Ribs are slathered in secret sauces, special lemonade is poured into old, glass canning jars and watermelon is sliced. What makes men come alive for this open air eat fest? Studies may hint that it is from the forefathers, getting to play with fire and the hunter within each of the male persuasion. Whatever the reason, I sit back, relax while sipping on an adult beverage and allow them to share, show off and shine in their passion.
Do you call it "grilling," "barbecuing" or "cooking out" when lighting up the grill? And, is gas or charcoal better? What are your favorite recipes, and what makes yours better than everyone else? Is it the sauce, the style of cooking or perhaps the cut of meat? Whatever makes your food taste that much better is what I would like to hear about.
Growing up, no outdoor meal was complete without my mother's potato salad. Made with a few sprigs of dandelion greens, I still hanker for it whenever the weather becomes kind, freshly cut grass scents the air and stores display the latest in man aprons.
Below are a few links to festivals devoted to the culinary tradition and related events. If you know of others, please let me know and I will add it to the list. Until then, enjoy outdoor dining!
- Kokomo Ribfest: June 9, Kokomo w: CityofKokomo.org
- BBQ Ribfest: June 14-17, Ft. Wayne w: BBQRibFest.com
- Indy Wine Trail-BBQ: July 14-15, Indianapolis w: IndyWineTrail.com
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her new column, Infused, at FoodandDrinkDigital.com, as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published on BroadwayWorld.com and in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.