SERIOUSLY?!?! Just let me grill my Pinto, Black, and Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado already!!

     In an effort to get into the summer spirit, on Sunday I decided to go shopping for a grill.  Nothing says Summer like grilled food!  I also decided that I would drag Steph along to help me. 
    The afternoon was long and full of ridiculousness that lasted well into the next evening.   I could write a 10 page post about it, but I’ll just give you the highlights that led to me finally ending up with a grill:

   Mission:  FIND A GRILL – checked at Kmart, Walmart, Target, Fleet Farm and finally Menards.  After breaking a glass dish—(EMBARRASSING), purchasing a grill, portable fire pit, the necessary grilling tools, a badminton set, and marshmallow roasting sticks, we sat down for a much needed rest.  Too bad the patio chairs we sat down in were the most comfortable pieces of outdoor furniture I had ever experienced!  Add 2 chairs to the list of purchased items above.  We needed to get OUT of that store immediately!  It was getting out of control…
     Upon wheeling my new purchases to our cars, we realized that the chairs (already assembled) were absolutely NOT going to fit in either of our rides.  After much laughing and attempting to rotate the chair in every direction hoping that somehow it would fit… we were approached by a nice, elderly couple who  had noticed the ridiculous scene unfold in front of them.  They offered to bring the chairs to my house for me.  If I were anywhere other than small town Minnesota, I feel like it may have been a questionable idea to let a stranger load my chairs into their vehicle, but really, what was the alternative?  Moral of the story—they call us “Minnesota Nice” for a reason… Thank you to my fellow Menard’s shopping, parking-lot strangers--your random act of kindness is inspiring and makes a person truly believe in the good of others.
Since the list of things that went wrong after this point in the story is endless, I’m just going to bullet point:
·         Forgot to purchase propane
·         Did not have food in house.  I went to the market and left Steph to start assembling

·         Started to rain during assembly process, had to move entire production into the garage
·         Light was burnt out in the garage—no replacements to be found, had to move everything AGAIN, but into my living room.

·         Took longer to assemble than anticipated, no grilled dinner – Jimmy Johns to the rescue!
·         Mixed up the parts from fire pit and grill—grill ended up with fire pit wheels on it…

·         Missing parts for the grill
·         Lawn clippings and branches are VERY flammable and multiple feet of flames shot out of fire pit (note to self, less is more)

·         Next morning, go to get the missing part from Menards—lose keys and cellphone search for 40 minutes to find them.  Awesome! L 
     Confident that nothing else could go wrong, I had planned a group dinner Monday evening.  I invited Steph, Sara, Al and their two boys over for a delicious dinner of mushroom and Swiss brats and one of my favorite recipes- Pinto, Black & Red Bean Salad with Grilled Corn and Avocado. The slightly charred vegetables mixed with a medley of beans are so fresh and amazing.  The dressing is only a small bit of olive oil and a ton of lime juice… so healthy and delicious!

     As the clock struck 5PM, I was ready for my guests to arrive; the house was clean, beer was cold and the miscellaneous patio furniture and appliances were all assembled and ready to go.  I was confident that nothing else could go wrong.  THINK AGAIN!  10 minutes into the grilling, no propane left!  They had sold me an almost empty container—of course that would happen to me!!!  

After a trip to the gas station to switch out the tanks, I was back in front of the grill.  Never ending…
    Regardless of all the shenanigans, it was a fantastic adventure that I will remember every time I pull out my new grill.  Great food, fantastic friends and some FINALLY decent weather!  Amen to that!!

Typical Henri--- Always looking for something to eat...