And the Winner Is…Wednesday, June 5
Before I announce the winner of our barbecue horror story contest, want to share a few of the highlights.
I can’t believe how many people have run out of propane right before guests arrive.
There’s a valuable lesson there When planning a barbecue, add propane to the grocery list. That should at least remind you to check your propane before the big day. A helpful tip is that a full propane tank weighs 37 lbs. and an empty tank weighs 17 lbs. You can use your bathroom scale to see just how full your tank is. Before we went to natural gas I bought an extra tank and stored it with the barbecue.
There were a few of you who told me about how your barbecue was falling apart. There were more than a few of you who lost a good steak or burger to a family pet.
One lady actually shared that she had placed a countertop grill on top of her stove and somehow the stove burner ended up on, melting the grill.
Another shared the story of a bear nibbling on the charred remains of a slab of beef he had left on the grill for the day while at work.
Then there was the guy who was made to find an empty beer fridge and have to cook hot dogs for his ex’s family of nearly 30 on Father’s Day no less, when all he wanted was to come home and have his wife cook a nice steak for him on his special day. Sounds like you made the right decision pal!
These were all great stories and some really made me laugh, but there was one that sort of had a little bit of everything that could go wrong. So without further ado the winner of the barbecuer Horror Story contest and the incredible prize package is Ashlee Lemon of Edmonton. Here is her story in her own words.
“My barbecue Horror story began one beautiful summer evening a few years ago. It was the beginning of summer and I wanted to celebrate the start of the season with a huge BBQ with family and friends. To ensure a tasty evening, I went out and bought the best steaks, bacon wrapped scallops and prawns I could find. The meat was marinating, the beers cooling, and the table set. As guests began to arrive, my husband went over to our BBQ to heat it and get it ready for some grilling, after a few unsuccessful attempts, we soon realized that there was no propane left! We couldn’t believe that after all of our preparations, this was the one thing we failed to check! Unfortunately, we lived out of town and the closest service station with propane was a 15-minute drive away, our guests had just arrived so we weren’t too concerned and my husband ran out to refill the tank. Guests were starting to get hungry, and my husband arrived back at the house just in time! He hooked up the propane tank and began trying to get the BBQ started, 20 minutes later we were no closer to eating! We are not sure what happened, but the BBQ just wouldn’t start! We tried everything to get it going! Running out of options, I ran over to my neighbours to see if they would lend us their BBQ for the evening, thankfully, they gladly obliged. With a sense of relief we got the BBQ started and were just about to put the meat on the grill when it started to pour! When I say pour, this was no small downfall, within two minutes everything was completely soaked, our guests, the rest of the food, and all the cushions for the outdoor furniture! We felt defeated! With no one keen on standing in the torrential downpour to cook dinner, our guests becoming increasingly impatient and hungry, we all went inside and quickly put in some frozen pizzas to feed our guests! Although we had the worst of luck having a BBQ that night, we were thankful for our friends and family whose company made up for our unsuccessful attempts at a summer grill celebration.”
Talk about more than your fair share of bad luck happening. Just one bad thing seemed to happen after another. Good thing you had the old fail safe frozen pizza to fall back on. I’m sure it was nowhere near as delicious as the delectable meal you had planned. Hopefully having a delicious dinner prepared by yours truly, along with a new BBQ and summer’s worth of beer will help you to completely forget this horrible experience!
A huge thanks to everyone for sharing your stories with me, and I’m sorry everyone couldn’t win.After the last month of grilling recipes I thought it was time we went in a different direction with this week’s recipe. This past weekend I paid a visit to the City Centre Market and threw together a quick, but delicious spring salad using some delicious local ingredients.
Spring Asparagus & Heirloom Tomato Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
This dish is painfully simple, but the key is starting with incredibly fresh, local ingredients!
1 bunch fresh spring asparagus (about 1 lb.)
1 pint heirloom baby tomatoes
4 oz. fresh arugula
2 oz. fresh ricotta (store bought or you can your own)
4 slices Irvings Farm Fresh bacon
4 farm fresh eggs
1 lemon, juice and zest
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup croutons, make these fresh in a little butter, they taste so much better
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large pot of water on the stove, salt
Prepare an ice bath
Slice the asparagus lengthwise, and cut away the bottoms where it begins to become woody
Place the asparagus in the water and blanch for one minute, then immediately place in the ice bath to cool quickly, keep the hot water, as you will be poaching your eggs in it
In a pan, cook the bacon until crispy, set aside
Slice the tomatoes in half
Place the tomatoes and blanched asparagus in a bowl, season well, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, lemon zest and juice
Stir the water and drop the eggs in to poach, poach to your liking, I recommend soft, as the yolk will help bring everything together
In a separate bowl toss the arugula with olive oil, balsamic and seasoning
Lay the arugula out on a large platter
Top with asparagus, tomatoes, croutons
Tear the bacon and place on the salad
Finish the salad with the fresh ricotta and the poached eggs
Drizzle with a little extra olive oil and serve!
Enjoy the flavors of the spring garden!