The Thrill of the Grill

OK, so sue me, I love barbecue!  Deb’s a vegetarian, so doesn’t quite get the fascination, but I adore a good rack of ribs.  For years barbecue has been the “manly” art of cooking.  I do the grilling in our house, but I get a kick out of the cookbooks and ephemera aimed at men.  I would consider it a plot by women to get out of cooking one day a week in the summer, but you know the ads and items made in the ’50s and ’60s were mostly dreamed up by men, so that doesn’t fly.  This whole post started with this one item:

Just Grill ItWhat fellow worth his basting brush could be without a kabob maker?  You piled the coals into the center basket and the motor rotated the outside skewers to make your kabob.  I have to admit to a mad desire to own this item myself, but it was over $70, so I resisted.

Then while looking through my pamphlet style cookbooks, I came across the original instructions.  Check it out:

The Latest and Greatest in grillingHow can you go wrong with the latest in “New party-cookout ideas”?  The book makes it clear that you can kabob just about anything.  Take this example:

Sea Food or See Food?Just pile on those lobster tails and shrimp.  I am a little disturbed by the whole fish.  Next they will be skewering squirrel.  But you will be the manly cook, and wifey will be the best hostess on the block.

This started me in a quest for more from the grill.  Betty Crocker got in on the act with the “New Outdoor Cookbook”.  While not all barbecue, it includes a nice selection of salads and deserts, but they went a little over the top on some of the presentations.  Take the eggplant cactus serving idea on the far left of the back of the book:

Betty Crockers Eggplant cactusI am only so-so on the idea of eggplant, so I guess this is as good a use as any.  I did get a kick out of this page:

Nothing New HereWho knew that the newly popular egg-type smokers have been around this long?  Just shows that everything old is new again!

Sunset’s offering doesn’t have a lot of pictures, but the recipes are better than average, and the graphics on the front are really nice:

Grilling DreamsBut for the fun of it, the Big Boy Barbecue book has it covered.  Yeah, this is how it is supposed to be, the hubby slaving away over a hot grill wearing that nifty Bar-B-Q hat.  With steaks that thick on the grill, it’s a good thing they have that big bowl of fruit.  It will be ages before dinner is on.

Atta Big BoyInside the front cover, we have the history of grilling in five short panels:

Grilling History in 5 panelsSurely we could have skipped those slaving over a hot stove steps in between?  I do believe it is a pretty accurate description though.

Now we are warming up to how a barbecue should be done.  Seagram’s presents this entry into the pamphlet cookbook collection:

A really, really BIG steakI like the instructions on how to have a happy barbecue:

Let's All Get HappyI have always thought alcohol was a marvelous addition to any barbecue; if the steaks burn, drink enough, and you don’t care.  Even the kitty looks pretty contented.  Must have spiked the catnip.  Seagram’s feels you should have plenty of booze.  They are even advocating the giant size:

How Big are Those?These bottles must be friends of this one from a previous post:Party Time!Sorry Seagram’s, apparently Bacardi makes the right size bottle.

For those of you who think cooking in the backyard is for sissies, we have this pamphlet:

Basic BarbecueNow we are talking–no wimpy grills or chef’s hats for us.  There are several sections of cooking on a stick:

Let's cook on a stickActually, they pretty much suggest how to cook just about anything on a stick.  They have a broiler thing to make out of a sticks, hamburger drumsticks (burgers on a stick!) and sure enough, kabob sticks, and so we come full circle.  Part of the fun of this book is the publisher, the Agricultural Extension Service of CSU, right in our home town.  I have always felt that the best thing on a stick is a marshmallow, so here we go:

MarshmallowsUnfortunately, the pamphlet contains this recipe:

Marshmallows and Tomato?I am pretty adventurous when it comes to eating, but I am darn sure I would give marshmallows, tomatoes, vinegar and horseradish frozen in an ice cube tray a pass.  Please pass the graham crackers, Hershey’s, and hand me that stick over there, would you?

Hope you all can enjoy that first barbecue of the season, if not, be sure to have plenty of liquid refresher on hand!

Happy Mother’s Day; hope you’re all totally spoiled this Sunday.

Mother and Child print

And speaking of Mother’s Day, don’t forget that we’re drawing for our Mother’s Day giveaway this Sunday, so comment on this post if you haven’t entered the drawing already.  You can also leave a comment on our Facebook post for an extra entry.


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8 Responses to The Thrill of the Grill

  1. lyn lewis says:

    I might well have been tempted by that kabob gadget! It would save having to turn my kebab skewers over repeatedly under the grill or over the Barbie!
    Frozen Tomato Cream – leaves me cold ~
    : )

    • kathy & deb says:

      It does look like a nifty way to cook kebobs; if I had that I would be much less likely to burn one side. Frozen tomato cream should leave everyone cold–ick!!

  2. You lovely ladies find the most amazing items. I love this theme – and particularly love the Seagram’s couples wheeling in the massive bottles of liquor! The Big Boy book is a close second – with the dad slaving away and the rest of the family sitting down! Wow! Lucky you to be entering BBQ season. Enjoy! xoxoxoxoxox

    • kathy & deb says:

      Thanks Dani–Kathy has the most amazing collection of vintage cooking pamphlets. One good thing about Kathy moving (besides the new house) is that she has found a bunch of fun stuff that was sitting in the back of a closet or shelf. We should be doing some more “book reviews” and even some more crazy craft project posts this summer. And yes, we’re so happy to be finally entering the outdoor season here. It’s been a long winter! ((hugs))

  3. Andrea says:

    A fun post. I also love BBQ and although my husband does do most of it, I’m definitely not afraid to get out there and experiment. Our favorite thing to grill is pineapple….amazing with a true vanilla ice cream.

  4. Vivianne says:

    Love the old brochures and that kebab maker is pretty cool. Not so sure I’d have been able to pass on it.

    Campfire Marshmallows actually has Make Mine with Marshamllows available as a free PDF file on their website! You can go to or use the direct link below.

    • kathy & deb says:

      That’s so cool that the marshmallow pamphlet is available as a pdf–thanks so much for the link!! Kathy and I are convinced that we can find things cheaper if the price is a bit of a stretch. That doesn’t always work out in the short run, but we’ll keep looking until we can’t garage sale any more! 😉

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