Forget April 1st, it seems as if Mother Nature usually likes to go an April Fool’s marathon that lasts the full 30 days. You’ll get an absolutely beautiful 70 degree weekend that’ll have you ready to toss your winter gear into the nearest garbage bin in exultation, only to be brought back to reality with a few weeks of gusty rain and 40 degree weather. Then just when we think it’ll be chilly and grey out forever; May brings sun, flowers, Memorial Day, the ability to wear white pants without being ridiculed and lots and lots of barbecues too!
To those who aren’t fans of obscure/weird holidays like me, you may or may not know that May is National Barbecue Month. The onset of consistent beautiful weather in May, coupled with free time from school and work, all seem to bring families and friends together (away from Twitter & Facebook) to throw some burgers and hotdogs on the grill and laugh and talk into the wee hours of the morning.
Some of my most cherished memories growing up are from the various barbecues we would have every Memorial Day down at my aunt’s house in the Jersey Shore. We’d arrive there with my parents around noon excited to cool off by jumping into their in-ground pool. We’d have epic cannonball competitions and play Marco Polo with cousins that we hadn’t seen in far too long. My uncle would throw some juicy burgers, sizzling sausages and plump hotdogs on the grill and call us all out of the pool to satiate our unconquerable appetites. We’d smile, eat, jump back in the pool and almost always get stomachaches. Older uncles, my parents, aunts and my grandparents would sit in the shade, play dominoes and pass down funny family stories in hopes that those stories would continue to be passed down to us one day. The kids would play football and wiffle ball which would ultimately end in scraped knees and bruised egos (our battle scars ). As the sun went down and our sun burns started to sting we were greeted by the smell of the grill and sat down as a family to enjoy a meal that could give Thanksgiving a run for its money.
Come nighttime each and every one of us would huddle around the fire and make Smores while talking and laughing over each other loudly. I’d sit on my mother’s lap and try to perfectly melt the Hershey’s Chocolate and marshmallow together. I remember always burning them, like a lot of kids do, but I would eat them anyway and almost always get yelled at!
There’s something uniquely wonderful about barbecues. It has a lot to do with the beaming sun and crisp blue sky. It definitely has a lot to do with all the mouth watering food and desserts. But I’m betting it mostly has to do with all the great people we share them with.
Here’s to barbecues, and all the things that make a house a home! What are your favorite barbecue memories?