A few years ago, I had the idea that my wife and i should move out of our hometown of St. Catharines, and to a place called Brantford, about 1 hour away. We did. After settling in for about 4-5 months, we realized that very few of our family were popping in for visits, so we decided to have a 'housewarming' party that summer. We did. More on this later.
Unfortunately for my wife, my brother happened to give me a book that Christmas called "Championship Barbecue" by Paul Kirk. It explains why food cooked over hot coals for 18 hours is so good (called 'smoking'), and how to do it. After tasting some pork my brother Mike had made, I was sold. I went and bought a Weber kettle grill, the same grill in every backyard in the 1950's. This began a habit of cooking all day, smelling like smoke, and eating at 11:30 at night.
What does this have to do with our housewarming? Well not being prepared to cook in competitions just yet, I figured a big party was the way to show off a bit of what I had learned. Of course by now I had my wife involved, she being the cook in the family she's had no problems making the best food off the pit. So between the two of us we started smoking almost a week ahead of time, never really sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into. We don't have a big yard, so we had to limit the guests to just our siblings, cousins,and their kids. No aunts, uncles, parents or grandparents allowed.
The party went off great, we had about 50 people crammed into our backyard, on one of the hottest days of the year. Although the food was good, the biggest surprise was how great a time we all had. Food aside, it's all about great times with family. Five years later and the BBQ is now an annual tradition, and it's the highlight of our year. Yes it is a lot of work, but having all grown up now, I don't get to see my cousins very often, so this was a great way to stay in touch. Plus everyone is so appreciative. That's europeans for ya.
There you are, the story of why/how we started having this thing we call "The Cousin's BBQ". The family keeps growing, as does the guest list, and my wife and I wouldn't have it any other way.