The Thrill of the Grill!

Whew! That was one long winter!

We live outside bell to bell in the summer and we eat “Al Fresco” almost as much. Now, in our house I am the  Grill Keeper, not because I am a control freak–I just like it and the Hubs doesn’t. I am sure I am no Bobbette Flay, but I just love to throw meat and veg over charcoal or gas! I will show you a few things I think I do to make my grillin and chillin taste great and you can decide for yourself.

Holiday Memories for me usually involve food. Memorial Days were spent with friends or family usually in a garage huddled against the rain and wind–watching my dad or his buddies scorch cheap hot dog and talk about guy stuff while the woman folk busied themselves chasing children and making beans and salads to go along.


Sara’s smokey BBQ rub (Not bad for a chick from Kankakee) I use this on our new love, oven- baked chicken drummies. I swear these growing boys would eat 30 a piece if I let them. I also use this on ribs, chicken, pork chops, pork roast and giant turkey legs…I will use this when I roast the whole hog in June.

The Wet

1/4 cup Mesquite Liquid Smoke

1/4 cup real Maple Syrup

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Toss the meat to be grilled in this mix and chill for 20 min to 1 hour.

The Dry

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon each, Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon each, Cinnamon, Cayenne, Dried Thyme

2 tablespoons, Black Pepper, Salt

Sprinkle whatever you choose to char on the coals–be careful the sugar will burn if too close to the coals. Mix extra in a bit of ketup for a great BBQ dipping or mop sauce. This works great in the oven or slow cooker  on busy or rainy days!


I never follow recipes..I read them…lots of them, but that is why I never bake.  When someone talks about a  1/8 of a teaspoon of anything but cayenne I lose interest . (I am a rebel without a cause!) I have collected a great number of old church cookbooks and I  found a recipe  repeated in almost every one. I wanted to follow it for a change…and it is gooood! I have always  thought of pasta salad as a canvas to do whatever I could come up with–Buffalo Chicken Pasta, Asian Persuasion, Green Goddess, Italian Stallion– you name it, I mixed macaroni with it!


 I made a list and shopped and gathered, chopped and measured, mixed and chilled and it was GREAT!

Here is the recipe!

1 pound elbow macaroni

1 cup chopped carrot (about 3)

1 cup chopped celery (about 3 ribs)

1/2 cup chopped onion (soaked in ice water 10 min)

1/2 cup peas (frozen or fresh)

1/2 cup chopped pimento (I used roasted red pepper-I think it is about the same)


1 cup Mayo (They recommended homemade….)

1/3 cup yellow mustard

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Cook your pasta 1 min shy of Al dente and drain. Mix your dressing and toss your veg and dressing while pasta is warm. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving. This is just perfect! Simple, tangy, sweet and crunchy–the perfect side to anything the grill can create. The only thing that would make this better is if I could share it with all the friends and family my holiday memories past are made of…


Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Sincerely, Sara

2 thoughts on “The Thrill of the Grill!

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