Memorial weekend is like the unofficial start of my summer, and what’s a summer without a few barbecues? My mom is usually the organizer for such events at my house, but for the first time in what seems to be forever, she flew the coop for the holiday weekend.
But I wanted to have a barbecue!
To have a barbecue, I’d have to grill, right? I mean, George Foreman himself wasn’t about to come to my house, even though I had his grill waiting near by on the counter just in case shit hit the fan. Honestly, the thought of lighting this grill terrified me! Smoke in my eyes, my hair catching on fire, if you only knew the kind of vivid imagery running through my head. Luckily, I had some supervision and assistance (thanks Joseph) and I hit the ground running.
I tried to keep the menu pretty simple, with as little to do as possible. Chicken legs and breasts, basted with a sweet and spicy Brandy-spiked barbecue sauce, beef kabobs, marinated in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, lime and cilantro shrimp kabobs with pineapple and zucchini, and roasted corn. So much protein! The potato salad added a little starch (thanks Kimmy!) The spread left us stuffed, but we made sure to make room for the apple cobbler dump cake that followed, topped with melting vanilla ice cream. That definitely hit the spot!
I did a little bit of cocktail mixing as well! Completely unplanned, but when life gives you mango and raspberry lemonade and a bottle of moscato, you dump it in a pitcher with some ice and toast to the good times.
Overall, I can definitely say my first time grilling was an experience. Yes, my smoke burned my eyes like there was no tomorrow. Yes, I had a little too much fun pouring lighter fluid. But we ate great food and no one died, and that always makes for a good party.
- Your charcoal won’t always get red (side eye to the YouTube video I watched.) My biggest issues were the wind and the fact that my coals were damp from my garage flooding not too long ago.
- Cover the grill with foil. It makes for the easiest of clean ups. Hell-bent on those grill marks? No worries, gently press the foil into the grill until the lines become more defined, as pictured. I used a fork to poke a few holes in the foil to help drain any liquids the chicken or beef produced.
- If you’re using wooden kabob skewers, soak them in water for at least an hour. The skewers will burn much slower after being soaked.