Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Time of the season

About this time every year, I start itching to grill. 90% of the recipes I get from my 8-bajillion newsletters involve a grill in some way and it gets me going. Then I remember one crucial problem.

I don't have a grill.

Now, last year when this came up, I had mentioned to my roommate how cool a grill would be. He agreed and bought a little Weber charcoal grill. Eventually I decided to borrow it and grill myself up a lovely steak and some veggies. Then I remembered one more crucial problem.

I suck at lighting charcoal.

Let's backtrack even more to the summer before my senior year of college. I was living in a house affectionately called the Bat Cave, not because of any resemblance to Wayne Manor or die-hard love of the Caped Crusader. It used to have bats. That's all. One of my roommates, Katie Bouma, had gotten it into her head that we should grill out. She got some steaks and asparagus, dragged out the Lil Smokey and attempted to light the charcoal. I was there assisting/eagerly awaiting food.

We spent a good long time trying to get those coals lit.
A very long time.
We spent a very, very long time and a lot of lighter fluid trying to light those damned briquettes.
Eventually we got to the point where we could cook beef without having to classify it as "very thick carpaccio". But it took forever.

Flash-forward to last summer. I read the instructions on the bag of charcoal and, despite following them to the letter AND the fact that they were treated with lighter fluid, I still couldn't get them going above the temperature of my space-heater. When my roommate came home, he worked some voodoo on them and miraculously got it going properly, for which I repaid him with dinner.

The thing is that I moved last fall and though I very well could borrow my old roomie/still buddy's grill, I have no desire to do battle with briquettes every time I want to get a good char on my food.

My point is, I'm getting a grill.
A GAS grill.
Though I know I should learn to master properly lighting charcoal, though I know it provides that wonderful smell that makes you think of cookouts from your youth, though I know it's really not that hard... I don't want to. Charcoal grills take a long time to get going, you have to lug around that stupid bag of rocks it calls "fuel", they produce a huge amount of ash which inevitably gets everywhere. I'm getting a nice little portable gas grill that I can stick in the closet when it's not in use with a cute little propane tank that sticks off the side like a gimpy arm.

And hopefully I will use it.

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