The Long Weekend Edit

Call it Victoria Day, May Two-Four or simply the May Long, here’s what you need to make the most of the (unofficial) first weekend of summer.

The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024

BBQ Tools

Before you light up the grill, be sure you have the right tools to make grilling a pleasure rather than a hassle. Don’t fall for fancy high-tech gimmicks — after all, we were cooking over flames long before anyone created a BBQ fork with built-in flashlight — or expensive gift sets that may look nice, but rarely work all that well. What you need are sturdy, well-made, functional tools for specific tasks — like these five.

The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024

A spatula

But not just any spatula. The handle should be heat-proof and long enough to protect your arms from burns, and the spatula itself needs to be sturdy and big enough to lift a steak or small roast. Consider a fish turner like the large Hell’s Handle one by Mercer Culinary, available online.

Tongs 

You don’t need to spend a lot on tongs, but you do need to find a nice, long pair with a wide enough spread, a scalloped head that can pick up dainty items like asparagus spears and a spring that has some resistance, but not so much that your hands get tired. 

The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024
The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024

Instant-read thermometer

We love the simplicity and convenience of the ThermoPop digital thermometer, which gives you super-fast, super-accurate readings on a backlit, auto-rotating, easy-to-read screen. Plus it comes in a rainbow of sunshine-y colours, all ata budget-friendly price.

Grill-grate brush

To get the baked-on gunk off your grill, you need a brush with thick, heavy-duty wire bristles that won’t bend during tough tasks. Coiled brushes are better than the kind with bristles inserted into a wooden or plastic head, but if you are concerned about bristles breaking and ending up in food, consider a wooden scraper instead.

The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024
The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024

Grilling gloves

Anyone who’s ever burned themselves right through a pair of supposedly heat-proof gloves knows that the right pair can make all the differences. Competition BBQ pros insist on suede or split-leather welding gloves, which offer better protection than Nomex, silicone or any woven fabric, and better dexterity than oven mitts. Look for a pair that come quite high up on your arms, and have a thick leather exterior and cotton lining.

A Great Cooler

Whether you are sailing on a boat this long weekend, picnicking in a park or just hanging in the backyard with your best buddies, you will want something to keep your bevvies as chill as you are. You need a cooler. Question is, what kind of cooler do you need? Here are three we have our eye on.

The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024

The stylish one: We love the preppy chic of classic L.L. Bean tote bags, so we’re happy to toss their Noreaster insulated tote over our shoulder for all our weekend adventures. It won’t keep ice frozen for all that long, but it’s handy for hauling sandwiches to a picnic or tomatoes home from the farmers’ market. 

The wheelly luxe one: YETI is famous for producing coolers that are spendy, true, but worth the big bucks for being tough enough to withstand bear attacks while also looking cool and boasting the best insulation on the market. The Tundra Haul Wheeled Cooler does all that while also making it easy to lug loads and loads of beer from boat to truck to campsite to patio.

The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024
The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024

The party-hardy one: Coleman’s 70-quart 316-Series Marine Cooler can hold up to 100 cans of your favourite sipper and keep ice frozen for days and days, yet is still light enough to be manageable, at least over short distances, at a price tag that won’t make you feel faint. It’s a versatile and good value choice for your next backyard bash. 

A cozy throw

In Victoria, even the warmest days can end in cool nights, especially if you are anywhere near the water. Keep your guests (and yourself) cozy with a basket of lightweight blankets or shawls for tossing around chilly shoulders.

The long weekend edit - YAM Magazine City Issue May/June 2024

Fleece is fine and your cashmere pashminas fabulously fancy, but we especially love these organic cotton waffle throws from Resthouse Sleep, so pretty and practical in West Coast-inspired colours.