Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June Newsletter

Well happy June to us all.
Volume 2
Now I don't know how it goes at your location but here it means it is time to
pull out the grill and start doing some great backyard cooking.
The concept of grilling food has been around well probably since the
cave man discovered fire and realized he could cook his
catch of the day and enjoy a hot meal.

But lets fast forward some and see how and where this style of cooking
found it's way into our lifestyles.
The best as I can tell it was the Spanish explorers
that first discovered this style of cooking. while exploring the islands.
They came across the locals using this style of cooking to eat
and preserve their meats, also the smoke made a great way to repel the flying insects .
The term originated from the Taino natives of the Caribbean islands.
Their word "barbacoa" is translated to mean "sacred fire pit".
As time does with all things the word slowly became barbecue around the late 1600's.
Of coarse today there is barbecue, barbeque, bar-b-q or my favorite bbq.
I think that sums it up and easy to spell.
Anyway either variation will work it's still all about great tasting food.
The barbecue as a social event became very popular during the late1800s,
when the United States also began building its national park system,
and Americans began socializing outdoors.

However, the barbecue, was also used for political campaigning too.
This dates back to our first president George Washington.
Candidates often held barbecues on the grounds of the county courthouse,
offering free food in return for an opportunity to share their political view
and ideas with the captured dining public.
Although barbecue was initially associated with poorer citizens,
as both a method of cooking and recreation.
It slowly spread to the middle and upper classes over time .
Today it continues to entice people's of all walks of life.
Especially in the southern US regions where grilling food is just a way of life.
Now it wasn't until the European settlers arrived in the New World with pigs,
chicken's and cattle that the open pit style of cooking took it's roots here.
Ribs, chicken, steaks ring a bell.... yes it does; but we're not there yet.
remember back then they didn't have refrigeration like we do today,
so their food had to either be eaten soon after the kill or to try and preserve it
either with winter snows, which was iffy or most used back then, the old smoke houses.

Looking at those options I don't think the open pit grill
was much about great tasting foods like today.
No just more about surviving.

Anyway that's a brief amount of background on the how, so lets talk about the what.
I'm not really sure who is credited for making the first modern style metal grill.
I believe that it was probably invented during the time of Henry Fords day
when production lines and industry was beginning to boom.
I do know that Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer of Pennsylvania
patented a design for charcoal briquettes in 1897.

After World War One, the Zwoyer Fuel Company built
charcoal briquette manufacturing plants in the United States
with plants in Buffalo, NY and Fall River, MA.
Henry Ford created a briquette from wood scraps and sawdust from his car factory.
Then E.G. Kingsford bought Ford's briquette and placed it into commercial production,
and thus the charcoal grill was born.
Today we have charcoal briquettes, lump coal, which is actually pieces of hard wood
that has been charred, gas or electric style grills.
You can find them from very portable to major size appliances.
They are priced from $20.00 on up, and can be purchased from your dollar store,
local hardware and department stores as well as speciality stores.
Now with a market targeting that many places and people
you know outside grilling must be serious business.
I know there is an outside chef in every home and that's a good thing
heck that's what America was built on.

As for us here at Basil and Things
we just want to let you know that we have a wide range of spices
that are perfect for any type of outside cooking your into.
From our Mesquite, Steak Seasoning, Blackened, or our Charbroiled
and specially blended rubs just to mention a few.
I'm sure we have the perfect seasoning for you .
So take a few minutes and look us up and let us know how we can help.
We hope everyone has a great backyard grilling time this season.
Here are some Grilling Tips for a successful cookout

When you are cooking on a grill you want to have a high heat,
first to kill off any gems that may be on the grill itself
and second to ensure that the food will be cooked thoroughly.
This will also require a frequent turning as not to burn or char the outside.
Start grilling when you meats are completely thawed
or near room temperature. This gives a more even cooking effect.
Rub your meats with a little olive oil
or oil of your choosing then apply your spices to the outside.
Use the back of a spoon or brush to spread them evenly on the surface.
This also keeps your meats from sticking to a hot grill.
Very helpful when cooking fish or seafood.
If you are using a gas or electric grill you can add that smokey flavor to any meat,
by adding a little liquid smoke flavoring to your sauce
or brush it directly on the meat while cooking.
If your cooking with charcoal then this step in not necessary.
You should not brush on tomato based barbecue sauces on the meat
until just before it is ready to come off the grill.
The high sugar content of these sauces along with the tomato base tends to scorch
if exposed long to heat causing a crunchy black outside
and giving a poor appearance and flavor.
Some meats with a higher grease content such as hamburger will start flaming up,
it produces a flame broiled flavor which I like.
The trick here is to let the grease burn off but turn them
constantly so not burn the meat.
Make sure you have the proper barbecue tools to aid in your cooking adventures.
Being prepared is always a good thing.

Have fun and we'll see you next month

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