Monday, February 20, 2012

Family Day

In Alberta, today is Family Day.  There were all sorts of things to do around the city, but we're not crowd people.  Instead, with the incentive of having a guest with us for the next while, we finally had a cookout.

We bought the firewood to do something like this 3 (or is it 4?) years ago!!

After picking up a hatchet to cut kindling and some grillable food, we headed over to a picnic shelter in Dawson Park.  This is an area we used to hike through fairly regularly before we moved to where we live now.  It's a really nice picnic area.  There are a number of bbq grills scattered about with picnic tables near them.  The shelter has a roofed area with a pair of picnic tables and a double grill fireplace.  Inside the building is an open area with seating, and behind the outdoor fireplace is an indoor fireplace as well.  It has doors that are padlocked, though, so I assume there's someplace to call to get access to it.  There's also a water fountain (handy, since we forgot to bring drinks) and bathrooms.  This heated indoor area was much appreciated as we waited for the fire to burn down enough to grill.  It was a warm day, but only when you consider what our February temperatures normally are. *L*

The downside of having such great facilities is that people tend to not treat them very well.  When we got there, we found whole branches - small ones, and very twiggy - in front.  Under one half of the fire area, we could see where someone had tried to start a fire.  The twigs and branches were all quite green.  We figure some less then sober folks had stripped nearby bushes of branches and twigs to make a fire, using magazine pages to try and get it started.  They failed.  It was quite a mess.  We cleaned it up a bit, and found a handy branch we could use to lift the grills and adjust the burning logs as needed.

 (photo set can be viewed here)

Family Day cookout

I picked up a grill pan meant to do things like veggies on a bbq, so we wouldn't be putting our food directly on the filthy grill.  It's supposed to be a non-stick tray but, by the end of it, I doubt it still was.  ;-)  Not really made to be used over an open flame like this, even though we did let the fire burn down, first.
 We tried two kinds of hoagies on the grill - beerwurst and maple flavoured.  They were both good, but we all liked the beerwurst best.  

Family Day cookout

For dessert, we split come bananas, stuffed them with chocolate chips, then wrapped them in foil.  The peels were left on to hold everything together.  After the hoagies were done, we put the foil wrapped bananas directly into the hot coals to cook.  They turned out quite nice!  The last time I did something like this, it was using cocoa and an oven.  Tasty, but not as fun as doing it in a fire. :-D

I hope everyone else had a great holiday (whatever it's named where you are) today as well.