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18. july: IMBB? griller's delight

It's that time again!!! Yes, you've been waiting for it: that fun-filled monthly event everyone loves so much here in food-blogger land -- the Is My Blog Burning? (IMBB?) culinary extravaganza. In case you're new to these parts, IMBB? is a world-wide internet cooking and baking experience, originally instigated by the brilliant Alberto in February of this year, with the opening festivity’s VIG (very important gastronomy) being Soup. The second event rolled out a month later with Clotilde’s Tartine edition, Renee hosted a spring-inspired Cake Walk in April, May bore witness to Pim's gracious hosting of a Rice Party and June brought about Wena's fish dish. This month we all crack our culinary knuckles and delve deep into our love of that favourite summer cooking method for Too Many Chefs backyard (or kitchen, or wherever!) "Griller's Delight".

As I have mentioned before, grilling dinner on a warm, breezy summer's afternoon and evening, for friends and/or family, is one of my favourite ways to entertain. It's all such a relaxed atmosphere, so indulgent and yet so simple that I don't know how S. and I lived without a barbeque for the first few months of having a balcony to put one on. I don't know how ANYONE lives without one -- except of course, I have seen some serious miracles worked in small kitchen with a grill pan. Not one to enjoy a smoke-filled kitchen myself (sorry, Barrett!), I have stuck with old faithful, the barbeque, and even relinquished most of that cooking to S. He is the man, afterall...and grilling is such a manly thing, I think.

I have been eating grilled food for about as long as I can remember: hot dogs and hamburgers every summer up at the cottage and in our own back yard. Every summer my maternal grandparents would have a "Corn Roast" family party at their farm near London, Ontario and there would be a huge pot of corn boiling over a bonfire and grilled dogs and burgers, mountains of salad and a buffet of desserts to follow. Dozens of cousins, aunts and uncles, friends and strangers gathered to enjoy my grandparents hospitality. Summer barbeque holds a special place in my heart...and stomach.

Then there were the winter nights...when I was quite young my parents still had Saturday night "dates" with each other. My mom would go out that morning and get two London Broils or two really good T-Bone steaks. That afternoon she would make a salad, get some potatoes ready for baking and make a mushroom cheese dip or some other scrumptious side-dish. My brother and sister and I would have dinner at around 5pm (macaroni or pizza or chicken fingers) and then be ushered off to bed early.

Then their date would start. The little hibachi would come into the living room and get set up just inside of the fire place, my dad sitting in front of it, letting the coals burn down until they were just right for grilling over. My mom would pour them some wine and bring the meat into the living room and they'd sit, talking while their dinner cooked, oh-so-slowly. By this time I would be crouched at the top of the stairs, listening to them talk, hearing the hockey game on the tv, wishing I could join them. Some nights I did scamper down, at the end of their meal and curl up in the glow of their companionship. Those were the nights when my dad would have to carry me up to bed, satiated by the smell of grilled meat and wine that clung to his beard.

I thought for the IMBB? Griller's Delight, I'd post about the grilled salad S. made recently for a dinner we hosted for my parents...my mother has already begged him to make it again and again.