Happy dance for BBQ season!

by DaniGirl on March 21, 2011 · 6 comments

in Eating and thinking and thinking about eating

Dear Ottawa friends,

I’m so very sorry. That very rude awakening you had today, where winter totally barged right back in after allowing spring to take a toe-hold, and we got a nasty dump of two fresh inches of snow after 98% of the old snow had melted away?

Totally my fault. Sorry about that.

I got a little too excited about spring this week. I bought a new BBQ. And a picnic table. And oops, I might have gone right ’round the bend and also picked up an adorable (and totally affordable) little bistro set from Ikea that will be absolutely smashing for morning coffee on the porch.

Oops. Sorry. After a whole winter of restlessly anticipating the outdoor season, I kinda forgot that the first taste of spring is not the one that stays.

Speaking of tastes of spring, though, before it got all snowy and slushy and January again, I danced and pirouetted my way through the grocery store on the weekend. Whereas I usually find meal planning to be an onerous task, I was practically skipping through the aisles as I loaded up my cart this week. Why the gleeful shopping?

It’s BBQ season, baby! *cue the heralds of chorusing angels*

Our old barbeque did not survive the transition to the new house last October. I’d already replaced the burner once and it was starting to rust through again. The grills were looking sketchy, and the move knocked the handle off. I usually barbeque well into November or December each year, and with the early end to the season I was drooling with desire for our outdoor grilled faves by the end of January.

As the snow piled high and then receded, I scrolled through pages of reviews of various barbeque configurations online, dreaming of hamburgers and grilled chicken fajitas and steak-and-veggie skewers. I think it was shortly after Christmas that I set up CanadianTire.ca’s sale alert feature on a few of the most promising models, hoping to score a good deal on one. With the milder weather this month, I was just starting to think about scrapping the sale alert and going ahead and buying one when I got the e-mail: the barbeque you’ve been watching is going on sale this week. Yay!

And that’s how I ended up with a dreamy smile on my face, dancing through the aisles of the grocery store, greeting seasonal favourites I hadn’t seen in six months like old friends. Hello hamburger buns, how I’ve missed you! Oh darling tzatziki and feta couscous salad, you’re looking delicious today! And ribs, sweet and succulent ribs, I’ve been salivating over the idea of you for months!

175:365 BBQ night

I’ve been in a terrible food rut the last little while. I’ve got maybe ten or a dozen meals that I’ve been cycling through, and while they’re good, I’m sick to death of them. Pasta and salad, chicken fingers and veggies, Tiki Masala shrimp with naan and rice, chili, tacos, meatloaf — all plenty yummy, but gah, I’m so bored with them.

Given the chance, I’ll grill dinner five nights out of seven, so the return to BBQ season is a drastic difference for us. Do you find that your grocery shopping habits change with the season?

As for me, I’ll be standing on the back patio tonight with my scarf and mitts and winter boots, grilling up some chicken breasts. It’s spring, dammit, and you can’t make me go back to winter food!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary V. March 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Oh, so this weather is your fault!? I’ll try not to hold it against you. I realized this morning that seeing as it snowed at Halloween, that makes six straight months of snowfall in Ottawa.

But let’s get back to talking barbecue – yum! I too am bored of tacos/curry/pasta bakes/ stick-to-your-ribs winter cooking. At the end of every winter, I eagerly await barbecue season. (Just as eagerly, I long to take of my socks and start wearing sandals!).

Alas, I am searching for barbecue recipes that my two six-year-olds will dig into with gusto. They gobble up curry, love seafood, and will try almost anything when we go to eat in Chinatown, but for some reason, burgers and kebobs on the barbee do not please their palate.

2 JustAnOttawaDad March 21, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Seriously Dani? The start of BBQ season?

I wasn’t even aware that it ended…

3 Jill March 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Oh my goodness, I’m glad you ‘fessed up! Becuase *I* thought it was *my* fault that winter abruptly came back. In fact, I thought someone told Winter I’d put all the snow boots into the basement on Saturday.


Yes, I absolutely LOVE bbq season, it means my husband get’s to dendure, err, I mean enjoy at least 50% of the cooking and that THRILLS me to no end! No kidding though, I do love my food grilled, on a bbq.

Can’t wait to see all your new fine wares. šŸ™‚

4 Paula March 21, 2011 at 10:54 pm

We grill all year round although I will admit, during the winter months my husband is the one standing on the back deck in his parka, turning the burgers or checking on the rotissiere chicken! From the first snow fall to the last, our BBQ is one of the first things to have the snow shoveled off of it. Somehow, the smell of the BBQ and the taste of grilled food throughout the winter just makes those longs months more bearable.

5 2Hirondelles March 24, 2011 at 7:27 am

We, too, are running low on meal ideas and are itching for the return of grilling season. We couldn’t wait any longer and BBQ’d some steaks this weekend. Yum. So, Dani, the fault does not lie solely with you.

6 Mary @ Parenthood March 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Swear I commented on this already, but had to come back and say that your post inspired us to use our BBQ yesterday. We made Yorkshire puddings. (Really!)

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