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Friday, July 04, 2014

Barbecue Weather!

I have an announcement to make concerning the FOODIE FRIDAY entries.  It's not completely going away...but I am going to be making a slight alteration in how they will be presented.

Before I do that though, I want to issue a shout-out to all of the American readers who happen to be glancing at this blog today.  Today happens to be the American Independence Day - affectionately known as the 4th of July.  Can you believe that the United States of America is turning 238 years old today?  What an age!

Happy Birthday, America!  Hope you're celebrating in style with lots of fireworks and patriotism, just as we Canadians did three days earlier.

Now for the bad news.

Well, all right.  It's not completely bad.  I think this could be a good thing.

The truth is that for the last couple of months, I've been asking people to send in recipes for every Friday and that I would post these recipes online for people to share.  It was my idea to try and make this blog more interactive and fun for all of you reading this.

But unfortunately, I didn't get that many recipe submissions.  I only ended up with two in total.  I've tried filling the void by posting recipes from other sources, but the problem with that was that it was much harder to find recipes that were relevant than I initially thought.

So, it's come to today's news.  I'm suspending the recipe portion of this
FOODIE FRIDAY blog for the time being.  If I do happen to get some recipe submissions after today, I'll flex them into a future Friday posting.  But as of right now, today will be the last recipe posted in this blog for the time being.

So what becomes of the
FOODIE FRIDAY post?  Well, not much will change, actually.  I'm still planning of devoting a blog post to food related topics.  I just won't have a recipe.  It'll strictly be a look back at a food treat from the past that I enjoyed (or despised, if the case may be).  I might also talk about restaurants from the past, or events that typically have a lot of food associated with them. 

So, don't look at this as the end of something.  Look at it as a new beginning.

After all, America is celebrating another birthday.  And, while I'm not American, I do know one way in which Americans love to ring in the 4th of July.  Naturally, one of the signs of the 4th of July is looking up at the sky and seeing elaborately done fireworks displays sprayed across the sky.  Though you could also say the same for Canada's July 1 celebrations, or France's July 14 celebrations, or Mexico's May 5 celebrations too.

(Man, that's a lot of fireworks!)

But fireworks aren't the only way.  There's also the delicious, appetizing, mouth-watering smells coming from a propane or gas powered barbecue!

Seriously, any time during the summer is prime time for going outside and barbecuing whatever tickles your fancy.  I myself wish that I could do more barbecuing on hot summer days...but unfortunately I live in an apartment building where the people in charge have more or less outlawed barbecues and outdoor grills.  One day though...

I think that's why whenever I am invited to a barbecue and I have the free time to attend one, I jump at the chance to go.  I am a sucker for barbecued food, and it doesn't really matter what is on the grill.  I'll eat almost anything.

(Well, except veggie burgers.  I understand some of you swear by them and love them.  You can have my share, okay?)

Other than that, I am not fussy.  When it comes to barbecues, all foods get equal love.  One of the reasons why I enjoy going to RibFest every summer is because I love barbecued ribs.  To me, a perfect rib has the absolute perfect sauce, and I'm going to have to say that when it comes to ribs, my mom makes the world's best barbecue sauce. 

(And no, you can not have the recipe for my mom's barbecue sauce for two reasons.  One, it's a family secret.  And two, my mom never did quite measure exactly how much of each ingredient goes into her sauce, so it's quite literally not the same exact sauce each time.  But I suppose I can reveal that brown sugar is one key ingredient.  Use that information as you see fit.)

The sauce for the ribs could also be used for chicken as well, as I've always found that chicken tastes much better when it's barbecued as opposed to fried.  I'd even eat barbecued chicken legs, and I'm not usually a fan of chicken legs.  I've always been more of a breast to speak.

And I suppose that you could use the sauce on a freshly grilled steak if you want, but it's a little too sweet to be used on a seared to perfection T-Bone steak or a New York Strip.  I would probably go with something bolder like A-1 Steak Sauce.  To be perfectly honest though, I could take steak or leave it.  It's delicious, but I wouldn't want to eat it every day.  Maybe more like once a month or something like that.

Hot dogs are also much better barbecued than they are boiled in water.  Have any of you ever tried a boiled hot dog lately?  Ick.  Oh, and my perfect hot dog is also one that is very simplistic.  I only have mustard on them.  Simple is best in that case.

And you know, even barbecued vegetables can be quite tasty.  Have any of you ever had the delicious summer treat known as the shish kebab?  They are to die for.  They are a mixture of cubes of beef or chicken and pieces of vegetables speared through a wooden or metal stake that you can eat right off the stick.  Just be careful not to burn your tongue on the stick, or chew right through it.

(For the record, my perfect shish kebab would include green, red, and yellow bell peppers and mushrooms as vegetables.)

Of course, no barbecue is complete without the classic hamburger.  I think that as long as I can remember, hamburgers have been the quintessential barbecue favourite, and whenever I had a choice, I would always grab a hamburger over anything else.  A well done burger with a little bit of cheese, ketchup, mustard, and Polskie Ogorki pickles (my favourite pickle) is perfection on a bun.

And certainly burgers have been a part of barbecues all over the world.  In fact, there's one soap opera that used to air that my grandmother, mother, and sister used to watch back in the day.

Do you remember the show "Guiding Light"?  It ran for nearly three-quarters of a century on radio and television between 1937 and 2009.  And one of the storylines that they featured every year was the famous Bauer barbecue which was held every 4th of July.  At the Bauer barbecue, couples were reunited, affairs were exposed, and the fireworks in the sky weren't the only ones that could be seen in the fictional community of Springfield.

But one thing you probably wondered did they make that famous Bauer burger?  The ones that the people on the show couldn't get enough of?

Well, I did a little digging, and I found the recipe on the "Soap Opera Network" website.  I figure that this would be a great recipe to post before I put the recipe feature on hold.  Note, you can probably do this recipe without the onions if you don't like them.  As someone who hates onions, I'd skip that step too.

1. Get 2 lbs of ground sirloin, then mix in some garlic, pepper, salt and 3 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce.

2. Make an even number of thin 
hamburger patties. (Be sure to make them very thin.)

3. Chop up some onion and put it on top of the first patty. Then put a slice of American or mozzarella cheese on top. Grill some 
mushrooms and put them on top of the cheese. Cover the whole thing with another patty. 

4. Using a fork press down the edges of the patties so they are sealed 

5. Barbecue the double patties over a low flame until done. It takes more time to cook due to the thickness of the patties. 

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