Well, kind of. A master appreciator of grilling, more like.

This weekend I gave my little $20.00 charcoal grill from the thrift store a test run  and I was thoroughly impressed! Impressed with both the grill itself and  the fact that I was actually able to work it (with assistance.)

In fact, I loved grilling so much that I didn’t stop until there was nothing left to grill. Vegetable kabobs with peppers, red onions, zucchini, and portabellos were the appetizer, and salmon and tuna burgers were the entree. I won’t lie and say that the whole evening went without a hitch. No one in my party had ever grilled fish burgers before, and it was starting to get pretty dark out by the time we got them on the grill. The end result was a bit dry, but I love salmon burgers, and I thought they came out pretty tasty. A yogurt/cucumber/dill dressing helped moisten them up a bit.

As the coals wore off and the night winded down I tried some grilled grapes and canteloupe, inspired by this article in City Paper.

And what goes better with grilling than Sangria? I used a recipe from All Recipes and made a few changes.

Sangria! Sangria!

  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  • 2 cups carbonated water (optional)


In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the brandy, lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec, and sugar. Float slices of lemon, orange and lime, and maraschino cherries in the mixture. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. For a fizzy sangria, add club soda just before serving.

I omitted the Brandy, because my roommate despises it. I added a little more Triple Sec instead. I used a giant bottle of Yellow Tail Shiraz for the wine.

Other additions were omitting the frozen lemonade, because there is no use for anything that is from concentrate. Instead I added more fresh lemon juice and a tad more sugar. I put in all of the citrus fruit but also added fresh strawberries and nectarines that I had available. I put a bowl of strawberries and grapes soaked in Triple Sec into the freezer, and later used them as ice cubes to cool it off. Next time I will probably add a little bit of sparkling citrus water or Seven Up for a fizzy version. But in the meantime, I am really enjoying the pitcher that is still sitting in our fridge.