Grilling Season

I love grilling. When I lived up north, I’d be outside in my U.S. Government issue field jacket and stocking cap in a foot of snow with the grill going. Now that I live in a more temperate zone, the biggest concession I have to make is a set of halogen work lights on a stand so I can see what I’m cooking in the winter months when it gets dark at 5:00 PM.

My family let me pick out a new grill for Fathers’ Day. I have a natural gas hookup on the deck.

I swear! It was there when we moved in! Honest! (It really was.)

Natural gas isn’t quite as hot as propane, but I never run out of gas while cooking. That’s not exactly true – sometimes I run out of gas, but the grill does not.

My son asked for my old grill because it was better than the one he has. Now you have to realize that I wear out a grill every 2 – 3 years. I mean I’ve replaced the burners, flame deflectors, and whatever. The electric starter is history. The lip that holds pieces has rusted away and been replaced by sheet metal screws and/or brackets. When I give up a grill, it’s done. Finished. Kaput.

So I had no choice but to give him a grill for his birthday.

I mean some family traditions are meant to be maintained.

Oh – they offered me the 4 year extended warranty on the grill. Depending on the item, extended warranties may be a poor investment. However, given my track record, I think someone is going to owe me a grill in a couple of years. It’s a better bet than lottery tickets.

Along with meats, I’ll cook some other dishes. Here’s my recipe for Steve’s sort–of-ratatouille-like dish.

Steve’s sort–of-ratatouille-like dish

Olive oil

White wine

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 medium onion – sliced thin then chopped just so there are no really large pieces

1 or 2 cans diced tomatoes

1 small can diced tomatoes with chilies

3 yellow squash, zucchinis or similar – sliced about ¼ ” thick

I use a wok on the side burner to sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until it caramelizes. If necessary, deglaze the wok with a splash of white wine. Add the squash and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes (all 3 cans). You can use fresh tomatoes, but it’s better without the skins.

Bring to boil, then let simmer.

Here’s the fun part. Depending upon what else I’m cooking I may use one of the following:

Italian Mood

1 pound mushrooms (Portobello’s work well)

Fresh basil

Dash of red wine

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Slice black olives

Italian seasoning




Chinese Mood

1 package Shitake mushrooms

1 can Baby Corn

1 can sliced water chestnut

1 can (or equivalent) bean sprouts

Soy sauce & Ginger to taste (5 spice works well, too)


It’s a very versatile side dish. I like to add green peppercorns after I’m done, but not everyone is a green peppercorn fan.


Didn’t expect to get a recipe, did you!

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