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Welcome to my blog.

Posted by Martha D. Ashcroft
Welcome to my blog.

Since I was a young girl I have taken an interest in cooking. I am the youngest in my family so from the time I was twelve years old I was alone with my parents. I arrived home from school about an hour before my mom and dad came home from work. When I arrived home from school I would set the table for dinner and then do my home work. When mom and dad came home I would talk with my mom and help her make dinner. Soon I was getting dinner started on my own and before long I was preparing most of the evening meals. I love to cook and enjoyed creating meals for the three of us. I was in 4-H and my favorite project was the cooking classes.

As I got older my love of cooking continued. I started collecting cookbooks and would watch cooking shows whenever they were on television. It was an advertisement during one of the cooking shows that I first found out that you can take a cooking vacation. I pointed out the advertisement to my husband one day when we were watching one of my favorite shows. That Christmas he paid for a cooking vacation for me. It was one of the best gifts I ever received.

The first cooking vacation I went on was held in Minneapolis. Minneapolis is the hub for General mills. They have a huge building that houses the test kitchens for their various products. The cooking vacation involved spending four days making recipes that would be placed in a cookbook. People from all over the United States participated. We were given a recipe and the ingredients. We were to make the recipe and then fill out a survey regarding ease of preparation, clarity of instructions and time of preparation. Then we would all taste test the various recipes for our meals and rate them. All the recipes featured General Mills products. The recipes had already been tested by employees of General Mills, but the purpose of the cooking vacation was to discover if the average person would get good results making the different dishes. It was great fun and I also learned a great deal about preparing food. I made several new friends over the course of the four days. One woman and I decided that we would take another cooking vacation together.

This woman lives over a thousand miles from me. We call and email each other several times each week. We have taken many cooking related courses together and learned much from unlimited recipes and are going on another cooking vacation this year. My friends think I am crazy to spend vacation time in a kitchen, but I greatly enjoy trying out new recipes and improving my cooking skills.

Welcome to my blog.

Well folks, those warm and sunny summer months are just around the corner, and you're going to be back outdoors doing what you love. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. It's still winter time, and spring comes next. Oh, but you get the picture. We all know too well that the months fly by

. A season doesn't seem to last long once you're past the age of 18. Now, when summer does roll around, are you going to be ready? Do you have the lawn mower primed, the weed eater gassed-up, and the char broil gas grill cleaned? Ah ha, you weren't even thinking about those things yet, were you? Well let me tell you, there is no time like the present and you shouldn't put off until tomorrow what you can get done today. Besides, it's kind of fun and refreshing to pretend that summer is already here.

Choosing the right outdoor grill is crucial. These days you have so many options on the table. There's the ever-popular char broil gas grill, the classic Weber charcoal grill, and then there's the George Foreman grill. Okay, I'm just kidding about that last one.

It's clearly an indoor machine. Anyway, when it comes down to the char broil gas grill and the charcoal grill, which do you choose? For countless years, I enjoyed a Weber charcoal grill. It's a simply device that requires charcoal brickets and a match. You toss on the meat and watch it cook to perfection.

When you pull it off, you have some seriously great beef, shrimp, brats, or chicken. The char-grilled flavor is incomparable in my book. This made me never want to switch to an expensive char broil gas grill. After all, why switch if you lose that awesome taste?

The flavor is the reason I grill meat in the first place. However, I found out that charcoal grills harm the environment. OOPS! The new-age char broil gas grill on the other hand is less pollutant. Furthermore it is healthier not to eat char-grilled meat. Meat grilled over a gas flame is better for you. Go figure!

You can have your cake and eat it too. With the current char broil gas grills on the market; you can simply add wood chips that flavor the meat to perfection. It seems we no longer need the classic charcoal grills and they've become a thing of the past.

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