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August 2005 Issue
Ruminating about Summer and BBQs
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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Recently we’ve experienced some of the best summer weather I can remember in a long time. We’ve had temperatures consistently in the upper 20’s and low 30’s. Sunshiney, beautiful, glorious days!!!

Of course, days like that lend themselves well to backyard BBQs and gathering friends and family to celebrate. Celebrate a birthday. Celebrate friendships. Celebrate a beautiful day. Whatever you choose to celebrate, the backyard grill is the best place to centre your festivities. We do it regularly. A member of the group decides to open up their backyard and fire up the grill. A menu is loosely planned, phone calls are made, or emails sent and assignments given. Then we arrive, claim a lawn chair or a spot on the grass and watch the good times unfold.

Usually whoever hosts our bashes provides the burgers, sausages or other grilling choices. The rest of the crowd will provide portable appetizers, salads and desserts. There’s even someone responsible for buns, one for condiments and another for disposable plates cups and other necessities. We get a wide assortment, and there’s always a new dish we haven’t tried before and there are the old standbys that you just couldn’t have a BBQ without. Most importantly, we make it easy and fun because the bottom line is to have fun with it, to relax and enjoy the day.

Here are some recipe suggestions to try at your next backyard pot luck:


Cheese & Bean Dip

  • 1 can chick peas, drained
  • ½ cup each of shredded old cheddar, mozzarella and Swiss (or any three of your choice)
  • 4 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • ½ cup seeded, chopped tomato
Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put the remaining ingredients, except for the onions, tomatoes and ½ cup of the cheese mixture, in a food processor and process until smooth. Stir in the chopped green onion. Spread in a 9-inch pie plate and bake 20 minutes. Top with tomato and remaining cheese. Serve with crackers or pita chips.

  • Yields: 6-10 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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