I think Summer has finally settled into West Michigan. (Knocking on wood…I don’t want to jinx it!) The last couple of months here have been HOT! for a day, then COLD! for more than a few days, rain when it’s not needed, no rain when it’s needed. Just a crazy Spring.
Along with all of you, Summer is a busy time. We spend Fall winding down from the busy Summer and getting ready for Mr. Winter to visit and overstay his welcome, all the while dreaming of Spring. Then Spring comes and we’re cleaning up from Mr. Winter and dreaming of the Summer in the garden, fun times with the family and kids, cookouts that last all evening, sitting on the deck enjoying coffee in the morning or an ice-cold drink in the evening.
Then Bam!, it’s almost the end of June and I suddenly realize Summer is here to stay for a few months!
For us, Summer isn’t spent in the kitchen. At least not the house kitchen. My summer kitchen is the grill–a wood-fired grill.
It’s usually fired up 3 or 4 times a week (the other days are eaten from the pantry shelves!). Yes, it takes longer from lighting to eating, but nothing tastes better than having that smoked flavor throughout your meat or vegetables or even bread.
In the couple hours it takes to get a good bed of coals to cook on, the garden is weeded, the lawn is mowed or trimmed, the dogs are out running around or I’m just sitting watching the chickens play.
Today though, I finally got this piece of granite slab (free!) I’ve had sitting around the garage and the yard for about 5 years up on an old table bottom (free!) for a grill-side table and serving buffet. Makes things much nicer!
After looking at it for a couple hours, though, I realized I was going to take that wood off of the table before the granite slab was lifted up there. I hope it’s not another 5 years before I can get someone to help me lift that huge piece of granite off so I can redo it!
Everything is fixed on the grill. I like to keep everything in one spot, not running back and forth. That doesn’t make for such a relaxing time.
Baked potatoes are wrapped in aluminum foil and baked right on the hot coals. Sweet corn in the husk is soaked in water for an hour then put on the grill to steam. Look how nice peeling the silk away from the corn is, done this way!
When the corn and potatoes are done, they’re put off to the side to keep hot.
I put Homemade Baked Beans in the cast iron pan to slowly cook on one side of the grill. When they’re done (about the same time as the corn and potatoes), I put them up on top of the bricks.
At the end (when the bread is grilling), where I stick them back down into the coals to heat up just a little bit.
After the beans are put up top and the corn and potatoes are put off to the side, the chicken breasts are next. Chicken breasts marinated in anything is great, but my favorite is a BBQ sauce (homemade or bought either one) or a lemon pepper.
When the chicken is done and put in the covered dutch oven to keep hot, the homemade wheat bread is buttered and grilled.
After smelling smoke for many hours and the chicken cooking, sitting down to eat is making my mouth water!
Do you grill? What are your favorite things to grill? Special recipes? Share them with us–submit a recipe and put them in the Grill-Outdoor Cooking category!
See all of the Grill-Outdoor Cooking recipes!
On an aside…
I know everyone is busy with all of the Summertime fun activities, but we’re scheduling July’s posts here on Farm Bell Blog–your community blog.
Suzanne is doing a month-long giveaway for contributors, every month. At the end of each month, a number will be generated from random.org and whose ever post lands on that date in the previous month wins the giveaway! The more posts you submit, the more chances you have of winning. This month is the Nesco/American Harvest Dehydrator. Next month? Only Suzanne knows…and she isn’t telling yet, but I’m sure we’d all love to have one. When doesn’t she pick great giveaways?
There is no commenting needed to win, just submit a blog post and you’re automatically entered (posts are subject to editorial approval)!! At the beginning of each month (or the tail-end of a month for the next month), Suzanne will choose a new prize and post it here as well as on the Blog Submission page and also in the newsletter.
Cindy blogs at Chippewa Creek ~ Our Life Simplified.
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Cindyp…..I must say those pictures of your grilling supper sure look tasty. If the wind was just right…perhaps I could smell it way over here in Maine ha ha I love the corn done that way. As you said, the silk part peels back so easy!
On June 24, 2011 at 7:00 am
the southern lady cooks says:
It is 7:20 a.m. and I just saw this post and it made me hungry! This all looks wonderful.
On June 24, 2011 at 7:18 am
This was our cook out last weekend. A week ago tomorrow. I didn’t knock on wood hard enough!
We’ve had rain everyday since then…and wind…and cold. We haven’t cooked out AT ALL this week! I’m even hungry looking at this post again!
On June 24, 2011 at 7:42 am
I am droooling..Please invite me too dinner.
Hugs Granny Trace
On June 24, 2011 at 7:43 am
This post should have started with a drool warning. I think my keyboard is ruined! What a great post. I love the food, the free treasures, the grill, everything. Makes me hungry and I just had breakfast.
By the way, what time is the next cookout? I need to make my travel plans.
On June 24, 2011 at 8:04 am
Robin from Rurification says:
Thanks so much for the pics of the outdoor oven. We’ve finally finished a place for one, but haven’t started the actual building yet. You’ve inspired us!
On June 24, 2011 at 9:35 am
This is the grill I want to tear apart to remake into the All-in-One Outdoor Oven, Stove, Grill, Smoker that we were talking about on the forum.
On June 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm
Linda Goble says:
Cindy, what type of wood do you use to cook with?
On June 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm
We use hardwood with apple or cherry mixed in. We live in the heart of apple and cherry orchards, so it easy to come by (free!).
On June 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm
I can’t wait to try grilling corn that way, I’ve never thought of doing it like that!
On June 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Oh Cindy I can just smell that chicken . . . my mouth is watering!
On June 24, 2011 at 4:31 pm
Oh, that last pic of the filled plate…yummo!
I love to grill out in the summer. We use charcoal and usually have burgers or steak, sometimes boneless pork chops or chicken breasts. Sometimes corn and usually baked potatoes. I’ve even fixed fries on the grill for a side with our burgers. Foil is a magical thing…I love that the clean up is as easy as crumpling up the used foil and throwing it away, but then again, I hate making more trash for a landfill.
On June 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm