"Grilling, broiling, barbecuing--whatever you want to call it--is an art,
not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing a piece of meat as a
sacrifice to the gods of the stomach."
With the weather warming up the wife has been penciling in a lot more opportunities for me to grill. We grill just about anything--beef, chicken, pork, fish, vegetables, but no dog yet! The wife loves the taste of grilled food--the texture and flavor. Because of this I get to do more grilling. With more grilling come more opportunities for burnt sacrifices. That smoke from the Keener's yard--no, no, it is not a house fire--it's just Keener offering up the daily sacrifice.
Grilling is a love/hate experience for me. As with most human beings it is probably easier to remember the reasons why I hate grilling: the smoke and the way it makes one smell attractive to the dogs the rest of the evening; the grease that covers my glasses giving me a blurry, smeared view of the world around me; the fact that I have no hair on my knuckles from May through September; and, that the wife likes to try every conceivable concoction of sauce ever imagined. I also can never figure out when anything is cooked--especially thick cuts of meat like steaks. I think that my family--even though most don't like rare to medium rare meat--have come to appreciate slightly cooked meat. It is a sort of male version of "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" sort of thing. They know better than to complain--besides they know where the grill is.
As I have gotten older I seem to have forgotten all the reasons I do not like to grill--I guess that is a gift from God--otherwise I might not ever grill. Honestly though, I do have my reasons for liking to grill. One reason is that I cannot grill without having a beer--grilling gives me an opportunity to have a beer. The more grilling, the more beer. Typically though, the usual grilling only takes about one beer. Maybe, if I slowed down and drank two beers the meat might be better cooked. The other reason that I like grilling is because that is playtime for Maddie the Boxer. As soon as the grill is lit Maddie is at my feet with her Frisbee. For the duration of the grilling Maddie and I play Frisbee--I throw, she retrieves, and I beg her to let go so that we can do it all over again. This must be some sort of doggie Nirvana! The two of us get in quite a nice round of "fetch"--she fetches the Frisbee, I fetch the beer.
As much as I jest about grilling, I do think that most the people on the other end of my grilling appreciate it. The kids, now as adults, appreciate it more than when they were little. When they were little they would eat whatever was placed in front of them. Those were the good ol' days when I would offer to them the burnt hamburgers without complaint; but then they got older and figured it out. All the burnt hamburgers and hot dogs were the practice ones--kids always get the practice ones! When they started complaining I had to change my grilling habits. Because of it I have become a better griller.
But it is early in the grilling season. We have a longs ways to go before I am up for the side of beef. There will be a lot of burnt sacrifices between now and then. No one will appreciate them, but God will smile down upon me and be grateful that I have not forgotten to make my offering. But I have heard the rumor that God likes KC Masterpiece Bar-B-Q sauce. I can't stand sauces on my meat, and the wife will not accept her portion being burnt--hopefully God understands. There will be lots of beers. Eventually I will find the right combination and find the art of grilling. In the meantime, the smoke is not a fire, just me grilling. Please don't call the fire department. I don't think I have enough beer for them and me.