Set It And Try To Forget It.
YOU CAN TELL THAT THEY MUST HAVE SKIPPED BREAKFAST. All those guys wanted to talk about was food. They started out comparing restaurants and moved on to recipes. These guys are eaters, not cookers. They could easily kill themselves if they went into the kitchen. They would either poison themselves or blow the house to Kingdom Come.
The thing is – they are making me hungry and I’m stuck with them, sitting in the corner at St. Arbucks.
I think that part of this discussion of theirs has its Genesis in their desire to break out their backyard grills and destroy some perfectly good meat while they are popping open enough beer to get them all arrested for BUI – Barbequing Under the Influence.
I haven’t set fire to charcoal in twenty years and I’m a better man for it. Nobody has succumbed or been devastated by food poisoning from the efforts of my inept hands.
Most people, it seems to me, who like to fire up that gizmo in their backyard are just playing a grownup’s version of Cowboys and Indians – minus the Indians. In their minds they are just sittin’ around the campfire after a hard day of annoying non-existent cattle. These Masters of the Weber Kettle could take a big ol’ slab of ribs and within an hour or two, or three, turn those ribs into dog food. Then they will all have tuna salad for supper.
My father used to try his hand at cooking on the old outdoor grill. He destroyed a lot of food. He figured that because he had years of experience working in a Steel Mill that he knew how to handle high
temperatures in a confined space. He had to learn the hard way that pouring molten steel was a little different than turning bratwursts and burgers into something you would feel comfortable feeding to your children. We had a dog that wasn’t all that fussy, but any animal that would eat its own feces must have known something if it would turn down Dad’s cremated beef on a paper plate.
I doubt that the men who started all of this musing about food were as voracious and fussy as our dog, but listening to them sugar coating their memories of cookouts long ago made me wonder – were their cookouts better than ours?
Eating outdoors is not a fond set of memories for me.
Ruined food. Fire Extinguishers. The Sound of Approaching Sirens.
Those things added up to only bad dreams and attempts at Veganism.
I guess that I’m not the backyard cookout kind of guy. I might unwrap a nice Subway “Meatball Marinara” while sitting at a picnic table, but the thought of having to play with propane or charcoal does not appeal to me. It conjures up images of wildfires and smoldering tree limbs. If I try to BBQ some ribs I’d better fix enough to feed the fire fighters who will inevitably be there at some point.
I let those fine gentlemen wallow around in their memories. I’m sure that when they return to their homes they will heat up some microwave bacon and feel rather rustic. Daniel Boone and Sacajawea will have nothing on them.
Me? I’ll be content with a toasted bagel and Ron Popeil.