Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Who’s the crazy one, grilling atop a snowbank in 20-degree temps? January 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:53 AM

The Weber grill is fired up and ready to go atop the snow on a cold January night in Minnesota.

My husband dresses warmly to haul the Weber from a corner of the patio onto the top of the patio snowbank and then light the charcoal.

HE HEAVES THE WEBER, maneuvering the black orb firmly into place atop the snow pile on our patio.

I’m there, safely-footed on the back steps snapping photos when he lights the charcoal inside the snow-locked grill.

“You’re crazy, woman,” he teases.

I think he’s the crazy one, grilling here on three feet of hard-packed snow on a Sunday evening in 26-degree temperatures. But I keep quiet. I can already taste the Greek-seasoned pork kabobs and the savory, butter-laced, sliced potatoes.

Grilling during a Minnesota winter is nothing new for my husband. But grilling on top of a snow pile is certainly a first. Typically, he shovels the snow from the patio. This year, however, is different given two 12-inch snowfalls, many several-inch snowfalls and heaps of snow shoveled off the house and garage roofs onto the patio. Clearing snow from the patio simply has taken last priority over cleared driveway, sidewalks and roofs.

So Randy is grilling with his Weber upon this slippery snow mound.

And we are reminiscing, remembering the December he cooked a turkey on the Weber in minus 20-something-degree temperatures. That was the year his brother Alan traveled here on business from Michigan and we hosted a pre-Christmas family gathering. That was the year Randy and his brother labored in sub-zero temperatures in the driveway trying to repair Alan’s company truck, the truck with a problem related to bad gas purchased in Chicago.

Crazy how you remember those things—turkey, truck and minus 20-degree temperatures—when your husband is grilling atop a snowbank on a January night in Minnesota.

Pork kabobs and foil-wrapped potatoes for the family and a week's worth of brats for Randy's lunchbox.

Randy ditches the winter gear to tend the food, all the time telling me to "hurry up" while I snap pictures.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling