BBQ dreams can’t wait for dinner

While driving to work one afternoon, a familiar aroma tantalized my nostrils as I passed a restaurant-barbeque.

My mouth salivated in lust over the fantastic smell of barbeque sauce and visions of ribs and chicken, burgers and hot dog’s, grilled potatoes and corn on the cob formed in my head.

I imagined heaping servings of mom’s potato salad, gramma’s coleslaw and of course, a giant pitcher of Bree-made lemonade to wash it all down.

I’m a little girl, a playful slap on the back or a hard wind will knock me over, but when it comes to eating barbeque it’s like a presidential war strategy-shock and awe.

Newly deceased Dr. Atkins would be proud to see someone my size chomping down on a big, fat, juicy grilled burger.

Have I inadvertently been following his diet all this time?

But that smell.

That smell that conjured up memories of my dad (R.I.P.) planning a week in advance to fire-up the “barbie” and fill his belly with grilled goodies.

He instilled in me a love for outdoor cooking, when I, the 14-year-old hostess of a summer party, dutifully cooked for all 15 of my hormone-driven friends.

My friends were surprised that I, who could barely prepare a bowl of soup correctly, could skillfully grill burgers to all of their desired temperatures (or at least, they were polite enough to pretend that they were correct).

This summer, with such promising weather ahead, and the smell of barbeque in my mind, I’m poised to spend a day in front of the grill and become a culinary mastermind.

I want marinated steaks and grilled Italian sausages.

I want to create mounds of pasta and potato salads, boil ears of corn, and of course, make a pitcher of my fancy lemonade.

I want to completely domesticate myself for an afternoon, complete with “Kiss the Chef!” apron and giant oven mitts.

It’ll be the most ridiculous thing ever seen, but no one will care because they’re busy chomping down on their third shish kabob.

Barbecue’n on the Internet ( will be my bible. It’s written for everyone from the basic novice to the Emeril Lagassi of grilling.

The Web site gives the “Must Do’s” of BBQ’ing all the way down to understanding meat temperatures and sanitation rules.

It includes recipes from fellow grilling connoisseurs, (Red Wine Brisket for Two, Nicaragua Sirloin) and has advice on everything from the type of tools to the type of fire (charcoal or natural gas?).

I will follow the recipes of the Championship Barbequing Technique to make “perfect” ribs.

I will serve grilled jalapeno pepper appetizers.

My baked beans will be impeccable.

My potato salad will be magnificent.

Everyone will love and adore me.

All this-from the scent of barbeque wafting into my car.

I’m drooling already.