Monday 29 April 2013

George Foreman

Today I officially started BBQ season. Well, technically I cooked on the BBQ last Friday, but it was just hot dogs and they hardly qualify as meat. Tonight I went out and tossed the steaks on the grill, closed the lid and watched the snow flakes drift down around me. Not what I would call an auspicious start for the season.
I am not one of those guys that love to BBQ. I have never understood the appeal of cooking the meal outside in the elements with bugs hovering around waiting their turn to feast on the meat or me. I am a realist in that I know when I camp it is necessary to cook out of doors and there are certain activities where the BBQ is king. I am referring to the “Tailgate” cooking that goes on at sporting events. I don’t get that either, why would you go early to a game, sit in a lawn chair in a parking lot and cook over a portable BBQ? You could stay home and cook the meal and be able to control the environment or go to a nice restaurant and help the economy. The company or family picnic is another time when food should be cooked outside and it does taste better for some reason.
Mankind has spent ten thousand years perfecting indoor living, and just when we seem to have reached the peak, some of us are trying to take cooking back outside. Insane! Why not dig a latrine in the back yard so that you can have the “outdoor” toilet experience?

I have at least two brother-in-laws that just love to BBQ. Other than that, they are pretty normal people. I will admit that they are very good outdoor chefs and somehow when they cook meat on a grill it doesn’t come out all charred and dry. I imagine that is the result of experience and dogged determination. I know they cook outside in the winter, but that is more like when I cook outside here. Turn on the BBQ, toss in the meat, and get back inside to warm up until the right amount of time goes by.

I have a theory that people who live in warm, humid climates will BBQ more than those of us that need fire to keep warm. BBQ…ing keeps the house from getting too hot on those summer days when it is already unbearable inside. We in Calgary rarely have that problem. I put in an air conditioner more for the “just in case” days. I think we used it three times last summer and then only because I took the time to put it in and by God it was going to be used!
When we were in Hawaii, we passed open air chicken rotisseries at the side of random streets. They smelled good, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat questionable meat on a stick from equally questionable vendors. Hawaii has a lot of feral chickens roaming around and the roosters make it their solemn duty to wake up hung over vacationers at 4:30 AM. My guess would be that there are a lot less feral chickens since these open air rotisseries opened. I think of it as food trucks without the truck. I don’t eat from food trucks either.  
I don’t see why it becomes the male duty to cook when the cooking takes place out of doors. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the person with the most experience with cooking to take on the more challenging outdoor “experience”? Maybe this is why I don’t like to BBQ. I am no good at BBQ…ing now, and I have never been any good, but still it falls on my shoulders to do the cooking. I can only tell people that I only cook “well done” for so long. People think I am kidding until they have to get an axe to cut the meat. I try to pass on the BBQ duties to someone that likes BBQ…ing and does it well, if they are visiting, but generally they can’t believe I would give up the “Honour”. I would just as soon watch someone do right by the meat, after all, the cow died so that we could nourish ourselves and it just doesn’t seem fair to burn it as well. That’s the way I feel anyways.

The steaks tonight were okay, a little dry but edible. I can’t help but think that my “George Foreman” grill would have done a much better job. And I wouldn’t have had to stand out in the snow.

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