Summer is the season for BBQ’s and getting together with friends and family.  There are folks who brave the elements all year round for food from the grill, but, it is in the summer when we create fond memories.

I’m sure you’ll agree, we celebrate certain holidays and special dates with food.  The recipes we share are often centred around favourite dishes and recipes that everyone enjoys.

These gatherings feed our soul as we share special memories that are remembered in the years to come.

In our family, we have quite a few birthdays in the summer months. The menus are confirmed well in advance, based on the date, we cook each person’s favourites.

At every gathering we eventually sit around the table and reminisce. I’ve noticed it is the little faux pas or cooking gone wrong that we remember the most because they create smiles and laughter.   

If you think about it , food is a great connector.  Regardless of our traditions, meals prepared and enjoyed are a great conversation starter. 

In my family, Dad, is the official cook on the BBQ – it is his domain. He takes great pride in the process of cooking each menu item with the rest of the family sitting around the table sharing stories.

We have a certain recipe that has created quite a few smiles over the years and it is centered around a recipe my Mother found right out of a calendar she had on the wall in the kitchen many years ago. BBQ’d Asparagus!   Not my brothers favourite, so it would not be served on his birthday, but, the rest of us find it yummy.  The distinct char lines on each individual green sprig is eventually sprinkled with cheese and is a great side dish to our main course.

As you are probably able to imagine, putting asparagus directly on the grill at times may be challenging – especially if it is overcooked. They often end up in the coals or under the grill when Dad forgets how quickly they cook.

I will never forget the look on my Dad’s face when he first tried the recipe “the old fashioned way.” No foil or pan, we each ended up with only a sprig or two with the rest finding their way out of site. There was a look of both surprise and horror on his face when he realized he had underestimated the cooking time. 

Some of us immediately burst into laughter while others looked away from the table and tried to stifle the smile – not sure if we should comment on the minor disaster. But, as with most families, it takes just one look from the chef in recognition of the error for the ripples of laughter to begin.  Mom of course was in the kitchen and when she joined us in the backyard she had that “I told you so” look on her face and soon she too joined us with her special laugh.

If you’d like to give it a try at your next family gathering, here is the recipe: 

BBQ’d Asparagus:

Marinate asparagus in your favourite ranch dressing for 2 hours
Drain excess liquid 
Place stocks right on the grill for approx. 2 minutes 
Remove and sprinkle with your families favourite grated cheese

It is finally summer and we are all ready for a few family gatherings in celebration. These are the events that we cherish as our families grow and people age.  It is the laughter shared around the BBQ that contributes to the conversation and becomes part of our memory bank in years to come.

Family recipes definitely create smiles.

Enjoy your next BBQ, as you share a smile or two, I’ll bet you’ll agree it is also good food for the soul!  

Trish Tonaj is a Master Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Certifed in EQ – Emotional Intelligence, Author, Mentor and Speaker. She is the founder and guest blog host for a portal in support of the entrepreneurial spirit and sharing great ideas.  Join us and share your story!