A few years ago in the heat of the summer, a hurricane knocked out our neighborhood’s power for a shockingly long eight days. Around the third day, the grill parties started. People called around, inviting friends to empty their fridges and cook on the grill, and many people set up a bevy of grills to not only be more efficient but be able to talk to people while cooking.
I hadn’t thought of those grill parties for years until this weekend, when (no rain or wind involved) our neighborhood held a fabulous block party. The street was blocked on one side by a great band, the other by a fire truck open to kids for exploration, and a third side featured a row of grills. A long series of tables down the middle of the street held the various dishes from our homes: Homemade caramalized onion pizza, beans in a slow-cooker, ears of corn, chickpea salad, greens from backyard gardens, strawberries and pie. There was dancing and eating, kids playing four-square and painting each other from head to toe with face paint, and of course, long talks around the grills.
There is something about the size and casualness of the grill and being outdoors that makes it so perfect for communal cooking. I hope a grill party is in your future this summer, and I’d love to hear stories of grill parties past!