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In the backyard stand three grills: a gas grill and two black Webers. They make a funny family. The gas one is sleek and rectangular while the Webers are a father and son pair, circular globes the larger one being waist-high on tripod legs with the other is the size of a overinflated basketball with short little legs that sits on the sidewalk.  It’s been ages since we used any of them. The gas grill is defunct and takes a lot of time to work the Webers – all of it is out in the 40 degree-plus blazing sunshine. The real reason I abjure grilling isn’t the heat or the time. I am timorous to grill as I am not good at it.  Growing up grilling was ‘man’s work” and proper men at that. Being able to grill and do it well was soooo heterosexual male territory I daren’t not try lest my ineptitude be revealed like my inability to throw a baseball. 

I like grilled food. Back in the days when the gas grill was operating it was rather jolly to grill things. It was a simple run outside , turn it on, and throw on what’s at hand. With practice (and considerable trial and error) I got decent to grill the wienies without too much fault. It would be fun to better my grilling skills if only to wear the manly aprons collecting dust in the kitchen cupboard. I started poking about the Tube of Yous and in cookbooks for tips and such.

Oh the horror. Just as I get over my neurosis I am unworthy to approach the (male) gods of grilling I run into my other neurosis: ‘doing it proper”  When it comes to grilling there seems to be no end on ‘how to do it right’  code for there is a lot of ways to do it wrong.

Brother #4 is a fantastic grill master and he takes it all very seriously.  He has a collection of cookers, smokers, and grills of several sizes on his back porch. On the phone I don’t disclose I am grilling anything as he interrogates what I am doing. From the grunts of disapproval at the other end of the phone I can tell I’ve given all the wrong answers and I should just not try.*

Someone has no worries about having proper/just right grilling. As I sit waiting for the coals to turn gray in Weber Jr. he’s made four perfectly-sized flat patties.  I will put’em on the grill, wait a bit, turn them over and that’s that.  I suppose the experts would find fault in every step of the way from the grill set up to everything else but they are not invited for lunch.  

I am looking forward to hamburgers on the grill. I will try to toast the buns and hope for the best.  If it all goes badly it is just practice after all. 

We have a frozen pizza for back up. 


P.S. Alas Babylon! It was a failure. Apparently I did not use enough coals or I waited too long or I am still not worthy to grill.   Whatever the reason, the burgers were hardly cooking. We both agreed this wasn’t working and brought them in to cook under the broiler.  😦 


*Brother #4 is the youngest and long had the undeserved reputation of not being the brightest of the brotherly bunch. It’s OK he can poo-poo my cooking in the same way I used to grill him (pun intended) on his scholarly skills. When I visit MI this month I hope he will teach me some skills in a brotherly bond. 

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July 2020

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018