The Family that Slathers Together
Gentlemen (and ladies) start your…grills!
We’re entering the marathon y’all! The summer grill challenge. You know what I’m talking about? You, your neighbors, your brother all trying to one-up one another with your mad grill skillz.
The grill has for many, always been the province of the men, but ladies, I’m here to tell you that we were the food gatherers and the food preparers in prehistoric times. The man may have slayed the mastodon, be we cooked them!
Yet, now many women fear the grill. There is really nothing to fear. Making sure your grill is ready for the season, you have right fuel (propane or charcoal) depending on your choice of grill, and making sure your grill is clean and ready to use. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be grilling all summer!
Tips to grilling happily outdoors all summer!
- Repeat after me, “A clean grate is great!” Did you leave your grill out all winter and now the insides of it resemble a black hole of despair? Despair not! Remove the grates and either clean with oven cleaner of your choice (following all directions) or put your grates in the self-cleaning oven, and let it do the work. Once your grate is clean, each time before you cook, lightly oil your grate before cooking, you’ll thank yourself.
- If you’re using a gas grill girl, make sure your propane bottle is filled. Not sure? Follow your grill manufacturer’s instructions and disconnect the tank (be sure the valve is closed!) and carefully transport to your local hardware store where they can refill it for you at a much lower cost than the cylinder exchange that many do. Although there is much to be said for cylinder exchange!
- Do you use a charcoal grill? Then lay in a supply of natural charcoal, made from hardwoods, without any additives. Your grilled veggies and steaks will thank you for it. Flavors are purer and cleaner without all the excess scents petroleum products contribute.
- Use a chimney starter for your charcoal fire. With just a bit of newspaper or twigs and dry grasses, you can get your charcoal lit, and to the right temperature quickly, which means you don’t have to use charcoal starters.
- Check your pantry. What are your favorite rubs and grilling sauces (you’d better say Slatherin’ Sauce!) Go ahead and stock up now so you can be grilling on demand all summer.
- Pick up a new grilling cookbook. It’s easy to fall into a rut of grilling the same things all the time. There are so many ways to use your grill. Did you know you can cook your homemade pizza on the grill? And it’s delish.
- Get a new butane stick lighter. Don’t try to light your grill with matches or a cigarette lighter. A stick lighter is so much easier. I like to get mine in the bundled packs so I have one to leave with the grill and one to leave on the deck with the candles.
- Get some grill cookware to make your job easier. I love my porcelain enamel coated grill holders for veggies and fish. You might even get a fish basket. It makes grilling a whole fish so much easier. (And when you bring home that whole fish you spent all day catching, you can stuff the cavity with onions, garlic and lemons, and grill whole—the flavors are so wonderful).
- Have some silicone oven and grill mitts to allow you to safely move items without burning your arms.
- Make sure to have working digital grill thermometer. Prevent undercooked chicken and pork! Most if not all your recipes will call for cooking your proteins to a specific temperature.
Now that you’re ready, start grilling! Oh, and call me, I’ll be right over!
Photo credit: flickr user woodleywonderworks
Farmers Market in Charleston
One of the benefits of living in Charleston, is that our winters are mild, our growing season long and we have many incredible farmers who carefully plant, tend and harvest food for our tables. With the recent spate of mild days, I can feel the earth waking up, getting ready for spring.
As a child on John’s Island, February made us get our garden plowed, and ready to be seeded as soon as the nights began staying warm and ground temperatures were at the right point of germination. Charleston’s Parks Conservancy offers recommendations and says you should have your seeds now.
Want to learn how to plant your own garden? The Parks Conservancy has classes coming up this weekend.
If you don’t like to get dirt under your fingernails, you can rely on our farmers who bring their produce to market. One of my favorite stops in-season is the Charleston Farmer’s Market. The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs is in charge of the market which takes place alongside Marion Square. The market opens for the 2011 season on April 9th.
And I can’t wait!
The Family that Slathers Together
Slather Brand recently received this photo from a Canadian family who exemplifies the phrase, “The family that Slather’s together, sticks together.” Do you think that might be due to the high honey content in our Original Recipe and Spicy Recipe?