The heat wave a few weeks ago prompted me to go out and buy two things; an air conditioner and a barbeque. A charcoal barbecue to be exact. I’ve barbecued on a gas grill many times, but a charcoal grill is very new to me.
The day I brought the barbecue home, my brother came over for dinner and did all the actual grill work. He lit the coals and grilled the meat and veggies as I did all the prep and then watched.
When it came time for me to actually grill something on my own I was a little nervous. I got home, put some paper in the bottom of the grill, added the coals, covered the grill and then lit the paper. I walked away to prep everything. When I came back, the paper was a burnt, but the coals never caught fire.
I added more paper, lit it and walked away again.
This time I came back a little sooner to check on the coals. Once again, the paper had burnt but the coals never lit. At this point I was tired, hungry, and very frustrated. I contemplated calling my brother for help. But I stopped myself. I am an independent woman, I own my home, pay my bills, kill my own bugs, I should be able to barbecue without a man!
So I tried one more time. This time I crumpled the paper into really tight balls so it would burn longer. I washed the dishes while keeping an eye on the barbecue. I watched the smoke pour out of the vents, then calm down slightly. My hopes faded a little as a kept washing. Then, as I was drying the dishes I saw it; the shimmer of heat around the barbecue. You know that scene in Cast Away where Tom Hanks pounds his chest and yells “I have made fire!”? That’s kinda what it felt like (except I had matches).
Unfortunately the meal was a bit of a flop. I didn’t let the grill get hot enough, so the fish stuck and then crumbled as I tried to flip it. And my potatoes were undercooked, so I had to finish them on the stove. Overall I’m going to count this as a success. Mastering the grill isn’t going to happen overnight, but I’ve got the first step down.