Monday, June 9, 2008

Ahh...Summer food

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We are prematurely in a total summer mode here in Brooklyn, with an unseasonably early June heat wave. The only good news is that it's a great time to embrace summer food and the rituals of the summer table. For our family that means a lot of barbecue. Cooking outside saves the house from the heat and saves me from a lot of pots and pans to clean up. (Plus, my husband, our resident grillmaster is doing the cooking.)

Already this season, we've been grilled spatchcocked chicken, slow-roasted pork, and done smoked seafood, all on the Big Green Egg. (The Big Green Egg is a very special grill, a grail of sorts for serious BBQ mavens.) But any grill will do, and summer grilling can be as easy as throwing some dogs, burgers, or marinated chicken breasts on the fire. You can have a quick, easy and fun meal in no time.

Grilling out is often thought of as only a weekend activity. But grilling and eating outside during the week is a great option, if you have the space. It's a wonderful way to make everyday life feel a little more like summer vacation. Once you get the hang of starting a charcoal fire, or if you use gas, the grill can be up and running in about 20 minutes. It's a schedule that can fit easily into a weeknight meal. (Tip: Use a charcoal chimmny to get the coals started.) Plus, you save time on the clean up.

There is no better summer memory to create for you and your kids than a summers' night eating outside, finished off with watermelon or ice pops. Maybe you'll be lucky and even get some fireflies (aka lighting bugs) to spark the night.

Links and Ideas:
Secrets of Good Grilled Foods, from Real Simple
Best Grilled Food Recipes, from How Stuff Works
Frozen Delights, easy homemade ice pops from Cookie Magazine
Grilled & Ready, under Good Food Fast section of

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