Cooking with Wild Game

Outdoor grilling in winter

The frozen grill
Winter grilling

It was my youngest son’s birthday on February 6th and one of our family’s birthday traditions is to choose the evening meal on your birthday. Most kids choose things like, pizza, tacos or lasagna. Not George, he loves steak on the grill. When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner he replied, “juicy, super tender, grilled steak.” This would seem normal for an adult except George was turning ten and it has been hovering around 0 degrees for the last 3 months! Ten year olds are lacking in reasoning in more ways than I can imagine.

I love to grill but not at below freezing temps. Now daddy wanting to be the hero, jumped in and said, “steak sounds great George,” and I’m thinking have you looked out the window?? Who is going to stand outside and watch the steaks cook at a snail’s pace in 7 degree temps? With record snow fall this year the grill was covered with three feet of snow! Have you lost your mind? I don’t even like to open the  back door, let alone stand out there on the deck. All I said was, “have fun, and I’ll make the potatoes.” I think the grill is out of propane too… and did I mention its dark out there? After passing each other a couple of stink-eye glances the potatoes were baking and the grill was lit.

I must admit, this winter has been awful! When it’s too cold to be outside for more than 5 minutes even bundled up like the abominable snowman I can get a little cantankerous. This winter we have had stretches of blasting ugly cold lasting for weeks. I have attempted to run and ski outside, only to gain puffy red cheeks that have lasted for days. So, I was shocked when I took that first bite of steak with that lovely smoky flavor, I forgot all about winter and I was instantly transported to summer. My negative winter disposition cracked and in flooded summer with all its glory. I thought of crickets chirping, a gentle breeze blowing across the dining room table, and the smell of sun screen mixed with sweaty boys. Summer is just around the corner I thought. I can smell it and taste it! I wonder how my husband feels about grilling tonight? I’m in the mood for some juicy, super tender, grilled burgers. It’s only going to be -10 tonight and -20 wind chills. Now that the grill is all shoveled out and the propane tank is full, I’m ready to grill -rain, shine or frozen!

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