Monday, November 17, 2008

Adventures in BBQ'ing

Yesterday afternoon I was planning to make my Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwiches for Sunday dinner. It was a beautiful day so I thought we'd eat outside and take advantage of the fantastic fall weather.

My brother gave us a nice Charbroil grill last summer but it's a lot of grill for just the two of us. When I do use it, I like to make as much food as possible so I am not wasting propane. Safeway had chicken quarters for 88 cents a pound this week. I bought a bunch so I decided to put those on the grill first with some BBQ sauce and save them for dinner later in the week and freeze the rest. When that chicken was nearly done I was planning to add the boneless chicken breasts for the sandwiches. Yes, I thought I was Super Time Management Frugal Grilling Woman! Nothing could stop me from eating well on a budget! What's the phrase? Pride goeth before the fall?

The chicken quarters had been on the grill for 15 minutes and I took some things outside to set the table. I could hear that the grill was starting to flame up from the chicken fat so I grabbed a water bottle to tame the flames. That's where the insanity began.

Unknown to me, the back wheel on the grill had become loose. When I opened the grill the back wheel fell off and the grill tipped over backwards. When the grill hit the ground, blazing chicken quarters bounced up and went flying in every direction. That in turn set the grass on fire. The fire was also still going inside the open grill itself and flames were about 18 inches high.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I have not one but two jumbo propane tanks? One is attached to the grill left side and the other is stored off to the right. Not exactly what you want to have around when you've just flipped over your grill and set your yard on fire.

Thank God, the hose was only a few feet away since I'd been watering the potted herbs only hours before the calamity. I put out the fire as I yelled for HuzBen who has just woke up from a nap. Nothing like walking up to your shrieking wife and your yard being incinerated. (I'm sure he was saying to himself, "Yipee, less grass to cut!")

HuzBen held the hose as I turned off the propane valve and then we got the grill back upright. We scooped up the chicken flambe and mud caked utensils that went sailing several feet away when the grill hit the ground.

In the end no one was hurt and the house and yard are fine. I am very thankful it was the back wheel and not the front wheel or the grill would have tipped over on me. Nothing was broken and even the grill is fine, except for the piece of plastic flower pot that was on the ground and is now melted to the back of the lid. We did lose the chicken quarters but I played it safe and cooked the boneless chicken breasts on the stove and dinner wasn't even 5 minutes later. We still ate outside and dinner was wonderful. The recipe and an actual picture of last night's dinner are here. I love the smell of freshly torched grass in the evening.

So much for another day in the East Valley!

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