Summer barbecue days recalled by the family

Published 5:30 am Sunday, June 4, 2023

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With the Memorial Day holiday passing, I am put in mind of our past summer holidays and the food and fun we had…once upon a time.

I planned to be at home for Memorial Day, so I had cooked some food and planned to spend the day painting. However, my sweet niece and her husband, Sandy and Jimmy Sharp, called and invited me and others to come for lunch at their house.

Jimmy made some delicious jambalaya and we all enjoyed it along with other great food Sandy and others provided. The patio was very comfortable and we loved being there.

Since we don’t get together like we used to as a big group in the days of family reunions, it was wonderful to see everybody and watch the kids entertaining themselves in the pool. I was able to hug a lot of people! Just one of those really sweet days, especially since it was Bill and Daisy’s family. We miss them so much.

In times past, my own little family would get together in the summer for barbecue, just enjoy sitting outside on the patio and then eating good food…most of it grilled by my sweet Rob, who is no longer with us.

Rob loved doing this. He would decide what we were going to prepare and he would go to the grocery store and come home loaded with sausage, chicken and hamburger meat as well as other goodies. The hamburger was for those who didn’t like chicken and the sausage was for Rob!!

We gave him all the credit for the good food, but much preparation took place in the kitchen before he started cooking on the grill. Cutting up chicken, sausages and making hamburger patties, plus making potato salad, baked beans and the dessert. I also made the grilling sauce.

It was worth it. I didn’t make any remarks about it. It was Dad’s day and that was it. The barbecue was always tops.

The conversations were good and we all enjoyed being together. However, as he began to have health problems, he started backing off from the barbecue. Nobody volunteered to take it over and one day, he gave away the barbecue grill. That as the end of our family barbecue get-togethers.

We do get together, but not for barbecuing anymore. It was a family custom that seems to have passed. We really miss these times but they would not be the same without him.

Let us not get too sad. It is good we have those great memories. Perhaps one day we will start grilling again.

Speaking of getting out the barbecue grill for summer events, I will share with you the recipe I always used for our grilling sessions.

It doesn’t taste like the barbecue sauce you get out of a bottle from the store, but we always liked this. It is really a grilling sauce.

Grilled Chicken Spray

1 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup red wine vinegar  

A scant 1/3 cup oil

Mix all together and put in a spray bottle.

Season chicken with Tony’s Cajun Seasoning before grilling and spray on chicken while cooking on grill. I know Rob used this on the chicken, and it was always delicious. Refrigerate the left-over spray.

Enjoy the time together and the barbecue!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at