It’s officially springtime in Montana. The temps are rising (except for when it snows), the aspens are quaking, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. It’s awesome, and you know what it means? It means the grilling season has begun!
Grilling season is great. It’s great not just because it means spring and summer are upon us, it’s really great because I do less cooking, and my sweet husband does more! I do know how to use the grill; I’m perfectly skilled at getting things done on it, but truly it’s my husband’s turf and I can’t tread on that, you know what I mean?
Now don’t let me fool you, we grill all year long, even when it’s pretty frigid out, but it’s not a necessity. Grilling is a necessity as the weather gets warmer in Montana. You see here, we don’t have air conditioning. We are fortunate enough to cool off quite a bit at night (there can be a 40 degree difference between day and night), so there is less of a need for the ac systems. That being said, keeping the house cool during the day so that you aren’t roasting like a grilled potato by 4 or 5 pm is an art. You have to know just the right time to open the windows, and just the right time to close them and pull the shades. My husband and I frequently argue about what the right times are, but I’m pretty sure I’m right on this one. Anyway, cooking in the oven or on the stove is really something you want to avoid because it heats up the house. And that is a no, no. So we grill and we grill a lot!
When I think of grilling, and I think of summertime, I think of bbq, hot dogs, hamburgers, coleslaw, salads, homegrown tomatoes, and other homegrown veggies. I’m from the south, can you tell? So what’s a girl to do, when all the sudden she can’t use her favorite bottled bbq sauce (dinosaur habanero bbq sauce which is in New York of all places) to accompany all this goodness because it contains sugar. I’ll tell you what she’s to do. She’s to go out and find a sauce she can make, and get busy making it. Because what is a summer and a season of grilling without a good sauce?
Well that’s what I did, and am still doing. I’m currently playing around with making my own sauces but my favorite one thus far and the inspiration for most of my attempted creations has been Bullfrog Farm’s Barbeque Sauce (click on the bold for the recipe). It’s a little different from a traditional sauce, but it has a lot of flavor. I actually haven’t basted anything with it during the cooking process, I just serve it on the side, more as a dipping sauce. The author calls for whole cloves and allspice berries. I don’t use either. I use a drop of clove essential oil, and substitute nutmeg and cinnamon. I also don’t use the fennel because it is one of the few taste on the planet I cannot stand!
This bullfrog sauce is simple, it’s easy and it has great flavor. More importantly, it is kid and husband approved. I usually make a double batch and freeze some back to have at a later time. Anyways, I wanted to share this gem with you, so if you are trying to commit to an unprocessed lifestyle, you too have a nice little sauce on hand, because I imagine it’s springtime and grilling season where you are too.
Well, happy grilling season from me to you. I’d also love to hear from you if you have a favorite homemade sauce you can recommend. Thanks for reading and as always, may our kitchens (and medicine cabinets) become a little less processed one day at a time!