Backyard Barbecue

It’s a gorgeous day – I’m thinking of ribs, corn on the cob and lick worthy barbecue sauce.

When we were planning our home with Royal Homes, we were just chatting about our favourite places for ribs, when barbecue sauce recipes came up – which led pretty naturally into backyard access. The design team was amazing. They gave me a whole range of great ideas… So I thought I’d share a few with you.

I can wrap it up in one word: plan. Because we planned, we now have a bank of living room windows facing a gorgeous back yard – the landscaping is picture perfect and the yard our haven. it’s like going to the cottage and not having to pack. The kitchen and living room walk out to the back porch – so it’s perfect for guests, family and the cook. Moving in and out is easy!

The cook really doesn’t have to be locked inside – because our backyard is perfect for cooking. We thought ahead and made sure we hooked our barbecue to the gas line. I am in love with that feature. I can’t tell you how often, in my past life, we ran out of gas in the middle of the perfect steak.

We can also access our garage easily. That makes moving stuff into the backyard an out of the backyard a snap.

Pay special attention to the doors leading into the back yard. Living in Southern Ontario, I look at California designed patio doors closely. My doors won’t be left wide open for any length of time – even in the summer, especially a wet summer. Mosquitoes are a reality. But there are awesome doors that will invite you into the back yard over and over again. Then, when the freezing snow guilds all my shrubs and trees with its icy web – I can look at it from the warmth of my well insulated windows. In January, when the west winds pile 5 feet of snow on my deck – I am free from any worries of cold or water from a thaw.

If you’re in the area, stop and look at the Citadel at the Wingham design centre – this is home built for the outdoors.

And, as a summer bonus to my blog followers, my favourite barbecue sauce. It starts with a bottle of my favourite beer (what could be better?). Then, we will be creative! Here’s the basics. Every barbecue sauce needs ketchup, onion, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. After that – you mess around with it. Here’s how I do it. Saute finely chopped onion in a bit of olive oil – use about a half of an onion. Add some garlic. Cook until soft. Then add about 2 cups of ketchup and a couple of tablespoons of mustard. You choose the type of mustard. If you use dry mustard, drop that down to a teaspoon. Don’t use mustard seeds – but you could use mustard with mustard seeds. Add a palm of brown sugar (or molasses or maple syrup or honey – something sweet, but use a spoon. Try raspberry jam for a flavour twist) a bit of salt and pepper and finish it off with a cup of beer. Barbecue sauce is not a perfect science… play with it. Try using an apple cider for pork and an amber beer for chicken. Use a deep dark, malt beer for beef. Frankly, I usually just open the fridge and use what I have.

And enjoy that back yard.


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