Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

The Joy of BBQ: A Hint of Spring

I love to BBQ, this I know.

And it’s not so much because I love to eat, tho that is a part of it no doubt. But more IMG_0328rather, it’s the act of BBQ that which inspires me. The process. That and also because I get to be outside, where the fresh air is tinted with wood smoke, and my patio chair resides quietly at the terminus of a warm sunbeam. Well sometimes. When you do your BBQing in Minnesota, sometimes that warm sunbeam part takes a six month hiatus, contrary to your ideals. But not this Sunday last, the day I cooked out-of-doors, under pastel blue skies, amid a hint of spring.

I could not help but to rejoice when I saw a patch of grass in my yard, gently unveiled there in a hollow of spruce, the sunlight dappling through the green needles, the snow tapering out of the shade. It isn’t much I know, but to a snowbound pit jockey, it is a sight as sweet and as glorious as the grandest mountain. As welcoming as the soft clasp of a baby’s hand. That there dollop of sunlight on the brown grass is much more than a soggy place in the yard. Nay, it is hope.

Hope for a promise of warmer days, and long BBQ campaigns in a slow-ebbing light. Of chlorophyll emboldened trees, and their delicious, green leaves flapping in the summer breeze.  Of bountiful tweety birds, resplendent in their many colors, and all singing their praises from atop the highest perch, patron to a deep, blue sky. Of naps in the hammock, undisturbed, nor hijacked by cold. Of a nicely beaded glass of something cold to drink, whilst the radiant sun rubs the back of your neck, and the aroma of perfectly executed brisket lingers in the air. Yup, that’s what that patch of grass yonder means. A dash of hope, and a hint of spring.


Man I love to BBQ. The day must have got into the 40’s even, sunshine eternal, and I reveled accordingly in it. Two plump chicken breasts seasoned heavily in Miners Mix Poultry Perfection. You can go heavy with these spices because they’re low in sodium by design. That’s the way the Spice Wizards there at Miners Mix developed their rubs- low in salt. That way you can enjoy what the rub really tastes like. If you want to add salt you always can, but trust us, you don’t need to with a good rub, and some quality protein at your side. We put these breasts indirect of course, if but only to take our time with the cook. To linger and pause, where the savory aromas dawdle in the cool air.


Somewhere along the way, the day got even better still, when I kindled a small fire in the chiminea. Old scraps from the wood shop served to up my ambiance meter one more notch, as I leaned back in the chair, gazing into the humble flames. The day was as comfortable as I’ve seen it at the pit in many months, and were talking no jacket here, which is saying something for Minnesota in the end of January. I didn’t complain either. One has to take these things in stride, you see, lest he becomes complacent to the better things in life. And so I tarried there, in no particular hurry to go anywhere or do anything. Just the aroma of BBQ in the air, and this quaint, crackling fire was all that I needed. And for a moment at least, the world was simple again, and kind, and warm. And a contentedness filled through-out my soul. That’s kind of why we do it. That’s the joy of BBQ. Amen.


Slow roasted, indirect BBQ chicken breasts with a touch of apple wood smoke, sided with a smattering of vegetable matter for to please the lady folk.


Post Script.. Here is my sunshiny soggy place of hope today. Ain’t that how it goes. 


18 responses

  1. Now that is a good looking piece of chicken! I’ve been after David to smoke me a turkey, but nothing yet…. one day my request will win over his beloved pork.
    Our 33-inches has melted except for the large plowed piles of it. It melted too fast and there is now minor flooding. I prefer white snow on the ground. It keeps winter from looking so dead.

    February 4, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    • Wow, that was a fast melt indeed! Why even bother shoveling! Aw well. Yes, the old boy needs to smoke his lady a turkey. Come on David now. With any luck, you’ll get one for Valentines Day or something. Maybe you need to buy him that Weber Smokey Mountain he’s been wanting!

      February 4, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      • He bought one this summer! You must have missed my “Succulent Pork” post…

        February 4, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      • Shame on me!

        February 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      • No worries. 😉

        February 4, 2016 at 3:58 pm

  2. Love BBQing all year.

    February 4, 2016 at 2:20 pm

  3. A lovely piece of chicken indeed. Though, you had me at “terminus of a warm sunbeam”. Lovely writing as always.

    February 4, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    • Thank you kindly, Conor. Long winters have a way of making a chap appreciate the darndest things. I’m ready for that warm sun beam.

      February 4, 2016 at 2:24 pm

  4. The chicken looks amazing. Spring is right around the corner. The Groundhog didn’t see his shadow.

    February 4, 2016 at 3:16 pm

  5. Outdoor chefs endure cold winter cooks so that they can appreciate the warming rays of spring all the more. Smoke on my friend smoke on.

    February 4, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    • Aptly articulated! Yup, you cannot appreciate a warm day at the pit without knowing other kinds of days. Kind of like life, I guess.

      February 4, 2016 at 3:33 pm

  6. *side note: Glad to once again be receiving your post in my email. 😃

    February 4, 2016 at 3:31 pm

  7. God bless all of you Northerners in your frigid winter wonderland. We had (another) 85 degree day today and look forward to (another) 70 degree night. Life is good on the equator!

    But, I do remember the winters of Minnesota when I would look to the January and February thaws and think that it was about time to break our the rototiller and prep the garden spot. Not!!!!!!

    Nevertheless, Spring is coming for all. Keep the faith as you live through yet another winter.

    February 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    • And now you get to garden all the year around. Man what a few thousand miles can do! I dunno tho, I truly think I’d miss snowy winters after a while. When you’re born here, it’s kind of in your blood. It’s home. I’ll toss a snow ball for you, John in Ecuador!

      February 4, 2016 at 6:35 pm

  8. We had snow here in Trussville, AL last month. Schools closed early and nary a loaf of bread could be found in town. The weatherman was correct. An inch of snow awaited us then next morn. I love the south!

    February 5, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    • Wow, that’s crazy. I reckon you’ve not seen the likes of that too often. An inch of snow can bring a southern town to its knees I’ve heard. It can snow seven feet up here and we’re still expected to go to work. Good times.

      Glad you guys got too cool off a little tho. I bet that was fun.

      February 6, 2016 at 7:40 pm

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