Friday, April 8, 2011

Priorities and Being Prepared

Back several years ago, as I was going through the process of buying my house, I made a decision that my house would be a place where people felt comfortable, where people could feel at home hanging out and where one of my favorite things could easily occur: cookouts.  I love grilling.  I love the atmosphere of cookouts.  I love friends being at my house and I love hosting them. They are laid back, easy-going and people don't have high expectations of the food...yet grilled food is some of the best tasting food out there.

This may seem to go against the whole theme of my blog, but I love good food and I love sharing meals with friends.  Cookouts truly create one of the best times to simply enjoy peoples company.

Before I even moved into my house, I shopped around for a good quality grill.  I wanted quality, I wanted something that would last, and I wanted something permanent. I found just the right grill!

My grill is cemented into the ground just under the overhang of my patio/carport.  When it's raining, or when it's snowing, or when it's sunny... I can grill out.  And yes, I do this often!  I had purchased the grill before I even hired a moving company to help me move... I had my priorities straight!

The weather the past few days has me itching for a big cookout.  Not just 3 or 4 friends over, but a BIG cookout for lots of people.  I'm sure I'll be scheduling and inviting soon because the anticipation has now grown even larger.   I recently ordered and received a few of my favorite grilling sauces.  I am preparing for the upcoming grilling season!

After I had bought my grill, but before I had moved in my house, I was at one of the stores in Cool Springs that sold grills...and they also sold marinades and grilling sauces too.  The shop owner had suggested this steak marinade called "Hukilau Hannah" from Hoboken Eddies.  I bought a bottle of this...and after using it I went back and bought three bottles of it.  It immediately became my steak marinade of choice.

Hukilau Hannah is a sweet blend of teriyaki, apricot, wasabi and ginger.  I am typically not a big fan of teriyaki, so trust me when I say that this is not a strong teriyaki taste.  It's very citrissee and sweet. My steak of choice is a thick cut rib-eye from Sam's Club.  After allowing the steaks to marinade for at least 24 hours they are ready for the grill.  This blend of marinade tastes Polynesian or Hawaiian to me, so I also like to throw some pineapple on the grill too.  I've had some incredible steaks before, but this is truly one of the best steaks to me.  I hope I'm not biased!

That particular grill shop closed so now I have to buy the marinade from online.  For a while they even stopped selling it direct and only sold to when I buy it, I typically buy several bottles at once.  But oh my word, it is so worth it!

The other grilling sauce is a relatively new flavor for me, it's called JohnBoy & Billy's Grilling Sauce.  My sister introduced it to me over Thanksgiving.'s just one more reason to love my incredible sister!  If you like pork chops on the grill, then this sauce needs to be sampled.  I like baking chicken with it, but I've yet to grill chicken on the grill with it...because I have a favorite for chicken too, Carolina Treet.

There is an original version of JohnBoy & Billy's, but the spicy version is better to me.  It's got a little vinegar tang to it (it's based in Eastern NC) and the pork chops it produces are simply YUMMY!  Carolina Treet has a much strong vinegar base, and is perfect for wings.  I've discovered vinegar based BBQ sauces are definitely regionally acquired taste.  But I do believe the JohnBoy & Billy's Grilling Sauce will be loved by anyone who has it with pork.  Ask me to prove it!

So I have planned ahead and bought the marinades, the weather is warming up, and now it's just time for the crowd to be invited.  Grilling season is upon us!

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