We like to cook using our outdoor grill1 when the weather is nice.  It is located2 outside the door leading to our office area and is quite convenient3 for us.  We have a cement patio4 there and even if the yard is a little muddy5 sometimes, we can grill without getting our feet dirty too. 


Some people grill6 all year long.  We have friends in Idaho7 who will sometimes use their grill when there is snow on their deck8.  We don’t care to do that.  So, for us, our first cookout meal9 signals10 that spring has really arrived for us.  There are other terms for grilling.  Some people refer to it as “barbecuing.”  Others just say that they are “cooking out.”  However they refer to it, many people love to do it and love meat prepared that way.  When the Spanish explorers11 first came to the islands of the Caribbean12, they saw the Indians13 cooking meat over charcoal14.  They tried the meat prepared this way and liked it very much.  The Spanish called this type of cooking “barbacoa15,” so that is how we got the term “barbecue.” 


We have enjoyed grilling for many years.  Our first grill was a small hibachi16 grill that we would use in our back yard.  It cooked the food with charcoal.  Later, when we wanted a larger grill, we purchased a large gas grill which was supposed to be efficient.  However, it actually seemed to be more trouble to us because we had to replace propane fuel tanks17.  Also propane is potentially more dangerous to work with than charcoal18.  We also prefer the taste of charcoal grilled meat.  Therefore, that’s the type of grill we have now.


This past Sunday we had our first cook out of the season.  Our four good friends from Zhejiang University, Ying Hui Lan, He Lian Zhen, Xiong Hai Hong  and Jiang Jing Yang, are visiting us, so we wanted to share our love of grilling with them.  Kim bought chicken, bratwursts (German sausages) and hamburger to grill.  We had a lot of meat, buns, coleslaw (a cabbage salad), and potato chips, a typical cook out menu. 


Kim got the meat ready to cook and Don did the grilling.  He always enjoys doing that.  The day was lovely, so after we all stuffed19 ourselves, we relaxed20 however we wished.  Our four guests played cards in the yard, Don dozed21 out under a tree, and Kim and I relaxed inside the house.  I feel that Spring is now officially22 here, and I’m so very pleased that our special friends from China were here with us on Sunday.




1. grill: a device in which charcoal is burned and food is cooked on a metal rack above the charcoal (烧烤用炉具).  Grills come in many sizes; our present one is about 2 ft. diameter.  There are cookbooks and magazines completely devoted to grilling because of its popularity.

2. located: placed or set up in a given area of choice (位于,置于).

3. convenient: useful, near at hand (方便的).

4. cement patio: a flat area paved with concrete (铺了水泥的后院).

5. muddy: having wet soil which readily clings to shoes and clothing (泥泞的).

6. grill: cook on a grill over charcoal or other fuel (烧烤).

7. Idaho: a mountainous state in the northwest part of the United States (爱达荷州,位于美国西北部,州内多山).

8. deck: a flat floored roofless area adjoining a house (与房子衔接的木制平台).

9. cookout meal: food prepared out of doors (露天烧烤的饭菜).

10. signals: is a sign that something is going to happen (表明,表示).

11. explorers: people who travel to new or unknown areas to discover new information (探险者).

12. the Caribbean: 加勒比海

13. Indians: the indigenous people found living in the Americas when they were  

discovered by the Spanish and Portuguese explorers (土著印第安人).

14. charcoal:

15. barbacoa: the Spanish language term for cooking over charcoal (西班牙语的“烧烤”).

16. hibachi: a small charcoal grill or brazier, the term derived from Japanese language (手提式小炭炉,该词来自于日语).

17. propane fuel tanks: 罐装的丙烷燃料

18. propane is potentially more dangerous to work with than charcoal: 丙烷使用起来会比炭危险.

19. stuffed: (American slang) filled (填饱肚皮).

20. relaxed: rested, or remaining inactive from most movement (放松).

21. dozed: napped or slept lightly (打盹).

22. officially: generally accepted or recognized (真正地).




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