Jan 16 2009

Flashback Friday: Red, White, and Blue…with a hint of smokiness

‘Tis the first Friday Flashback over at My Tiny Kingdom and the theme is “Red, White, and Blue.” What do you think of when you hear “Red, White, and Blue?” The Fourth of July, of course. And, boy howdy, do I have a story to tell.

Every year we host a Independence Day party, held on the 3rd of July, when the golf course in our subdivision has a big honkin’ fireworks display. They advertise it as the Largest Fireworks Display On The Front Range, and I’m not gonna argue. It’s huge. We host a party for my crazy scrapbooking friends and their families and we have a great time. Friends, fun, and they all hang here until the traffic dies down, so the party goes on for awhile.

It was July, 2007. Fireworksapalooza. And Tom had a brand new grill he couldn’t wait to use for a large group. To change things up, we were doing cedar smoked salmon in addition to hamburgers and hot dogs. I bought some cedar planks and we prepped them according to the instructions. They had to be soaked in water, to protect them from the fire, and to produce the cedar smoke.

The salmon was oiled, given a light shaking of kosher salt, and onto the planks they went for their trip in the grill. All was well until Tom went into the house for a minute.

Now, before I continue, I must note that I missed all this. I was across the yard (which isn’t very big) talking to our neighbor and missed the whole thing.

Tom returned to the grill to discover smoke billowing out from under the grill lid. Mistake one. He opened the lid to discover the cedar planks on fire. Mistake two. The grill is two feet from the house. Mistake three. Have I ever mentioned that his brother was a volunteer fire fighter and is now an EMS?

He yelled,”HOSE!!!” Now, this being a gathering of scrapbookers, no one moved for a hose, but everyone moved for a camera. Even the ER nurse.

Fish Fire

(Ooh, you can sweet my suh-WHEET white trash patio here, pre-patio refurb last summer)

Once he got the hose, which had no nozzle because the kids had been playing with it and he took the time to reattach it, he, um, cooled off the grill.

Smoky fishMmmm…smokylicious!

Fish is done!He got the fire out, closed the lid, and turned around and announced, “Fish is done!”

But the fish was fantastic.

Fast forward one year. This group of friends love to tease and poke fun (which I love…they’re also the ones involved in the beeeyoutiful watch Tom has). Well, they couldn’t let the one year anniversary of the Fish That Flamed Out pass without notice. And how better to make a point than with six willing accomplices?


In case you can’t read it, the shirt says, “Tom’s Torchin’ BBQ…nothin’s too hot” and the picture is the one with the flames. On the back:


“I like mine well done!”

The shirts? Favorites of the boys.

Lesson learned? Grill fish in foil packets.

The friends? Always welcome for fireworks…in the air and on the grill.


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  1. Tootie

    This is too funny, and I love the t-shirts! What a perfect remembrance of grilling gone wrong 🙂

  2. Dawn on MDI

    Spectacular! What a great story! And I love the t-shirts!

  3. cms8741

    The fact that they had t-shirts made for this???!?!!? Priceless.

    BTW, thanks for posting pictures of what it is like in July. What it is like today in Chicago would squelch that flame in a heartbeat. Either that, or we’d all jimmy up to the grill!!!!

  4. ChiTown Girl

    Hilarious story! You have AWESOME friends!!

  5. mrsvierkant

    Hysterical!! I love the t-shirts.

  6. Aly @ Lip Zip

    I can’t stop laughing!

    I’m going to have this in my head all day:

    “Now, this being a gathering of scrapbookers, no one moved for a hose, but everyone moved for a camera. Even the ER nurse.”

    Too funny!!

  7. Anne Glamore

    I can SO relate to picking up the camera before the hose, or bandaid, or whatever!

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