Summer Equals Barbecue

California / June 23, 2012 / by Steven
Summer Equals Barbecue

It is summertime and all of America has their grills open, lit, and ready to watch the sunset fade away with friends and family at a moments notice. It is one of the great weekend past times that us Americans do so well. The backyard barbecue is the board room of the summer corporate office. It is also how we communicate with our neighbors, inviting each other over as signs of peace and negotiating deals on who mows the sliver of grass between the two houses and what lights are not allowed to be hung on Christmas. It is party central for graduations, birthdays, and all kinds of celebrations. Most importantly, for me it holds some of my fondest memories of childhood.

Riding my bike home on the weeked from a friends house as a kid became and instant smell and navigate operation once I hit my street. Slowly riding my bike past the street sign I could begin to catch seasoned pockets of air containing smells of grilled burgers, chicken, ribs, all floating throught the air searching for lone riders like me to tempt. I instantly pray that those amazing smells and endless possibilities of meals were coming from the vicinity of my house. I quickly visualise my dad mastering the grill as if the scene being drawn in my head would transfer automatically in real time. As I make the turn into the driveway I can confirm that the grill master is indeed home and parking my bike in the garage gives me time to fully formulate my hopes of the meal to come. Entering the house and walking to the back deck feels like an eternity as I am afraid to see if the grill is indeed filled with the summer delicasies. On the lucky days, my father is standing right in front of the grill and I make my celebratory fist pump. On the unlucky days, the grill is covered, grill racks cold and sad.

Looking back at that now I laugh. Mainly because I am imagining myself riding a bike sniffing like a dog searching through the woods. Or maybe because I was always so mad to have to come home early for dinner when I shouldn't have been. Nevertheless, I realize now it wasn't the realization of good smelling food that really made me enjoy coming home to an evening summer barbecue. It was a chance to explore and do things out of normality. Sitting on the back deck and eating outside was always different. It broke up the regularity of every other meal and made it something special. It made dinner an event instead of just a necessity with the ability to bring the entire family together. Whether it was seeing whose face got the messiest eating hot wings or who could eat the corn the fastest, I enjoyed being able to be with my family and enjoy the smiplicity of a barbecue.

So for me a barbecue is much more than meets the eye. I know most of you reading this will agree and probably have thought about it in the same way. For those of you that smiled during my bike story, you know what I mean. Now that summer is roaring ahead I encourage everyone to make an effort to bring the friends and family outdoors. If you haven't grilled anything yet this year, now is the time to get going. Invite friends over and have a few drinks around the grill. Bring the neighbors around back and show them that all the noise you have been making really isn't because you hate them, trust me they will come if their is food. Most importantly, make time for a family barbecue. There is nothing I am more intrigued by than the ability for food to ignite conversation and strengthen relationships. 

If you see me around this summer lets barbecue!