LOST IN SUBURBIA®
Like most couples, my husband and I have a fairly equitable division of household chores: I do the food shopping, make all the meals, do all the laundry, drop off and pick up the dry-cleaning, take care of the animals, make the beds, and clean the house, and he takes the garbage down to the end of the driveway once a week. I’m not complaining, mind you, because he is the bread-winner and I’m the stay-at-home mom and the house stuff comes with my job description. Still, I’m always very appreciative when he offers to pitch in and help out in some department. Typically this surge in volunteerism happens in the summer, and the area he likes to help out with is the cooking, or more specifically, the grilling.
Yes folks, its time to throw another shrimp on the barbie: Grill season has arrived and my husband, Super Grillman is back to save the world one charcoal briquet at a time.
For Super Grillman, grilling is a very, very serious business. So what if he can’t find the on/off switch on the toaster oven. Grillman knows a real superhero only cooks on something with super big burners, a rotisserie and lots of BTUs. And while it’s fine for us ladies to use utensils when we cook, when the fellas grill, they have to use TOOLS. These tools are extra big and extra heavy and made of some kind of super indestructible alloy from another planet to protect Super Grillman from the searing heat of the grill as well as any dastardly villains who may be lurking about looking to steal his barbeque sauce. And because every superhero not only needs his special tools, but also something to carry them in on that long treacherous walk from the kitchen to the back deck, the tools also come in their own monogrammed, triple-locked, titanium case.
It is always a big event when Grillman handles dinner. First there is the closely-guarded MARINADING OF THE MEAT, which is followed by the much-anticipated LIGHTING OF THE GRILL. Next, of course is the actual GRILLING OF THE FOOD with special attention paid to moving the meat to strategic locations on the grill surface for optimal blackening. Finally we have the SERVING OF THE FOOD; a red carpet presentation of the charcoaled meal by Grillman to the grateful, humble, and quite hungry family members at the table.
Although Grillman usually only handles one fourth of the actual meal and us mere mortals make the salad, potatoes and vegetables in the lowly kitchen, for some reason it ends up being everyone’s belief that Grillman singlehandly prepares the meal and he is rewarded with cheers and applause as he carries the burnt offering to the table. Of course he clearly deserves this praise, for he has stood at his post, diligently and without wavering for at least ten minutes while the flames licked at his wrists and the smoke burned his eyes so that his family could enjoy this selfless act of grilling love.
There are times, of course, when he must abandon his post to the unfortunately-timed call of nature or the less fortunately-timed call from his mother, and then, in a blink, grilling perfection is snatched from his grasp and we all end up having charred rocks for dinner.
As we all survey the inedible chunks of former food, Grillman suddenly transforms from his superhero persona to his human alter ego, my husband.
“Is there any lasagna left over from last night?” he asks.
“Absolutely,” I tell him supportively.