Quick Recipes and Easy

Barbeque, Fire and Ashes!

Down here in the south it’s a given that every red blooded male escapes the womb knowing how to make fantastic barbeque. Give him a match and a bag of charcoal and he can make even the most sensitive of noses quiver with the aroma of a pork shoulder smoking over a pile of briquettes.

Unfortunately, the act of playing with fire often brings out the idiotic side of more than a few backyard chefs! It’s excellent to note that there is a distinction between outdoor cooks; city dwellers and country boys. City folks can’t really be expected to know a lot of things that their country cousins take for granted, such as what to do with your coals and ashes once you’ve finished using them.

It would seem that the removal of the ashes is a no-brainer, but the Fire Marshall in our town tells me otherwise. Some folks just do not like to get their grill wet and messy from dousing the coals with water. Firefighters I talked with had a few expletives to share with me about their latest call to a barbeque genius in our town.

By all indications, this hearty fellow would be classified as a southern gentleman and should have known better. In our part of North Alabama, it has been a dry year. It’s only the middle of April and we are already 12 inches below our normal amount or rainfall. Everything is parchment dry and susceptible to the tiniest spark! This is no place to leave charcoal on the grill and allow it to burn itself out.

We’ll call this fellow Billy Earl, (not his real name). After letting the charcoal burn until all the goals were cold, he shoveled the ashes into an ancient paper grocery bag and threw it into a large outdoor trash can. After the clean up from the party, the can was filled to over flowing with paper plates, napkins and an assortment of other paper material. Billy Earl keeps the trash can in his garage next to his automobiles.

Everyone went to bed that evening with the satisfaction of knowing that another outdoor cookout was a success and plans for the next one were already percolating in their dreams. About 3:00 a.m. the smoke alarm rudely interrupted those dreams. Smoke had engulfed most of the house by this time, but they could see no fire; only an eerie glow from the garage.

Sirens could be heard in the distance. Friends next door had seen the flames in the garage and called the fire department. Soon there was a small crowd of neighbors huddled together across the street from Billy Earl’s house, cringing at small explosions that occurred periodically. Paint thinner and gasoline cans had been stored under his work bench. Not anymore! Fortunately the fire was contained to the garage and the kitchen. All that was lost was the kitchen, a ’78 Camaro and a new SUV.

Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at:

redfishbob.com redfishbob.com

bluemarlinbob.com bluemarlinbob.com

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