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Char-Broil Gratitude Post & the birth of a smoker.

Char-Broil Gratitude Post & the birth of a smoker.

I have been wondering how to start this post for a while now. It came to me quite clearly  a few days ago to just simply share the story I have been telling so many in the journey to build this smoker. Because how else do you let the world know of a company with customer service so outstanding that you want everyone to own their products? Of a company that stepped up way way above and beyond. A company I had the pleasure of working with last spring when they rolled out their Life Is Better Bbqed campaign.

Of course I am talking about Char-Broil.

My replacement Char-Broil BBQ on Nutmeg Disrupted

In the spring of 2015 I did a 3 post project for Char-Broil. They had a Spring campaign going on with Lowes and I was honored to be a part of it. As you know we love BBQ on Nutmeg Disrupted and to work with such an amazing team was a dream come true. I received a gorgeous Char-Broil BBQ from Lowes to review and grill with for the campaign. The BBQ was mine to keep.

Flash forward a few weeks after the campaign wrapped up standing in line at Starbucks…

My phone buzzed, it was a text from my son. A huge storm was rolling into town and a tree was down in the backyard. As I was standing there I was struck with a bit of panic. Tree down. Which tree. No way it could be the 1000+ pound tree beside the deck. Then he sent a photo from the inside of the house through the patio door. All you could see was leaves.

Indeed it was said tree.

I paid for my coffee then quickly made the 70 minute trip home.

A huge maple tree down from a summer storm.

Massive tree down during a summer storm on Nutmeg Disrupted

A bbq crushed by a massive tree on Nutmeg Disrupted

That was what I found when I arrived home.

I was devastated. Yes that is a bold statement to make about a BBQ, but in that moment I was completely devastated. It took a couple of days to get the tree bucked up and retrieve the crushed grill. Almost every inch of it was damaged.

The evening the tree fell I had Tweeted about the storm and the sad fate of my BBQ. I was thankful no one was hurt, had anyone been grilling out back I can’t even imagine how that would have ended. The smoker that was on the deck took a hit and was damaged but the full weight of the tree was on the BBQ.

What happened next was something so unexpected and wonderful.

Within 24 hours of my BBQ misfortune I had been contacted by the marketing company that represented Char-Broil during the Lowes campaign.

Char-Broil had heard about what happened and they wanted to make it right and send me a new BBQ to replace the one that was crushed. Talk about a company standing behind their product! Because I had done some work for them they were willing to replace their product, not because they had to, simply because they wanted to. Now that is a brand I want to stand behind and do business with.

I may have cried a little when I received that news. BBQ is a passion and to have not only my smoker but my BBQ also taken out in a brief moment was a huge loss.

Char-Broil customer service on Nutmeg Disrupted

After the tree was cleared away we took apart the BBQ to salvage any of the good parts. It felt like a such a waste tossing out such a new piece of equipment and the goal now was to repurpose what we could. Immediately it was decided that we would build a smoker. The only pieces not damaged were the handles off the doors, the temperature gage, the logo and the heating element area of the grill, though bent it was still functioning. With the salvaged bits stored away we set off with a plan of building a smoker. We had an idea of what we wanted for the body of the smoker and scoured the ads for upcoming auction sales. Everything we looked at was just not quite what we had envisioned until one day while in Canadian Tire after a year long search we found the perfect body for our new smoker.

Shopping for a new smoker body on Nutmeg Disrupted

The vision has always been to build a large smoker. Something substantial so that we had the area to do a large cook. Having catered weddings and hosted pig roasts we have had the opportunity to use some very large BBQs and we wanted our smoker to not only be impressive but have the power to do the job.

Adding the Char-Broil details to the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

From there everything started to fall into place. In conversation with Brian our butcher we mentioned that we were building a smoker and he gave us a great idea as to what we could use for the racking inside the unit. The heating element was a close fit and with a bit of work the smoker started to coming together.

Fitting the heating element into the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

We did a few small trial runs to work out the kinks and cooked for an event mid summer.

The first offical cook with the new smoker on Nutmeg Disrupted

The smoker has been getting a lot of attention, it is a gorgeous piece of equipment and with every inquiry I share my Char-Broil story.

In closing I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Char-Broil. Not only have you made this girls BBQ dreams continue, you make a product that I love and your customer service is unmatched. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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Mother’s Day Grill

Mother’s Day Grill

Mother’s Day has always been about the food and the most amazing meals. As the years have gone by my dishes have gotten more and more elevated. Now Mother’s Day is one of the most anticipated days on my food calendar!

This year is no exception.

Perhaps Mother’s Day is so great for food because there isn’t the pressure of traditional holiday menus. So on Mother’s Day you can experiment with dishes. Maybe you’ll even start some new traditions.

My Mother’s Day menu changes every year but one thing remains the same. Amazing dishes full of flavour!

This year I went with a varied menu of beef, vegetables, salad and seafood. I found some succulent crab legs that I couldn’t pass up. They were the perfect addition to the menu. And of course, no Mother’s Day meal would be complete without a incredible dessert.

The Menu

I started with marinating thin strips of beef in a combination of soya sauce, maple syrup, crushed garlic, brown sugar and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  I let those sit for an hour. To weave them on the skewers I just folded the meat back and fourth into neat little stacks. I stuck the skewers through the center of each stack and pulled the beef from the top up the length of the skewer. If you  can get the rouladen cuts of beef these work perfectly and saves the work of thinly slicing the beef. If you can not find the rouladen cut chose a nice steak.  Pop the steak into the freezer for 30 minutes before cutting. This makes for an easier job of achieving nice thin strips.

After you are done with the beef put the shrimp on to skewers. Run the skewer through the tail section then the head section for a nice snug fit.

In a small sauce pan place a few cloves of crushed garlic, a squeeze of lemon and 1/2 to 3/4 cup butter. Heat this on the side burner while you are grilling. You can use this to not only baste the shrimp as they are grilling but to dunk the finished crab into.

Set your BBQ to medium heat. Start with the crab legs. I cooked them from frozen. Just set them on the grill and give them a flip every once in a while.

Nutmeg Disrupted grilling crab legs with Char Broil for Mothers Day

 

After about 10 minutes you can add the beef and shrimp skewers. I added a few baby sweet peppers and lemon wedges that were drizzled with a touch of oil to the grill.

Nutmeg Disrupted grilling seafood with Chasr Broil for Mothers Day

 

Grill everything for another 10 minutes, basting the shrimp with the lemon butter.

Place the butter on a hot mat on the table. Remove everything to a large platter to be served family style with fresh salads and crusty bread.

Grilled maple beef skewers with fresh salad for Mothers Day on NUtmeg Disrupted

 

Sweet Dreams

We have the perfect dish to finish off any Mother’s Day feast.

Grilled pineapple topped with Nutella, freshly whipped cream and strawberries. Topped off with a few nuts to add a bit of crunch to this light dessert.

To prep the pineapple cut the top and bottom off. Stand the pineapple up and from top to bottom cut off the skin. Now you can cut it into nice thick slices. Place on the grill cooking until it has nice sear marks and has become tender. Remove to a platter.

Grilled pineapple with nutella & cream on Nutmeg Disrupted

While still warm add generous dollops of Nutella to the slices. Top with whipped cream, slivered almonds and fresh strawberries.

 

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Crab Apple Jelly

Crab Apple Jelly

Crab apples have been part of my existence since I was little. One of my earliest crab apple memories were of my Gido taking us apple picking. Though we never really got to do any picking as the trees were so tall that ladders where needed.

Then there where the trees in my grandmothers backyard. And though as I kid I wasn’t a huge fan of crab apples I was truly amazed at how fantastic her crab apple jelly was. It was the most wonderful pink color and not at all tart like the apples. After she passed away I remember one afternoon my grandfather giving me his last jar of crab apple jelly. It was the best gift I ever received.

Flash forward a few years. I was at work some someone had asked if I wanted some crab apples. My thoughts immediately went to the jelly that I enjoyed so much in the years before. I was excited at the chance to try and do this!

Crab apples on Nutmeg Disrupted

I went and bought jars, a box of Certo and began my journey into jelly making.

Crab Apple Jelly
 
Author:
Recipe type: Preserving
Cuisine: Condiment
Ingredients
  • To make juice:
  • 4 quarts of crab apples
  • 6 cups of water
  • To make jelly:
  • 7 cups of prepared crab apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 box of Certo pectin crystals
  • 9 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
Instructions
  1. Remove the blossom and stem ends from 4 quarts of crab apples.
  2. Half apples and place in a large pot, do not peel or core.
  3. Cove with water.
  4. Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Crush pulp and cover and simmer 5 minutes longer.
  7. Place the simmered apples into a jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth.
  8. Now place in a colander and set over a large bowl or pot to catch the juice.
  9. For a clearer jelly do not squeeze the juice out, let it drip.
  10. Up to ½ cup of water can be added if you do not get sufficient juice.
  11. In a large sauce pan stir together crab apple juice, lemon juice and pectin crystals.
  12. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  13. Stir in the sugar.
  14. Add 1 tablespoon of butter.
  15. Return to a hard boil for one minute.
  16. Remove from heat.
  17. Ladle jelly into sterilized jars laving a ¼ inch of headspace.
  18. Apply lid and screw bands finger tip tight.
  19. Place the jars into a hot water bath and process 5 minutes.
  20. Remove jars and allow to cool fully.

Crab apple juice for jelly on Nutmeg Disrupted

Making crab apple jelly on Nutmeg Disrupted

Making crab apple jelly in Mutmeg Disrupted

 

 

 

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Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

Honeymoon Suite in Wembley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prism

Prism

Prism in Wembly

Prism in Wembly

Prism 1

Prism in Wembly

Prism in Wembly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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