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Apr. 2012: Easter Grilling

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April 2012
Happy Spring! I remember going to the store during Easter when I was a kid and they had a deep display table teeming with chicks that someone had dyed in a variety of pleasing pastel colours. All of us kids plunged our forearms into this cute, colourful table of salmonella (this was only a ‘few’ decades ago but it might as well have been the dark ages for all the concern about contagion or animal cruelty that was displayed). Not sure what happened to the chicks that weren’t loved to death by five year olds. Maybe there’s a retirement home for pastel chickens somewhere. A place where even whispering the word “Easter” dredges up painful spring memories and causes mass, avian panic attacks. “Easy does it Mr. Chicken. Be a dear and take two valium today with your tea.” Or...maybe we just ate coloured chickens shortly after Easter and never thought anything of it.  
In this Easter Grilling version of The Hot Line, we’re going to talk about the best in Spring grilling. The first thing we need to talk about is our annual spring/summer hours. Between now and Labour day we’re open 10-6 every day except we are open 10-8 on Thursdays. In Alberta this includes all holidays such as Good Friday and Easter Sunday. In Ontario we are told by “the man” that we have to be closed on holidays.  
And with spring, like the swallows of Capistrano, our famous “Deal of the Week” comes home again. Every week our four stores put an essential grilling tool on sale for a ridiculously low price. Then we watch in amazement as deal-hungry consumers snap up the bargains en masse. See our much-loved Facebook site to see what’s on sale every week.

Barbecue TipsterI’m sure you’ve been using your barbecue all winter (right?) but, if you’re like most of us, you’ve been sprinting back into the house after a quick check on the grill outside. Cleaning your grill has been secondary to preventing frostbite. We understand. But now, spring is here and it’s time to clean your barbecue. Check out this article on our website for a primer on how to get your barbecue tidied up for the grilling season. A lot of us have stainless steel barbecues these days. They’re durable and nice to look at but they can get scummy-looking if you ignore them for awhile. Luckily, we have a solution for barbecue scum: Lou’s 222. In our business, one goes through a lot of stainless steel cleaner and this made-in-Calgary product is the best one we’ve tried yet.  
Before Lou’s
After Lou’s

Gotta Have It
Our Calgary stores have swanky, new branding irons. Handmade in Calgary by a nice man named Art. Lots of letters to choose from. In addition you can custom order any letter or brand that you’d like. So if, for example, you wanted to get your dad’s initials on a custom-made branding iron for father’s day; you could do that. Better hustle in here though – these things take a bit of time to make.

Meet the Experts
Meet Clifford. He’s our new red chair at our Calgary north store. He weighs about 900 pounds and can hold at least fifteen of us with no problem (and a few of us are packing a little ‘winter-weight’ if you catch my drift). He’s made out of recycled plastics by the good folks at CRP. He has whole herd of little brothers and sisters, that are just as tough as he is, in a wide variety of colours. A few years ago, during the worst days of the labour shortage in Calgary, we hired a young man to help us in our parts section. Let’s call him “Trevor”. Seemed like a nice enough guy and claimed to have an aptitude for mechanical things and working with his hands. Trevor bolstered his claims of aptitude by spending his first morning on the job manufacturing a hash pipe out of the brass fittings we normally use to hook up barbecues. It was impressive. We didn’t test it or anything but I have every confidence that it would work just fine for its intended task. Unfortunately for both Trevor and our store, that was the one and only glimmer of ambition he displayed. He wasn’t with us long. And I think he stole the hash pipe. Think you’d be better than Trevor? As it turns out, we’re currently looking for seasonal help in both Calgary stores. See here for details. Bong builders need not apply.

Recipe of the MonthThe Best Carrots You’ll Ever Have – Honest. The cliché thing to do for Easter would be to talk about grilling cute little spring animals. Things like lambs and rabbits and ducklings. But, we’re above that. So, this month, we’re sharing our favourite recipe for grilled carrots. Last year, Radha in our accounting department made these carrots for lunch one day. Honestly, they’re the tastiest carrots we’ve ever had here at The Hot Line. The recipe is from Weber’s cookbook ‘Weber’s Way to Grill’ by Jamie Purviance. The book, of course, is available for purchase in our stores. We didn’t have any Eyetalian parsley so we used arugula. ORANGE GLAZED CARROTS
  • 2¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 12 medium carrots, each 6 to 8 inches long and about
  • 1 inch wide at the stem, peeled and trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (we used arugula)
Assemble your ingredients. We used carrots from Beck Farms in Innisfail. They make other carrots taste like bland, wooden pretenders that don’t deserve to live in carrot-land.
Peel your carrots.
Combine ¼ teaspoon of the salt, butter, the honey (we used locally produced Scandia honey which, of course, is available for sale in our Calgary stores), the orange zest and the balsamic vinegar. The honey and the butter should be melted before you add the zest but we forgot to do that (didn’t seem to matter).
Boil carrots in salted water (using two of your teaspoons in the ingredients) for about six minutes – enough so that they’re tender but still have a crisp bite to them.
Remove carrots from boiling water and put them into an icy bath to halt the cooking process.
Remove carrots from ice water, dry them off a bit and then pour the liquid mixture over top of them and make sure the carrots are all coated evenly. (You’re going to need the remaining liquid later so don’t throw it out after this step.)
Grill the carrots for about 2-3 minutes per side using direct medium heat.
Take the carrots off the barbecue and, once again, evenly coat them with the liquid.
Sprinkle with some green stuff and voila – the best carrots ever.

Ask Dr. McGrillemupQuestion: Hi Doc, I’ve been shopping around for barbecues and have noticed that natural gas versions of the same barbecue are always about $50 more expensive. What gives? Thanks, Rogert Answer: Dear Rogert, Short version: natural gas barbecues cost more to build. Long version: a propane barbecue includes a short (2’) hose/regulator combo, a natural gas barbecue includes a long (10’) hose and a brass quick disconnect for connecting to your home’s gas line. This longer hose and set of brass fittings is an expensive set of gear and their inclusion makes the price go up. Much like the inclusion of the “t” in your name makes my eyebrows go up. Thanks, Doctor McGrillemup

The World of Barbecue
Keith turned some rusty metal and a day out with some poorly dressed friends into a flame-filled night of romance with his best girl. He was one of the lucky winners of our worst fireplace contest and is now enjoying a brand new Urban Fire patio firepit. If you weren’t one of the winners – don’t despair – our ninth annual worst barbecue contest is now up and running. See our website for details.  
Here’s a sign we saw on a barbecue displayed at one of the big-box stores last week. I’ll translate into retailer-speak for you: “We don’t know anything about this barbecue or how it works AND we fully expect something to go wrong with it shortly. When that happens, we don’t want you bothering us.”
Here are a few of the legendary lunches we’ve had around our stores this past month:
In Calgary, Eddy grilled Vietnamese chicken skewers. We’re still not sure what’s up with the suede hat...
Thomas in Ontario grilled some jalapeno poppers for lunch. Scrumptious. If you’ve never grilled some of these you’re missing out.
Becky in our Burlington store grilled a tray of vegetables, some spuds and tasty farmer’s sausage.
Danika grilled up some beautiful steaks. It was a first for her. A few even got branded with the new branding iron.
Don did up a classic: Smokies.
Send us a picture of you using your barbecue and we’ll send you a gift certificate for $25 that you can use in any of the stores in our massive, world dominating retail chain. That’s like….free money.

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 roasting prize pack:Dan McWilliam (Calgary South) Doug Waddell (Calgary North) Edgar Pynn (Burlington) Laurie McVittie (Oakville)

Next Month's Issue
Next month we’re using the barbecue to cook breakfast. Daring. Bold. Innovative!

Contact Us
We're in the service business and we genuinely want to hear your experiences so we can continue to improve. If you've got a problem or concern please contact us at query@barbecuesgalore.ca. If you've had a positive experience and want to tell others about it please tell others using this Google page (this stuff is important to us Canadian retailers in the digital age as we battle the big, bad, box stores).Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca

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