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Dec. 2010: 5th Christmas Newsletter

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December 2010


Welcome to our December issue of The Hot Line. Believe it or not, this is our fifth December issue. Time flies. As usual, the Christmas issue is jam packed with insightful, creative, elegantly written content including, as in past years, a coupon for a free gift from our stores. So, keep reading and Merry Christmas.  

At this time of year our stores are relatively quiet but our fireplace installers are running around like mad trying to get fireplaces (both gas and wood) installed before Christmas so that Santa can come down the chimney. And so it's time for a reminder: 1.) Winter is cold, 2.) Heating a small part of the house that you use most frequently (zone heating) is more economical and more comfortable than central heating, 3.) A fireplace performs this job with incredible efficiency and a sense of style so...buy a fireplace. We happen to sell the best fireplaces in Canada so, assuming you like to surround yourself with items of quality, you should probably buy one from us. Thanks.  
A reminder, we have beautiful gift baskets available in our stores for those folks on your Christmas list who love to cook. They're professionally wrapped, they're well priced and they're available without any lineups or parking hassles. So, swing by soon and buy a few hundred of them.  
And lastly, I'd like to mention our Facebook page. We're getting a little bit lonely over there despite the fact that the page is highly entertaining, always evolving and 100% free of charge. Oh sure, we've got some friends. But, I checked Dean Martin's Facebook page and he's got over 1,000 times more friends than we do and he hasn't had an album out since forever. So, I'm begging you - join up as a friend or a fan or a groupie or whatever the hell it's called. You don't have to read anything on there if you don't want to but show us some love for Pete's sake.

Worst Firepit in Canada Contest winner  
And now, it's time to announce the winner of our first annual "Canada's Worst Firepit Contest." Entries were slow at first but, by the end, we had loads of fantastic entries. As usual it was hard to pick a winner. It was particularly hard because the prize for this contest is so impressive. The Urban Fire 2 gas fireplace from Urban Fire, (retail value $1399.99) is a stunning piece of backyard hardware. A finely wrought steel frame is perched on low, contemporary legs and houses an impressive bowl of cut glass. Within the glass, a powerful burner produces a warm, invigorating flame that is sure to keep you out in the backyard for much longer than you had originally intended. And the winner is... ...Jeff Lareau from Oakville, Ontario. Jeff and his hoser buddy nailed their entry with the inclusion of animal heads, open beer, a firepit made out of a washing machine cylinder and the exclusion of shirts. Well done fellas.  

Barbecue Tipster Tip #1 My grandma used to love eating the turkey neck at Christmas. She'd stake a claim to it early on Christmas day. "I'll be having the neck", she'd say. Ok, grandma, whatever. You go ahead and have the neck - we'll eat the real food. (Grew up in the depression my grandma, her favourite trick as a hostess was serving horsemeat and not telling anyone until after dinner. Lots of laughs). Anyway, this year, when you're up to your elbow in raw turkey and you're thinking to yourself: "Why do they take the guts out of the turkey, clean it all up and then re-insert some - but not all - of the innards back into the turkey in a plastic bag?", I want you to take a few minutes and think about those amongst us that are less fortunate. That's right, I'm talking about your dog. So, if you're the kind of person that removes the little bag of giblets (LOVE that word!) from the raw turkey, makes a little 'yuck' sound and then throws the bag in the garbage, stop for a minute, throw the innards on the barbecue grill, cook for three minutes per side and then serve to your loyal canine companion. Trust me on this, you can keep your "Hand Rolled Organic Kamut and Tofu Dog Treats"; what your dog really wants for Christmas is some grilled turkey kidneys.  
  Tip #2 Here's the tip: cook outside. No need to cook the turkey inside. You've got a superior turkey cooking machine just outside the back door. Last year the door fell off of our oven at The Hot Line test kitchen, we already had the barbecue full of non-turkey goodies and we ended up cooking the turkey in the pizza oven. Best turkey ever. So yeah, cook outside.  
Last year we opted for the turkey breasts only. A bit pricier than buying the whole turkey but we were able to squeeze in some extra drinking time by eliminating a lot of that fussy carving of the entire bird.
No door = big yuletide problem.
Pizza oven to the rescue!
Beautifully roasted turkey breasts.

Gotta Have It For the last few years we've included a coupon in our December Hot Line which entitles you, our intelligent and loyal reader, to a free gift when you print out the coupon and present it in our stores. As a lot of you know from previous years, this isn't a "50% off coupon" or a "Buy $100 worth of something you want and then get $5 worth of something you don't want coupon" or, one of those lame "BOGO" coupons. Nope, this is just a "come in and get something free coupon". This year, in a bald faced attempt to get more of you grilling outside in the winter, we're giving away a high powered five hundred watt work light. Here's how it works:
Before... After...
  Now there's no excuse for you not to get outside and grill every meal between now and April. These halogen lights are high quality fixtures with fully adjustable heads, folding legs and telescoping stands. Take a look in a hardware store, these lights are usually about $39.99. In fact, we've got a whole lineup of these lights and their replacement bulbs for cheap, cheap prices. So, if you've got an outdoor skating rink to light up - you should come and see us first. You only get one light for free though. We only have a limited amount of free lights and we're giving them away on a first come, first served basis. So hurry up.

Meet the Experts Meet Gilles. That's him on the left (the guy on the right is Herbert - we've talked about him before). Gilles is one of our master gasfitters in Calgary. It is with total confidence that I tell you we have the best fireplace installers in the city of Calgary and Gilles does a great job installing fireplaces for us all year long. He is also a complete professional when it comes to running gas lines in backyards for barbecues, patio heaters and so on. In fact, we like him so much we put his name on the side of the truck (you can just make it out below the driver's window). Gilles comes from Hanmer near Sudbury, Ontario. Because of this unfortunate geography he is a Leafs fan. We have been trying to talk him out of this inclination for the sake of his newborn son Lucas and his lovely wife Lauren. To date, we have been unsuccessful but are considering an intervention. Gilles' barbecue is a Broil King Sovereign 70. His favourite item to grill on the barbecue is, wait for it...."steaks". Gilles just bought a new house in Calgary and bought a Valor Horizon fireplace. Installed it himself.  
While Gilles and Herbert are running around on rooftops in minus thirty weather installing fireplaces for our customers...
...our retail staff are staying toasty warm inside by the fire. At this time of year, we're not too busy so, if you want to avoid the traffic nightmares at the mall, come and see us.

Recipe of the Month  
Last month we partnered up with The Calgary Men's Expo and sponsored a Winter Grilling Competition. Kevin was this year's winner. He grilled tasty babyback pork ribs on a gas grill and won himself a swanky new Napoleon barbecue. We were going to print his recipe here but it's...long. So, send us an email if you'd like the recipe and we'll email it to you.

Ask Dr. McGrillemup  
Question: Dear. Dr. M, In your last newsletter you had a link to a video of a couple cooking a squirrel. That's disgusting. How could you mention such a thing? Signed, Ms. H. Peucrittes Answer: Dear Ms. H, Yes mam, we do a lot of that around here; talk about eating other critters. Did you watch the video and listen to the discussion about how squirrels are a 'green' protein alternative? There are similar articles to read here and here and here. Not sure what the difference is between eating a squirrel and a cow? Smaller, sure. Cuter, probably. Harder to catch, certainly, (god they're fast!). But, ethically? I'm not seeing the difference. As long as no meat is wasted, we're ok with grilling squirrels. Signed, Doctor M.  

The World of Barbecue Some of the lunches we've had at Bbq-Hq this past month:
Amanda, knowing our predilection for all things bacon, wrapped chicken pieces in bacon and grilled them. It was good. But then, you probably guessed that.
Stephane, who is from Quebec not Phuket, graciously grilled some Thai meatballs.
Ross grilled flank steak for tacos. Fresh tortillas from Los Tortillas Tortilleria - go there, eat some.
Seems like we keep stumbling into odd knitting projects that relate to our newsletter theme. This time it's crocheted barbecue items (naturally). Pattern is available here...
...and here.
Kyle sent us this picture of him grilling and bringing his apron to life.
Be like Kyle, send us a picture and/or story of you (or a friend of yours, or a lover of yours) grilling and we'll send you a $25 gift certificate usable throughout our massive chain of four stores.

This Month's Winners  
Every single month, we randomly draw four winning names (one per store) from our newsletter mailing list. We only post the winning names below so you've got to keep your eyes peeled each month. If you win, you can claim your prize by stopping by the Barbecues Galore in your area with your photo identification. Congratulations to this month's winners of a turkey grilling prize pack: Geoff Koch (Calgary South) Bob Giles (Calgary North) Jason Zabransky (Burlington) Norma Smith (Oakville)  

Next Month's Issue Our plan was to talk about variety meats this month but Christmas content snuck up on us (again). Stay tuned for next month, we're hoping to slip you some tongue.

Contact Us We want to hear from you! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at: query@barbecuesgalore.ca Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca

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