I had a bit of an early birthday present on Saturday from Kirsten. I decided a few months ago that what I really wanted for my birthday was a new barbeque. We bought our old barbeque about 2 years ago at a garage sale for $10, and it's served us well. However, a couple of things were really getting under my skin: the first was that the grills were encrusted with a decade's worth of BBQ fixings, and had also started rusting out. It was weird to see them turn white when the heat got on them; another was that the burner itself was shot, so rather than heating evenly it would shoot flames up on either side -- items on the outer edges got more heat than those in the center.
We'd planned on buying the barbeque around my birthday weekend; however, our old barbeque had different plans. The weekend before last it finally gave up the ghost and stopped actually cooking food. We spent almost an hour attempting to cook some bison sausage a friend of ours brought over. So off we went on Saturday to do some comparitive barbeque shopping.
As it turned out, London Drugs of all places had the best deal for the price we were looking for. It's a stainless steel barbeque (and we all know how much this household has bought into the stainless steel revolution) with a side burner. It's larger than our old barbeque (about another half square foot of space) and - bonus - it cooks evenly! It also came with a free "patio kitchen," which is essentially an outdoor double sink that you hook your hose up to. The BBQ and patio kitchen went together pretty quickly -- quick enough that we were able to have people over for a celebratory dinner that night.
So far I'm in love with it -- it's just so spanky and beautiful and puts out a tonne of heat -- I barely had to turn it up from the lowest burner setting. And, on top of the great cookingness of it all, I no longer have to use a long lighter to start the barbeque (done while praying it lights before too much gas builds up in the chamber and creates a giant fireball).