Pssst… I think Spring is here.

I started out trying to write this post in my favourite spot. At my dining room table with my back to the window as the afternoon sun poured in, warm on my back.  I was feeling too fidgety to write. Well maybe not to write but certainly too fidgety to sit there. We’re finally having some warm weather here in The GTA and I thought I’d take advantage of it before the predicted thunderstorms roll in. I decided to go outside.

I think it’s pretty amazing that a week ago, I posted a piece about Mother Nature’s mood swings and now, here I am, sitting on the back deck and there are so many birds chirping it’s noisy! Thanks to the songbird clock I used to keep in my kitchen when my boys were little, I know that the cacophony I’m listening to includes Robins, Cardinals, Canada Geese , at least one woodpecker and, I’m pretty sure a Blue Jay or two. In fact, there’s a rather brave Robin eyeballing me as I sit here typing. I think I must be too close to a particularly wormy patch of garden.

Robin

The sun is warm on my face. There is a gentle breeze at my back and I’m getting the first real good look at my backyard since moving here in December 2012.  There are lots of big old trees. Lots of dog walkers. I like this old neighborhood.  It’s pretty and makes me think of planting basil, and tomatoes and marigolds, firing up the barbeque and enjoy a glass of wine while cooking up something yummy.

Whatever I cook, you can be sure there’s some kind of sauce to go with it.

Gluten free Barbeque sauces can be hard to find as so many sauces rely on malt vinegar. Here’s one of my favourite barbeque sauce recipes. It’s a little sweet, a little tangy, a bit smokey, with a wee kick to it. During barbeque season, this sauce never lasts longer than a week in my fridge.  Don’t worry about serving it to the kiddies, the alcohol gets cooked out.  I’ve used it on chicken, beef, pork…veggies, even fruit. It makes an awesome “Hobo Pack”, mixed with potatoes, veggies meat patties (and peaches when they come into season). Feel free to play with the chipotles to suit your tastes.

Dee’s Bourbon BBQ Sauce

1 large onion, finely chopped (2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, minced (2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups ketchup (12 oz)
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
½ cup bourbon whiskey
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dry mustard
2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt & pepper

Cook onion  in oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until  tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes.

Makes about 5 cups.

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