'I really don't know why I do it,' says McCadam, of St. Charles. 'I know it's crazy... everything just tastes better on the grill.'

"According to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, 56 percent of grill owners use their grills year-round... but you have to figure a good many of those live in places where the mercury rarely drops into single digits. So here in the Midwest with our unpredictable blizzards and teeth chattering wind chills, winter grilling takes a certain kind of mind set, or lack thereof...."
The rest of the article is a pretty good writeup of outdoor grilling, upper Midwest style.

There are practical observations - and common-sense safety advice. Like keeping the grill at least five feet away from the wall. You can stand the cold easier than you can deal with having your home burn down.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday, Ice, Snow, and a Suddenly Sinking Cane

I grilled burgers for lunch this afternoon, with #1 daughter to keep me company. It's warmer - not far below freezing - so the snow and ice is melting in spots. #1 daughter found a slick spot, but I think I have her beat: My cane abruptly sank in an extra couple of inches at one point.

That was an interesting experience - particularly since I was holding a plate of frozen burger patties at the time.

I think I'm definitely back in the grill-each-weekend routine now: and loving it.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grilling in Winter: Nice to Know I'm Not Alone

I ran into this item today:
"A little cold weather doesn't put the freeze on cooking outdoors"
Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky (February 24, 2010)

"The snow has piled up on the deck. A brisk wind sweeps across the yard. Night has fallen hard by 6 p.m. But the grill outside Elizabeth Bartholomew's kitchen has been fired up, waiting to cook supper: salmon on a cedar plank with honey-mustard glaze, potato wedges and asparagus.

"For some aficionados of outdoor cooking, seasons are irrelevant. Most barbecues are tucked away in garages or basements, or snuggled under weatherproof canvas wraps by Halloween. But Bartholomew and her husband, Chris, have never let a little cold weather or even a half-foot or so of snow interfere with their passion for grilling...."
One phrase, "even a half-foot or so of snow" hints that whoever wrote the article didn't live here in Minnesota - no surprise, since it's in a Kentucky newspaper. A half-foot of snow here isn't "even" - unless it's in September. As wrote in another blog:
"...Snow. We've had snow this winter. Lots of snow. A drift in my back yard just about covers two lawn chairs - and even after excavations, I have to bend over to reach the grill when I'm fixing burgers on the weekend. I figure I'm standing on at least a half-foot of compacted snow and ice...."
(Sauk Centre Journal Blog, February 24, 2010)
Although I applaud them for grilling year-round, the Bartholomew's obviously have a different approach to outdoor cookery than I do. I mean to say: can you imagine the Easy Griller preparing "salmon on a cedar plank with honey-mustard glaze, potato wedges and asparagus"?

It sounds delicious - but I'm not likely to spend that sort of time and effort on a meal.

If you're interested, though: the article includes a few recipes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Magazine About Grilling: Well, What do You Know?

It's a good thing that everybody's not like me.

For one thing, Grilling™ magazine wouldn't have any subscribers. Their website describes Grilling™ as "Your Outdoor Grilling, Barbecue and Outdoor Cooking Information Source!"

Exclamation mark and all.

The magazine and its website look like a pretty good resource: if you're looking for grilling and barbecue recipes, "The latest Grilling, Barbecue and Outdoor Cooking and Grilling events," stuff to buy, and where to buy it.

Me? My next major purchase will probably be a new spatula. The one I've been using since my first grill is on its last legs. Last rivets, actually. But that's about all I'm thinking about, when it comes to cutting-edge grilling technology.

Recipes? I appreciated the sort of results that people can get from making grilling a complex process.

But I'd rather put meat on the grill, flip in at intervals, and enjoy being outside.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Back to the Weekend Routine

I think I'm back in the routine of grilling burgers Saturday and Sunday. I was out again today, around noon. And, happily, didn't incinerate the hamburger patties.

At that point it was a sunny day, so the experience was pleasant. And, thanks to a lack of wind, I only used one match to light the grill.

It isn't one of those mountaintop grilling experiences, with hours of preparation yielding a rare taste treat. But grilled burgers taste better that what comes off the stove - and I enjoy getting outside for ten or fifteen minutes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Books about Grilling at, Sure: But Grills, Too?!

Patio, Lawn & Garden › Grills & Outdoor Cooking › Grills & Smokers › Natural Gas Grills

632 of them, when I looked, a few minutes ago.

Well, sells just about everything else - at least, it seems that way - so why not LP grills?

I'll still probably buy our next on at Fleet Supply, or maybe Wal-Mart. But selling the things? That's interesting.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Comments, Spam, and Having to Wait

The Easy Griller is moderating comments from here on.

Sorry about that. I like to see the comments I make show up right away, and figure that you probably do, too.

On the other hand, I've been getting too much obscene spam: which I don't like to see, and figure you may not, either. Particularly if you understand the language it's written in.

I rambled on about this more, in another blog:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wind, Weather, and the Winter Griller

Today, I grilled again: I'm getting over the (cold?) that's been bugging me for weeks. And #3 daughter shoveled out the grill.

Thanks to wind - and a miscalculation on my part about how the gas would eddy - it took almost a half-dozen matches to light the grill.

The results were quite satisfactory, though: I'm re-learning how to not incinerate burgers in winter. Temperatures around zero, Fahrenheit, make winter grilling a different matter. Then there's the wind. On a calm day, hot air tends to stay inside the grill. Today, not so much.

But the results? There's a very real difference in taste, between burgers that have been grilled and ones that were cooked on a stove top.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Easy Griller's taking the weekend off. Meanwhile, here's some good advice from someone who seems to be quite serious about outdoor grilling:
"Ten Best Tips for Outdoor Grilling"
Michael C.Shipton, Luxist (January 25, 2010)

"Outdoor grilling is a great way to prepare a feast. Nothing tastes better than a meal cooked over hot coals or even (for you non traditionalists) a good gas grill. Innovation is the secret to successful outdoor cooking. I started with gas, graduated to charcoal and did my masters in wood. Over the years I discovered that eating a great meal became that much better with the knowledge that I had gained discovering the best ways to prepare it outdoors.

"1. Start with good equipment
"Do your homework when opting for a new grill. It really does make a difference. Keep it clean and perform periodic maintenance to stay at the top of you grilling game...."
"Clean" is a matter of degree, of course. I keep my grill (it's a gas grill: LP tank and all) "clean" by my standards - which means that there's no loose residue on the grill's rack that'll get on the current meal's food. It's not that I'm a slob - but I learned that maintaining a supply of burned bits below the rack enhances the flavor.

This point caught my eye:

"5. Always start with high heat...."

I've grilled that way for years: but I'd discovered by trial and error that the meat tasted better if I started it out with a good zapping.

The blogger for Luxist is no Easy Griller. I mean to say, he writes about marinades and dry rubs! Still, the advice is pretty good. Including how to care for your cast-iron pans. (For starters: don't, ever, use soap to clean them.)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Cajun Turkey Burgers with Spicy Remoulade" - This is Easy?!

I ran into this, rummaging around the Web this afternoon:

"Outdoor grilling and indoor grilling recipes"
Welcome to Nancy's Kitchen!

"Easy Grilling Recipes made with ingredients found in most kitchens and pantries."

The first one was "Cajun Turkey Burgers with Spicy Remoulade"

Here's the ingredients list:

1 1/4 lbs lean ground turkey
6 tbsp. FRENCH'S® Spicy Brown Mustard or FRENCH'S® Horseradish Mustard, divided
6 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 3/4 tsp. salt-free spicy seasoning, divided
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 tbsp. drained pickle relish
2 tsp. chopped capers
4 small whole wheat rolls, split

Okay: by some standards, that's a simple, easy recipe. Less than ten ingredients, and the preparation can be done without a kitchen staff.

Maybe I'll try something from Nancy's Kitchen: someday. Don't hold your breath, though, waiting: The Easy Griller's notion of "easy" is way simpler than "Cajun Turkey Burgers with Spicy Remoulade."

My son-in-law, now - but that's another topic.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Grilling, Snow and Schedules

It felt good, getting back to weekend grilling, on Sunday.

There's nothing keeping me from doing the same, next weekend, barring illness, weather, or - - - I checked the forecast. There's a good chance of snow Friday.

Maybe it'll be light, so the grill won't need to be excavated again.

Oh, wait.

That's right. There's a family event coming up.

Well, I'm looking forward to grilling, the next weekend.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back Outside, Grilling!

Today, for the first time in - quite a long while, I got out and grilled burgers. (My last outdoor grilling session was December 13, I think)

Nearly incinerated them, but they were pretty good. By my standards, anyway.

Sunlight, snow, and a grill. It was bright out there. (January 31, 2010)

Burgers in their pre-done state. (January 31, 2010)

A tip of the hat to my son, who shoveled out around the grill and back stoop: and #1 daughter, who chipped off some more ice. And took a divot out of one step. Oh, well: the wood's about ready for replacement, anyway.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Grill in Winter

A grill stands in snow,
Amid sparkling crystals,
Patiently waiting.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From Deep in the Heart of Darkest Minnesota: A Couple of Videos From Hawaii

"Best BBQ Chicken on the Planet"

joedavidsonBBQ, YouTube (July 2, 2009)
video, 7:41

"Watch world champion BBQ chef Joe Davidson prepare his winning chicken recipe. Cooking from Hawaii this time, he adds a bit of a Polynesian twist. This recipe will 'broke da mouth' (taste really good). Perfect for the Fourth of July...."

This really doesn't have much to do with grilling here in the heart of darkest Minnesota. But it's below zero, Fahrenheit, outside; I didn't get a chance to grill last weekend; and I figured I could use a change of pace.

What decided me on posting about this video was Joe Davidson's use of a chicken jacuzzi bath. I am not making that up. "Chicken jacuzzi bath!"

This video was recorded "on location in Honolulu" - which would account for the tropical plants and bright sunshine.

Joe Davidson talks you through the process of making what he calls the "best BBQ chicken on the planet." If you've got a good memory, or take notes: I'd say two or three viewings of this video might be enough for you to have a shot at the recipe, yourself.

The YouTube page includes links to Joe Davidson's website:

Now, for some Hawaiian scenery:

"360 view from on top of Diamond Head, Oahu Hawaii"

spoonyfork, YouTube (January 7, 2008)

"360 view from on top of Diamond Head summit bunker on Oahu island in Hawaii. I am standing on top of the bunker's concrete roof on December 15, 2007...."

The sound you hear is wind on the camera's microphone.

This isn't the slickest video you'll ever see, but my hat's off to spoonyfork: It's one of the very few that actually give the viewer an idea of what it's like to stand where the camera is.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Grilling a Turkey, Outdoors, in Winter: a Video

"grilling turkey in winter"

billhemingway, YouTube (December 26, 2009)
video, 2:38

"20lb. turkey grilled in 20 degree weather in 3 1/2 hours using 2 kettles"

This is definitely an amateur video: with some pretty good advice.

It's a charcoal grill, rigged with a double lid and double kettle. My guess is that it's 20° above zero, Fahrenheit - but the narrator doesn't say.

He does say - and shows - what he's doing.

Brief, informative - it's not the ultimate how-2 video, but it's pretty good.

And: it's nice to see I'm not the only one who grills when there's snow on the ground.

Not that I did today. We'll see about tomorrow.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

BBQ - Rasberry? Vinegar?? Chicken??? And Guriru-Do

The Easy Griller is still staying inside more than usual. Which doesn't have much to do with this post's topic:
"Grilled Chicken Breasts in Raspberry Vinegar Marinade"
Annie H, on Recipezaar (March 13, 2000)

"This recipe was adopted from the RecipeZaar account. After making this myself, I found that the addition of a couple of tablespoons of seedless raspberry jam to the basting liquid really added a nice flavor. Use in the last few minutes of broiling or grilling as the jam will burn...."
The page says this takes 20 minutes to prepare. About 19 over what I prefer: but it may be worth it.

I did not know there was such a thing as "raspberry vinegar."

The Easy Griller has a son-in-law now, who is something of a gourmet cook. He's served the family some of his work - and it's a treat. I may, eventually, learn to appreciate doing something beyond basic food preparation, myself.

Don't get me wrong: I like to grill. A lot.

But fussing over marinades and that sort of thing? Not so much.

I think a great deal of grilling's appeal for me is that it gets me outside for a good fifteen minutes to an hour or so. And - the way I do it - leaves me free for most of that time to relax and watch the grass, trees and shed; listen to traffic, dogs, birds, or whatever; and let my mind dwell on what's around me.

Guriru-Do: The Way of the Grill

The Easy Griller, on Guriru-do:
"There is not the griller, the grill, the burgers, and the weather. There is only the grilling."
(August 1, 2007)
Vaguely-related posts:
A tip of the hat to bjinsidescoop, on Twitter, for the heads-up that there was such a thing as grilled raspberry chicken.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Doing Outdoor Grilling Outdoors: What a Concept!

I ran into this post today:
"Outdoor Grilling: Do it Outdoors!"
RecipeTips Blogs (June 30, 2008)

"Those of us who live in the northern latitudes and who have suffered through a particularly brutal winter could hardly wait until we were able to fire up the grill for the first time this past spring. Yes, I know it's possible to use your outdoor grill during the winter months, even in the coldest climates, and many folks in the upper Midwest do just that, but I suspect that a majority of us are not too keen about grilling a steak or flipping a burger outdoors on a breezy January afternoon of minus 10 degrees with a wind chill of 45 below. ... No, personally, I'd much rather wait until the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the temperature is a balmy 60 degrees (hey, that's balmy around here!), and the fruits of my grilling labor can be enjoyed outside on the patio.

"Okay, perhaps a lot of you are thinking: 'During the wintertime, you can always push your grill into the garage and use it in there if you want to feel a bit warmer.' Aha…okay…I know that plenty of people do that very thing, but I wish they wouldn't, because there's just one little point that some people forget when they use their grills inside…IT'S DANGEROUS!!!..."
The photo (the full-size version is on the RecipeTips Blogs post - you're looking at a thumbnail) shows what happened after someone decided to grill chicken in the garage.

That's not the garage, I understand. The garage was (past tense, notice) on the other side of the house.

I'll admit it: I've grilled in the garage. Once or twice. More like in the garage door, actually. Not the best idea, though: the author makes some good points.

For the record, though: grilling in winter, outside, isn't as bad as the author seems to think it is.

I suppose I'm biased, though, since I regard my home, here in central Minnesota, as being 'down south.'

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another Weekend, and Still Not Grilling

Looks like this will be another weekend when I don't grill. The kids have been excavating the grill, a bit at a time: but that project's been a lower priority than digging out cars and keeping the driveway and sidewalk clear. And properly so.

Besides, I've been a bit off my feed lately. Not sick enough to have any interesting symptoms: just enough to make me a bit careful.

Standing out in a Minnesota winter, standing in the snow while grilling burgers, didn't strike me as a particularly sensible thing to do.

Good heavens: in my late fifties, could I actually be developing an approximation of common sense?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Got a Master Forge Read-to-Rupture Gas Grill? You Might Want to Read This

I took a look at this post, before releasing it, and decided to leave it 'as-is.'

It's a bit more opinionated, and less lighthearted, than the Easy Griller likes these posts to be, but:
  • You might have one of those ready-to-rupture gas grills
  • I've got a cold
    • And that's making me slightly surly
Here's the start of an article I read today:
"Recalls This Week: Gas Cans, Grills, Computers"
Business, The New York Times (January 8, 2010)

"No-spill gas cans that don't quite live up to their name; gas grills with a hose that could melt and leak propane; and notebook computers with faulty wiring are among the consumer products recalled this week. Here's the weekly roundup...."
The outdoor grilling product is a Master Forge five-burner gas grill, imported form China by LG Sourcing Inc. of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. About 10,000 units are affected. The problem is that the gas tank hose can melt and rupture. Good news: no injuries have been reported so far. Bad news: there were two reports of melted and ruptured hoses.

LP gas rushing out of a ruptured hose, with an ignition source nearby, isn't something you'd want to be near.

The Times article gives contact information for people who have those grills:While I'm at it, here's the whole list, summarized from The New York Times' article: There's more information about each product, in the article.

I couldn't help noticing that four of the six products listed this week were manufactured in China. And yes: the other two was "made in USA."

Don't get me wrong: quite a few things in my house have "made in China" stamped on them. It's a global economy: things get made all over. And that's okay. Still, China seems to be on a journey of discovery, when it comes to quality control. Or maybe China shows up in these lists so often, because so much stuff sold here in America is manufactured there.

I think that, if China's leaders would spend more time letting manufacturers in their country know that it's a bad idea to sell shoddy and/or dangerous merchandise, and less time worrying about students having computers: we might all benefit.

Not-quite-related posts, in other blogs.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Hotel With Internet, Cable - and Outdoor Grilling Area

"Work on Cobblestone Inn to begin in January"
The Vinton Eagle, Iowa (December 30, 2009)

"Cobblestone Inn, the new hotel in Vinton, should be open in the summer of 2010.

Work, said Dave Wessling of Iowa Land Management, is scheduled to begin early in January.

The hotel will be part of a chain called Cobblestone Inn & Suites, which is based in Durand, Wisc. All of the buildings in the hotel chain look very much the same....

Hold it right there!

What in the name of sanity and LP gas is this doing on the Easy Griller blog?!

Skipping toward the end of the article:

"...The new Cobblestone Inn in Vinton will have 31 rooms ... along with an outdoor grilling area, fitness room and wine and beer bar...."

All right! Not about the beer bar: although that's okay.

I mean the outdoor grilling area. Now that's providing a service to travelers!