This morning is warmer than yesterday morning but still in the 50’s. We have sun and blue skies and a bit of a breeze. It’s a pretty morning. Lots for me to do today including laundry, sweeping the deck, doing some errands and painting a part of the fence.
Last night my friends came for dinner. Other than the mixed grill, everything I served was new to me. That’s taking a chance, but usually my dishes are successes so I head confidently into the unknown. Every dish from appetizers to dessert drew compliments. I was asked to share two recipes, both simple to make, and I was pleased to oblige.
Last night I used the grill for the first time this summer. There should have been fireworks and majorettes and weather warm enough for dining al fresco, but that will come soon enough.
The first barbecues I remember were hot dogs and hamburgers on a small charcoal grill. My father always did the grilling. It is a strange phenomenon that men who never touch a stove do all the outside cooking. I think it harkens back to cavemen hauling home a piece of meat to be cooked over the fire. Tending the fire was men’s work which translated over time into cooking on a grill. My father cooked the meat perfectly no matter what it was. The menu changed as I got older, and my father cooked sausages of all sorts, steak tips, pork tenderloin, chicken and one of my personal favorites, ribs. My mother made all the side dishes: potato salad was the family favorite.
My father always cooked with charcoal, but his was the light a match and toss it on the briquets type which smelled a little like chemicals when it was first lit. He waited and watched and knew exactly when to start the cooking by reading the coals. He kept a spray bottle near him in case of flares ups. He’d sit out there, have a drink or two and cook, usually by himself. His attention was all for the food, not conversation.
He’d pile the meat on a serving platter, come inside and announce dinner was served. We were ready. The salads were made, the table set, and we were hungry for that food we had smelled cooking through the opened windows. It was always kudos for the chef.