I just read through a few articles on USAToday about grilling. They all were directed at men.
And then I thought about it.
I am one of the few women I know who grills.
I learned to grill after an ex-boyfriend who ripped me off was forced to leave his tiny gas grill behind. I loved grilled food. There it sat. And one day I thought, screw it. I'm lighting up that puppy.
Thank God (truly) that my friend Steve was there and grabbed the lighter fluid out of my hand-- it was a gas grill. He politely explained that it was not necessary. Oops.
Since that nearly explosive moment about 12 years ago I have become a grilling machine.
If it can be grilled, I will grill. When people offer me a George Foreman, I'm confused- why not use a real grill? Man up. Foremans are for wimps.
Grilling, to me, is the simplest way to cook. Heat up the grill, throw it on, set the timer, let it rest, then eat.
Wait--- did you say set the timer?
My poor husband has had to suffer the humiliation of having a wife who grills. Apparently, every time I grill something, he loses part of his man card.
The problem, it's not his forte.
With that said, he's come a long, way baby.
He is fascinated that I can cook a steak perfectly on the grill. I explained that I bring the meat to room temperature, and then based on the thickness of the cut (for fish as well), I refer to my handy dandy Better Homes & Garden cookbook, set the timer, flip half way through.
But, of course, that involves reading and following directions.
Which also is a notch out of his man card.
So over the past 10 years, I've "allowed" him to grill from time to time. And I am a giant pain in the ass.
"Um... honey... make sure you heat the grill first..."
"Um... honey... remember the meat keeps cooking once you take it off the grill..."
"Um.... honey... it heats faster towards the back...."
"Um... honey... I think it's probably done..."
"Um... honey... IT'S ON FIRE!"
He shuns my carefully calculated cooking technique for the more authentic "Man-Meat-Fire-Ug" technique.
I am always polite as I eat his offerings. And he truly has improved dramatically. He made some pork chops on the grill last month that were perfect. I was genuinely impressed. He also grills all the burgers and hot dogs for my annual client picnic- quite well, I might add.
I still am not ready to relinquish the tongs, quite yet. I like my veggies, fruit, shrimp-- you name it, I'll grill it.
Plus, my husband's former inability to grill is the reason we are together.
We took a break while we dated. He went on a date with a woman much more suited to him than me, to be honest. She was very nice.
He invited her over and cooked her dinner. Chicken on the grill.
He burned it.
The date took a downward turn, apparently, as they gnawed charred chicken parts.
It did make me jealous, however, to find out he had moved on. Jealous enough to realize that maybe it was time for the break to be over.
Had he pulled it off, who knows? Mama Bean's World may not exist.
So maybe my hesitation to turn over the grill is really my way to hold on?
Or maybe, darn it, I just think it's fun to cook with fire!