While all you lucky Southerners get to enjoy Barbeque Season virtually year round, us Northerners have had to wait through 3-5 months of snow, sleet, rain, cold, freezing cold, bitter cold and too darn cold for BBQ Season to officially start.
Well, it’s almost May – National Barbeque Month. So if you notice a huge plume of smoke floating south from way up yonder – don’t worry. It’s just us!
Maybe it’s my advancing years, but I find myself enjoying winter less and less with each passing year. This past year winter seemed particularly long. And for the first time in decades, old man winter didn’t spare the southeastern states of its frosty nastiness.
Up here in Colorado – it was an unusually cold winter. Lot’s of snow. That’s not unusual – but snow usually melts fast here. Not last winter. The snow fell and it stuck around. It stuck around like a bad cold.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I ventured out in sub-freezing temps just to peak inside my Tuff Shed and look at my Pit Barrel Cooker. Or how many photos I took of my Weber Smokey Mountain cooker covered in snow.
To offset these winter doldrums I took to hanging out on various BBQ forums. If for no other reason than to see if anyone else was suffering the same affliction that had befallen me. It’s a little known illness akin to seasonal affective disorder called ABW – Acute BBQ Withdrawl.
Oh, there are plenty of fine BBQ eateries to satiate my BBQ jones. But, it’s the cooking, smoking, grilling, and sharing of the Q with others that I was truly missing.
All that began to subside on April 1st. That’s the unofficial start of spring here in Ski Country USA. It’s when we turn our thoughts to Backyards and Barbeque. And not necessarily in that order.
Since April 1st, I’ve been canvasing the local big box stores waiting for that big sale on Charcoal. I’ve become such a regular on internet selling sites hunting for BBQ bargains, my wife is now calling me Craig. (Should I be worried about that?)
I’ve slowly been straightening out the Tuff Shed. Scouting new locations in the backyard for that big offset cooker I’ve had my eye on. I’ve cleared my spice rack in anticipation of all the new shipments of rubs and sauces that will arriving on my doorstep. I’ve even set a date for the annual spit-shining of all grills and grills lids.
I’ve scanned the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association’s website (rmbbqa.org) checking the competition contest schedule just in case this is the year I take the plunge and go from BBQ connoisseur to BBQ competitor.
I’ve stored up enough wood chucks to make a Beaver jealous. My BBQ sauce is on order. Rubs are on the way. New shakers, industrial size rolls of foil and clear wrap and over 200 pounds of charcoal awaits the first flame.
I’d buy a huge restaurant-style refrigerator for the garage, but then I might need a divorce lawyer. And I’m dreaming about that gigantic Meadow Creek TS250 with the optional BBQ42 attached. Overkill you say? In BBQ? No such thing!
But even if I had all that equipment and supplies – even if I had a frig stocked with ribs, briskets, pork butts and chickens. Even if my backyard looked like a David Klose showroom, it would be all for naught without one thing… BBQ friends.
The BBQ friend is the most valuable of all things. It is only the BBQ friend who understands my strange malaise. Who knows that bigger is always better when it comes to smokers and grills. Who stays up all night thinking about firing up the grill on Memorial Day. Who, protected by only an apron and a pair on tongs, stands ready to take on the task of cooking great BBQ and then sharing all that incredible goodness with the neighbors.
And that is worth the long wait of winter. Here’s to a great Barbeque season for one and all. May yours last forever!