Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Backyard Barbecue

     For many millions of Americans, this week brings us out into the backyard to cook over an open flame.  You would think the Fourth of July were some sort of pagan fire worshiping ritual, when  you see people who NEVER cook outside without electricity and air conditioning, trying to prepare a meal in the fresh air.  If you didn't know that red, white and blue paper plates were not part of the founding fathers' plan for the future, you would be confused and maybe think it was a sign of citizenship.  It is a little embarrassing to see all the once a year barbecue-rs buying all that 'made in china' stuff to prove to their neighbors that they are the best sort of American.  

      It is not my place to judge, but I will smile and shrug a bit.  We can be a little goofy, too!  At our family gathering this year, we are all wearing t shirts from our favorite branch of the service, the unit served in or Marvel or DC comic superhero that best expresses the holiday(Captain America, Superman, Batman, the Fantastic Four, etc. but not Aquaman or the Hulk or the anti heroes!).  The little children are included in this fashion fun!.  For anyone who dares to show up incorrectly dressed there is a vest of shame.  It is a size 1X fully sequined red white and blue nightmare.  It is hideous!  There will be pictures!  

     I will also encourage anyone who has not yet gotten proficient at the campfire cooking skills a prepper needs, to use this week and the rest of the summer to practice and hone those skills.  I am personally setting up some fire cooking experiments.  

     I have an alternative fuel cooker I have been aching to try out.  Yes, it is coming OUT of the box!  It wants me to use rolled into a ball newsprint to cook and I am feeling that could be fun.  I have also purchased a new telescoping roasting fork.  The fork was designed to cook marshmallows or hot dogs over an open fire without getting IN the fire, but I am going to use it to add fuel to the cooker when needed.  In an emergency, I supposed a stick or a careful hand would work, but, this is a holiday, not an emergency and I have the tool so I am going to use it.  

     I have always had a propane fueled grill and I have cooked on it successfully for years, but this year I am going to use it to bake!  I have never done this turkey thing before and I am anxious to try it out.  I am going to cut a turkey into quarters, season it, add onions and other root vegetables around it, add in a cup of chicken broth and seal the roaster shut.  When the grill is set at high heat and the lava rocks are hot, I am going to put the turkey in, shut the lid, turn down the heat to medium (no direct heat for roasting) and wait a torturous three hours to let it cook before checking it's core temperature.  NOT lifting the lid is going to stress me.  But, I will survive!   

     I have two hibachi grills.  One is the standard grill and one is only large enough for a few coals and a single burger.  I let my grandson cook his own burger on it (under much supervision!).  I heat up the coals on the larger grill and he carefully transfers one or two coals with a pair of fire tongs from my grandmother's fireplace set.  I usually use the hibachi for grilling small meals but this experiment will have me  using it for boiling pots of side dishes.  I'll use it like an extra burner in the house.

So, while the once a year crowd are burning burgers and hot dogs beyond recognition, I am going to push my cooking over flame skills to a new level.  So, you do what you do, but have a safe holiday.  But, don't do this:
    or thisor this
'cause this is just wrong! 

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