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Official Opening of Porch Season

Every year there is controversy and acrimony about the official start of Porch Season. So many people try to jump the gun. Many a time I've seen someone sitting on his porch, quaffing a brew, waving a cigar, announcing to the world that Porch Season is in full swing, and I've had to point out that he was wearing a parka.

Meanwhile there are people who, regardless of the weather, will not leave the house until Easter. They refuse to believe that the outdoors is habitable until they see abundant floral and vegetal evidence, and even then they step outside as though dipping a toe in a swimming pool.

Some years there is a Porch Pre-Season, also known as the "Exhibition Season," when you spend some time on the porch but know that nothing you do will count in the final standings. At my house we had a mini-pre-season in January. I don't want to brag, but I think it's very likely that this year our porching will dominate the league.

Different people have different ways of celebrating Opening Day. Some get out the binoculars and their Petersen's Guide and start birding right there on the porch in full view of passing strangers. Others crank the Marley and begin what will turn out to be roughly 6 months of speaking like a Jamaican. Whenever I go to George Will's place I always find it disconcerting when he starts up with "Ya, Mon" business.

I plan to put meat to fire. I'll crank the grill, toss some black walnut (from Angus's farm) onto the coals, and apply heat and smoke to a bodacious amount of boneless pork, and perhaps some chicken, shrimp, sea scallops wrapped in bacon, a burger or two, and of course that most precious item obtained through barter and forage, sausage.

I regret that I have but one belly to give for my barbecue.

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 10, 2006; 11:40 AM ET
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