screams summer more than a nice barbecue, and since the temps here in the Midwest have been decidedly the opposite of the warm summer weather I love (think 20s and 30s…), I thought it would be fun to enjoy a little summer in December today.
Anyway, you’ve heard me wax poetic for the last few years about my little
obsession, about that first summer when my mother and I couldn’t even get a
tiny fire going, about my mother’s ever-present fear that our surrounding lawn
will shoot up into one giant blazing flame and about how we’ve even
contemplated throwing in the towel in favor of a bigger grill.
we haven’t thrown in the towel yet, and just the mere thought of grilling season, even in the dead of winter, has me wondering: Don’t the lessons learned while hunched over
that tiny grill stay with you even in non-barbecuing seasons?
Bigger isn’t always better
your neighbor may have a state-of-the-art grill: One of those huge numbers with
multiple racks and the ability to be pushed around by shiny wheels. I’ve seen a
few of those in our neighborhood. And I admit that I look at those for a
moment, look at our grill and wonder if we should upgrade. My mother has tried
to convince me a time or two that “We should get a bigger grill.” I suspect her
reasoning has more to do with her fear of fire than with actual grilling gusto,
but I’ve told her each time, “Our little grill does just fine for itself.” The
same goes for life, doesn’t it? Substance and character go a lot further than
flash and pizazz. And I’m not just talking about the searing flash of an
orange fire, either.
year, we engage in a tough battle with our little barbecue. Just to get even
the tiniest flame is a struggle, but we never give up. We throw match after
match onto the black charcoal only to see it fizzle out. But we keep our calm
(and I usually have to encourage my mother to relax and focus), and it’s all
worth it in the end with that first bite of a charbroiled hot dog. After all,
good things, whether in barbecuing or in life, come to those who wait.
few years ago, in our quest for Barbecuing Domination, we invited our closest
friends, Billy and Cheryl, over for a little tutorial. Now, I’ll admit that I
was a bit saddened to hear that they have a larger grill, but I still gave them
a chance. I was willing to accept their help, and sometimes in life, we have to
reach out for that hand that wants to help us, whether we think we need it or
not. Apparently, in our case, we needed it because our meal turned out
fantastic. And it was still made on our little grill.
Getting there is
half the fun
all those times we grumbled at the grill for not cooperating with us, we knew
one thing for sure: We were having the time of our lives. We were laughing and
spending quality time together. It was a special journey that we could share
together. And even if my mother wouldn’t admit it, I think she’s actually growing
quite fond of our little meat machine.
[Photos via We Heart It]