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.