Mother’s Day 2021

A rare, quiet moment . . .

As I sat down to consider this Advisory about a gift for Mother’s Day 2021, it was clear that any suggestion I was going to make had to meet three criteria:

(1) Something a Mother, in particular, would appreciate this particular year. (2) Something I personally would want. (That’s always a requirement.) and (3) Something that readily fits into the Emergency Preparedness category — and thus is a justifiable purchase if you need to justify it!

So here is my number one (and most expensive) recommendation for Mother’s Day 2021: a Charcoal Grill!

Why do we need this particular gift in this particular year?

Every mother I know is pretty much tired of cooking after a year of having the whole family at home for every single meal. In fact, every person who cooks, whether mom, dad or single person, is pretty much exhausted just trying to think about preparing even one more meal!

So while you can’t stop feeding your family, here’s what I believe will be the PERFECT change of pace, change of scene and change of menu – a meal prepared on an outdoor charcoal grill! Whether meat or veggies, charcoal imparts a whole new flavor! And wielding those tongs and spatula – why, you’re a whole new competent person deserving admiration and respect! (You might even find a volunteer who would like to try!!)

And as for the emergency preparedness aspect – when the power goes out, whether from storm, wind or wildfire, you can stay right in business, putting delicious meals on the table to keep spirits up until things get back to normal. (If you would like to see the top 10 reasons your power may go out, here’s a convenient chart.)

All this as long as you have plenty of charcoal, of course. And a fire starter. And food in the freezer or frig that you can use before it goes bad. Read more about food spoilage here!

What’s my personal bias regarding charcoal grills?

Over the years we’ve had several grills – tiny hibachi-style grills, built-in propane grills, and a George Foreman grill that was meant for use on the kitchen counter. They all worked and the food turned out fine.

But the hibachi, admittedly cheap, actually seemed to burn up after we’d used it for a while. The propane grill was just way too big – not at all useful unless we were having a huge backyard party! And the George Foreman grill, while a handy size, spat grease all over the counter. I am ready for something better!

Mother’s Day 2021 deserves a classic solution.

Here’s a classic style grill from a classy company, Weber. Everything you need with a few extra features that make it even more of a pleasure to use. Take a look:

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

My favorite features of this charcoal grill

  • Thermometer in the lid. (I seldom use a thermometer but when I want to try a new meat recipe, I do like to check to see what the experts say.) Built-in is awfully convenient!
  • Adjustable openings so you can keep heat at the temp you want: dampers for more less oxygen, and a hinged grill for adding more charcoal.
  • A closed ash catcher. Theoretically, that makes clean up easier!
  • Porcelain finish. (Note: The grill comes in other colors but they are more expensive than black.)
  • And key for me – video instructions for setting the whole thing up!

As you can imagine, Weber offers several other versions of charcoal grills. When you click on the link, you’ll get to Amazon where you can find some Weber grills that are smaller (18 in.) or larger (25 in.). There are taller grills that sit on bigger wheels, and even come with attached side tables. And there are a couple that have no wheels at all and are small enough to be carried.

But if you’re thinking about flexibility, portability and stability in an emergency, this classic version seems just right.

A few more thoughts from a Mom

If you are buying this as a present for Mother’s Day, you may want to add a few more handy items to complete the deal: some long-handled utensils, oven mitts (also long), and a fire-starter for the charcoal. Wrap each item separately and it will create a whole pile of presents! So much more fun for Mom to open!

(By the way, you don’t have to use expensive gift wrapping paper. Consider using  colorful pages of newspaper advertising showing food specials for the week!)

So there you have it. It’s not often that I can limit myself to just one purchase, but this one fits the bill like no other. I hope it sounds as attractive to you as it does to me!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

One of my favorite emergency response stories is the one from my friend Elizabeth, who with her friends held a Power Outage Potluck last year when PG&E shut down power in much of northern California. Can’t you imagine the charcoal grills that were put to use that evening!?

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