Friday, July 14, 2017

Be Bold and Barbeque

On the July 1st long weekend when everyone was out celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday, we were home having a barbeque funeral...
…not a ‘funeral barbeque.’

Yes, we were having a funeral for our barbeque – and in turn had a barbeque to celebrate the barbeque funeral.

Confused? Grab a cold beer, sit back in your lawn chair, and try to follow along…..

Many years ago our dear friends handed-down their older super-SUPERsonic barbeque to us; stainless steel all over, multiple grills, burners on the side, the lid so massive you need two hands to lift it. We were overwhelmed by its extravagance yet we knew we had hit the big time owning something so elaborate! This thing could cook anything, DO anything, BE anything and I suspect if I knew the right magic words it could transform into half barbeque/robot/spaceship.

It was a very generous gift and we DID use it but we eventually realized it was a bit….daunting. The thing weighed more than me – even during my extra-chocolate days. It took up a better part of our small patio and was somewhat overkill for us simple folk. We aren’t big time barbeque-ers, but we DO like your run-of-the-mill burgers, hot dogs, and chicken. It was a bit finicky to start, as so we were warned by our kind friends, but because it was more of a chore to start/use/clean because of its finicky ways and size, we didn’t use it as much as we should. In turn fun things like backyard barbequing (despite it being in the front yard) were all but non-existent and I hadn’t made potato salad or swatted flies off food for eons. I was itching to do something summery.

And with the cover on the fancy barbeque was just a big black in-the-way monstrosity. I felt burdened and weighed down by this ‘thing’ we weren’t even using. We just kept walking by it day after day, year after year, ignoring it, pretending it wasn’t there yet acting like we ‘should’ keep it, all while feeling…..closed in.

Added to that - I was terrified of it.

It wasn’t just the size that intimidated me but the scary combination of gas, sparks, flames and smoke that kept me near my indoor stove top. Sure I might be able to flip a few patties on it, no problem, but start it up with a spark and some gas? Forget it.

At least we knew I’d never grow up to be an arsonist.

So the fancy barbeque I never used sat right outside our kitchen window and not only was the perfect perch for neighborhood tomcats to taunt my indoor kitty, but the cover was a perfect place for the same tomcats to ‘mark their spot.’


Maybe it was the celebration in the air what with Canada turning 150 years old, but we suddenly found our long-dormant barbeque-bug itching to get barbequing. So we half-heartedly pulled off the gross barbeque cover and after wading through all the mold, too many bugs to count, bits of fur from creatures I dared not guess, and trails from slugs who had travelled from afar found under the lid, we couldn’t get the great beast started. No amount of tinkering or fiddling was gonna get it going; it was old, dead, gross, and falling apart (exactly how I feel on those extra-chocolate days).

We will be forever grateful to our friends who gave us the barbeque but sentimentality aside, we just didn’t have the wherewithal to try to get it fixed. And to be honest, its passing was a relief. Not only did the barbeque’s death mean we would gain much-needed space on our patio, but it meant we could get something smaller yet big enough to make just burgers or hot dogs – never mind simple enough for me to start without worrying about blowing up the island on which we live.

So the older, heavier version was upgraded – or downgraded depending on how you look at it - hence the barbeque funeral.

We got a simpler, much smaller, single grill, one switch, light-lid barbeque that weighs less than me. I can turn it on without too much fuss and stress (I still get nervous), we can make run-of-the-mill burgers or hot dogs, and we have room on the patio to jump out of the way in case I set the food on fire.

We feel free, liberated, lighter, and decluttered. The new barbeque has inspired us to have more dinners outside (plus the cat is a lot happier), therefore fostering more family get-togethers with my boys. You’d think we never had barbequed before!

But I realize now that getting rid of the old barbeque and getting a new one really meant so much more than just a few greasy burgers….

The last year or so has been one of many changes, so getting rid of the barbeque was just one more final ‘letting go’ of what had been weighing us down and holding us back - from doing fun things like backyardin’!

And ‘letting go’ also means letting go of fear. I had previously deemed this year the year of doing what scares me – to do what I fear most.

Getting a simple-start barbeque was, I realized, on the menu. Yes, we needed something smaller so as not to feel cluttered, but being bold and barbequing without fear, stress, drama or injury was freeing in itself (and I’m not the only one out there who is afraid of barbequing, as I have come to learn). Sure gas, sparks and flames are still involved but with this barbeque they are on a MUCH smaller and manageable scale – plus I have lots of room to jump out of the way if things go awry.

I will always be so very grateful to our friends for giving us their very extravagant barbeque, and our desire for something a little simpler is not a reflection of our seemingly lack of appreciation - au contraire! It was just time to get back to barbequing, and on a smaller scale!

So in the coming weekends as I crank the gas and flick the switch to spark a flame, I’ll throw on a few patties, blink the smoke out of my eyes, enjoy my family, and be proud of my newfound skills – and be bold and barbeque!


  1. I, too, am intimdated starting the barbecue. And some of the barbecues out there are just plain...massive. I like the simple ones, no side burners, no fuss, no muss. Now, have you heard about the dangers of the barbecue wire brush? :)

  2. OH YES! Trust me - I have heard about the infamous wire brushes! They are banned, banned, banned from my house! Glad you share in my barbeque fears - thank you! (I realize now that there are many grammarly controversies about the right spelling of the word - tomAto, tomAHto, I say :) )