The first big snow storm of the season hit Montreal this week. This is the time of the year when everyone starts craving a nice hearty homemade soup or stew. You know, something to warm the heart and the body up while we watch 10 to 20 centimeters(for my American readers that’s about 97 inches) of snow gently fall to the ground. Or if you live out in farm country like me you watch it whip around as wind literally shakes your house. So, perfect time to break out a nice soup recipe right? Nope! BBQ time! Why? I don’t know really. I guess there is this pig-headedness in me that makes me want to do the opposite of what popular opinion dictates. Call it counter culture, call me a non-conformist, or most likely just call me a freaking idiot. I get like that about lots of things. 178 people tell me to watch Avatar because it looks sooooooo amazing! I have to watch it! Is the story any good?Meh, it’s alright they say. So my goal is to never watch that movie ever. So far so good.
So I drive home in brutal weather and announce to the family that I am in the mood for a BBQ steak. I get a nice “Ummmmm ok….” from the lady but she doesn’t seem to mind so long as she doesn’t have to join me out there. I’ll see if I can’t somehow fix that, hahaha. I switched over to a gas BBQ this year when my beloved charcoal BBQ passed on. It still hurts to talk about it. While I do intend to purchase another coal BBQ soon to accompany the gas one, I have to admit lighting a gas BBQ in a blizzard went pretty smoothly compared to trying to light coal.
Please don’t use the word pioneer to decribe me grilling steaks in frigid, gusting, snowing and wet rain conditions. Americans to the south of us have been grilling in crazy weather at football tailgate parties for thousands upon thousands of years. So, no, pioneer does not apply. Maybe something more along the lines of hero. As my kids look at me from inside with a look of pure adoration (or is it mocking?) I can sense that yes, hero is applicable here. And just in case they are in there laughing at me I call upon them to assist me outside. I don’t really need the help but this is what heroes do: share the glory. Oh, and for good measure I boss my lady friend to come outside and capture my heroic effort on camera.
Like any good hero I was prepared for battle. I didn’t just go out in running shoes and a hoodie and end up sick like a dog. That is what a younger me would have done. I wore the appropriate garb for the task at hand and to keep my insides warm I made sure to have an ice cold beer with me too. What about my poor freezing kids you ask? Well, a good role model takes care of the little ones in times like these too. I am not dumb enough to give them a beer like I’ve got so light beer for them will just have to do. I said I was a moron, not irresponsible.
Being the selfless hero I am I wish to share with you the three simple steps to winter BBQing. Follow these and you too can have that ear to ear smile you see on my face in that picture guaranteed! Ok, the three steps are:
1) Don’t Be a Wuss. Somehow, the best steaks, or BBQ in general, seems to come from the times you grill in the most insane weather. Anyone can make a steak on a beautiful summer day. Can you make one in the dead of winter?
2) Drink Beer. Trust me when I tell you that sucking back cold one after cold one has its’ merits. You’ll forget all about those soon to be frostbitten toes and hands and as your body tempurature continues to drop make sure to say hello to that pink unicorn dancing on your lawn. Hey when did I decide to lie down in the snow? Wow, I can’t believe how warm it actually is! Maybe I’ll just take a little snooze for a moment or two. Don’t worry, none of those things are signs of hypothermia. They are signs you are having yourself a kickass BBQ, dude!
3) Don’t Light & Cook with Coals Indoors. It seems like I always read some story once a year about some BBQ lover accidentally offing himself by grilling with coals in a closed garage or something. You wouldn’t think I would have to tell people this but don’t do that. Dying is really bad for your health.
Well, that’s all the time I’ve got today for tips on how to safely be a moron. Stay tuned next summer when I roast a pork shoulder in the oven during a heat wave with the air conditioner set to OFF. I know, I know, I am like David Blaine, Criss Angel and that dude who skydived from outer space all wrapped in one.
P.S. No, I did not actually give my kids light beer. They didn’t even chip in for the case.
Categories: Phood Philosophies