It is fall here in Calgary. And quite literally. The streets are covered in fallen trees, huge branches blocking the foot paths and piles of logs at the end of the streets, cleared from residents’ homes.
All because we had a torrential downpour of snow last week, with almost a foot of snow in just a couple of days, coating everything in it’s unexpected wake – the blooming flowers in the garden, the road bike on the patio, the BBQ not yet cleaned and stored for winter. Just two days prior I was riding in the Ironbike road race (172km over the hilly Kananaskis countryside) at 26˚, crystal clear sky and enough sun to leave each cyclist with vivid bike-short-tan-lines.
The snow shocked the trees around Calgary as much as it did us. Due to the softness of the branches (not yet hardened for winter), the extra weight broke the tops off most trees and dumped huge leafy branches along the roadside. Streets were closed while these were cleared away, I stayed home all day (the joy of being able to work remotely), and cars slid around (or rather stood still in extreme traffic jams) on the slushy roads. Days like this we imagine we should be missing our homeland, void of such snowstorms and extreme temperature drops. But we find it all rather invigorating. Perhaps the novelty is yet to wear off and we will complain and groan about it like the locals soon enough. In the meantime, we find ourselves giggling at the concept of snow one day and sunny, patio barbequing the next.
And oh how we appreciate these later summer BBQs, knowing that snow has already threatened it’s early arrival. Grilled chicken breasts, glazed in homemade BBQ sauce and topped with blackened capsicums and chipotle mayo, served on freshly baked brioche buns and enjoyed alongside snow-burnt flowers on the patio.
The BEST burger buns – soft, chewy, buttery and slightly sweet – are found here at Annie’s Eats (originally from Smitten Kitchen).
We rubbed chicken breasts with homemade barbeque sauce (recipe below) and grilled on the BBQ along with red peppers and served with an easy chipotle mayo.
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp onion, grated
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until starting to bubble. Let thicken – it will reduce. Allow to cool and brush over chicken breasts before grilling.
For the chipotle mayo, Jesse combined 1 adobo chilli (from a can of adobo chillis in chipotle sauce – we freeze the remaining chillies) with a good dollop (about 1/4 cup) of mayo and the same amount of yogurt plus a squeeze of lime. Blend in a food processor until smooth and well combined.