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Fire Up the Grill
July 1st, 2012
Peggy Fiandaca

July reminds me of long bike rides with my BFF to see the July 4th parade and picnic in the park. Fireworks over Robinswood Lake, swim meets at Lord's Park, lightning bugs in jars, and beef steak tomatoes from Tom's Vegetable Stand defined summer. And the smell of barbeque grills every evening. It is amazing how a smell can conjure up so many memories. Curt's family tells stories about their dad burning everything on the grill because he used so much lighter fluid. How Curt became the master of the grill with that kind of role model we will never know. But he has.

Today July is all about the vineyard as the grape clusters change from green to purple as veraison begins mid-month.

It is absolutely magical to see the vineyard come alive with the intensity of color.
  Veraison

Monsoon Storm
  July also begins the Monsoon season. Each afternoon the storms bubble up over the mountains from the moisture south of the border and listening to the sounds of rushing water in Ash Creek is truly soothing. The afternoon storms in southeastern Arizona are incredible but the fire danger from the lightning (or humans) is always a concern as evidenced by the devastation from last summer's Horseshoe II fire.

Though we live in a place where we cook outdoors year round, the long days of July are perfect for impromptu parties with friends. Outdoor entertaining should focus on creating a fun atmosphere. Keep the menu simple and take advantage of the freshest local ingredients. We cook everything on the grill including dessert.

One of our favorite summertime meals on the grill starts with an appetizer of caprese salad skewer (tomato, mozzarella, bread, and basil brushed with a little olive oil), followed by steaks, grilled asparagus tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and fresh peaches with balsamic reduction for dessert; all perfectly paired with a Lawrence Dunham Petite Sirah. So fire up the grill and make your own summertime memories.   Fire up the Grill