Blog Stories My marinade recipe and other secrets

My marinade recipe and other secrets

By Aaron Hartman, July 6, 2021

When I prune my apple and cherry trees in the winter, I’m not so much acting as a home arborist, I’m more thinking ahead to summer. And BBQing. 

When I grill, I always have several dried twigs soaking in water nearby. I periodically add a stick or two to the coals, and close the lid. This creates a smoky environment which infuses the food with a particular flavor only smoke can create. Corn, veggies, meats and anything else you throw on there (pineapple?) gets that ancient culinary treatment. Leftovers are the best. 

My marinades change a bit, but my go to is: fancy soy sauce, hoisen sauce, seasoned rice wine vinegar, garlic, sage and rosemary form the garden and a couple other things that will remain secret. I’ll add some of my home made chili oil for a spicy adult-friendly batch.

If I have time, I’ll let the chicken marinate over night in ziplock bags.  

I don’t have a meat thermometer and my grill’s vents have long been rendered useless. I use random sticks from the yard to push the coals around. But somehow it always works out. 

This was our 10th annual 4th of July BBQ. We’ve had some serious blow outs in the past (the time the stars of Portlandia showed up is still talked about) . This year we noticed the people we invited were mostly the folks we’ve been in touch with during the pandemic. Our social lives have narrowed in focus a bit. Conversations were felt personal, more intimate. It’s hard not to wonder if this is just one small piece of how things have changed. 

We’ll probably have next year on Juneteenth. 

Aaron Hartman



Aaron Hartman is a long-time Portlander with a deep understanding of the neighborhoods and architecture that make this town such a special place to live. Whether he's helping you locate your dream house or helping you sell the one you already own, Aaron's knowledge, energy and laser-like attention to detail will make your real estate process make sense. Aaron has been involved in the Northwest independent music community for nearly two decades. He has traveled all over the place and always looks forward to coming home to the best city to live in Portland, Oregon.
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