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The Greatest Gifts are Friends, Family and Customers!

One year ago my wife and I took the leap off the entrepreneurial cliff again. We had prepared for months and I had the full support of my employer at the time and the support of a great group of friends. Now a year later the support network is even stronger with a whole bunch of new friends like suppliers, new grill industry friends, press, and especially customers. Last week I reached out to this grate group of friends for ideas and advice for holiday grilling and I was delighted by so many grate ideas:

  • French Toast- we’re trying that this weekend
  • Apples- partially cored, filled and grilled- ditto
  • Pork loin holiday style- designed for several days of nibbling
  • Even a large bologna roll that was grilled first then cut into thick slices, then add pockets and stuff with cheese and back on the grill! Rocky sent pictures of this grate creation using GrillGrates on a Big Green Egg.
  • Mike Jediny from NJ even mailed us his favorite spice so we can grill his kickin chicken recipe.

Speaking of Mike, he was the fellow who was steam cleaning his GrillGrates and planted the seed for me as we were testing the hard anodized GrillGrates. I just sent Mike a GrateBrush as an early Christmas present. Thanks again Mike and congratulations on bagging two bucks last weekend. Mike also sent in some interesting venison recipes.

Now for a quick Thanksgiving wrap-up. My wife (not I) has oven roasted our Thanksgiving turkey for the past 25 years- stuffed with my favorite sausage stuffing. So when I mouthed off about Alton Brown saying not to stuff the bird I got an earful and a subtle challenge to go ahead and grill it then. So for the first time ‘we’ grilled our Thanksgiving Turkey.

The bird was super juicy although I dare not rank it above birds of years past… It took just under 3 hours to grill. I had a drip pan under the bird and a separate pan next to it with water (I switched to beer since it was handy) to keep moisture in the grill. I think soaking in brine overnight was the real key.

I will admit to only going 1/2 way by doing it on my gas Charbroil and not the charcoal Weber. The Charbroil held its temperature and I had three of the four burners on as low as possible. Did it taste better off the gas grill? Tough call there. I think I know the answer- use the Weber next time- and I will. Weber put out an interesting survey about grilling Thanksgiving Turkey. Seems 10% of us headed outdoors to grill our birds. That jives with me being a “late” early adopter…

We sure freed up oven and kitchen space. I don’t think we’ll be roasting too many more Turkeys or chickens for that matter in the oven. I grilled a breakfast pizza early Thanksgiving morning and started the day off well. I also upgraded my carving skills which was overdue. I watched a The NY Times video with a butcher showing a different take on carving the turkey. At least I knew better than to carve at the table! Removing the entire breast and de-boning the dark meat made it a lot easier and the presentation was better too.

Only our middle child was able to get home this year for Thanksgiving. She’s not used to being the center of attention- helping in the kitchen, at the grill, at the store. We enjoyed having her all to ourselves, but I think she missed having her siblings around which is a good thing. Friends, family and happy customers. Life is good.


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