I know this is a sexist stereotype, but what is it about guys and barbecuing?
We've never been much of an outdoor-cooking family. Sure, we occasionally roast something on a stick at our fire pit or cook up a stew in our Dutch oven, but our grill has been sitting under its cover on our deck for over a year now. (A neighbor was giving away her propane grill last summer. We snatched it up with her warning that a fuel line or something needs to be repaired.) We still haven't gotten around to buying a tank of fuel for the grill, and I'm pretty sure it must be housing a nice yellow jacket nest by now. Maybe I'll open it up in January and take a peek.
Regardless, I've always been a little jealous of those households who send the smell of burning briquette wafting through the neighborhood. I'm especially impressed by those who barbecue in winter months.
Let's go back a couple of years. Kent started cooking carne asada and chicken over mesquite charcoal for the young men in our church. He would always bring me some leftovers, and I started wishing he would cook for our family once in a while. But being 95% vegetarians puts a damper on that. So we've had little reason to barbecue...until now!
We borrowed our friends' large hibachi a few weeks--okay maybe a month--ago. They had our patio chairs, so it seemed like an even trade. We needed to finish off some Boca burgers leftover from a company picnic, and I couldn't bring myself to pan searing what might be our only burgers of the season. Well, we never returned that grill. So last week, being desperate to use up some of our zucchini, Kent started some briquettes. I sliced and took a tray of food out to him and the grill. He promptly returned to the kitchen to add some seasonings. Did you hear that?! I stared in disbelief and wondered what the grill had done to my husband. Not that he has never seasoned anything before--but almost. (He does make a good mashed potato. Period.) Before I knew it, the zucchini spears were brushed with olive oil and had a sprinkling of cinnamon and cumin. The peppers (the red ones have a little heat to them, and I wish I hadn't messed up labeling them at planting) were stuffed with cream cheese and strawberry jam stood by for dipping. He let the pineapple stand on its own: my was it good! And yes, you do see some Colossimo's sausages browning with everything else. We bought those during a moment of taste sampling weakness on a rare trip to Costco with a friend. Those sausages are so good that they turned us vegetarians carnivorous! (We bought the red wine flavor. Yummy!)
So now my man is a barbecuer. We might have to make this a weekly ritual. I loved sitting by while he proudly served me his masterpieces. With each delicious bite of hot food--that's right ladies, HOT, as in I got to eat before serving everyone else--my taste buds were satisfied and my resentment at being the sole cook of the household dissipated.
Sidenote: By the look of #5's face, I might have a second grill cook in another decade. That will be heaven!