Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cookout Time!

The first cookout of the year is my way of welcoming in the upcoming summer. It's a sign that the cold is now completely behind us (and hopefully much of the wet - we haven't seen the sun around these parts in almost two weeks!), and the time has come to be spending more time in the yard than in the house.

Today was that day.

I didn't realize today was the first cookout when I woke up this morning. In fact, I had considered cooking out yesterday, but it just never came to be. But this is how it must happen - the first cookout must never be planned in advance. It's sort of like how bears know when to come out of hibernation, how birds know it's time to fly back north; suddenly, I knew it was time to cookout.

The day was perfect for it, too. Bright sunshine and a cool breeze kept the temperature at a comfortable 68 degrees in my yard. The neighborhood was alive with activity. Kids speeding by on their bikes, skateboards, or other modes of transit; neighbors working on their yards or lazing on their porches; Mother's Day being celebrated along with the celebrations of the gorgeous weather.

As it happened, I had a couple of thick Delmonico steaks in the fridge, a fresh bunch of asparagus, and a mix of button, oyster, and shitake mushrooms ready to go. (Again, not planned, but by natural instinct I must have been preparing...)

Those who cookout often have their preferences when it comes to grills; for me, nothing beats a Weber kettle grill and a charcoal fire. Peace, my gas-grill friends: I know there are many of you out there, and a gas grill can indeed serve the purpose well, but to my palette a gas grill simply cannot mimic the scrumptiousness of steak grilled over charcoal. The Weber kettle has been around since 1951, and has stood the test of time. It is the perfect grilling aparatus, bar none.

The steaks were seasoned with a little garlic-infused olive oil and a sprinkling of Montreal seasoning. A little of the oil on the asparagus along with salt and pepper prepped them for the grill (and if you've never grilled asparagus, you must! Delicious!). A small metal grill pan would house the mushrooms which would cook down in butter to compliment the steaks - a meal fit for a king!

Wasn't long before the aroma of grilled steak filled the air, and noticed at least one neighbor poke his head out, spy the sizzling feast, and a moment later head across his yard to fire up his own grill. As I said, it was time.

As the summer goes along, there will be many a cookout in my backyard. The Weber gets a good workout each year. Some cookouts will see a yard full of friends, some will see cozy dinners for two or three, some will just be me and my Weber. Rest assured all will be enjoyed - but none as much as the first cookout of the year!

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious, but we're a way off cooking out of doors here in France. A few more weeks yet, I think. Found you via SlogBite!