Daylight savings time has arrived which means it’s time to clean off the outdoor grill and start looking around the house for something to throw on the Barb-y and while you’re at it maybe find a clean shirt for Ken.
Ah! There’s nothing like the aroma of charcoal briquettes and lighter fluid to make your mouth water for a big, fat juicy filet Mignon (which, by the way, is French for “to hell with cholesterol”).
In my house, nothing can put a stop to the pre-dinner moaning faster than the announcement of barbecue. This is because my family prefers food that has been over-cooked in the Great Outdoors to food that has been over-cooked in the Great Indoors.
I don’t want to brag, but I have this natural ability for broiling, roasting and frying everything to a crisp. I believe cooking should be a devil-may-care endeavor, and the fact that my electric frying pan is jammed at 525 degrees is nothing to get all hot under the collar about.
My family takes my laid-back approach to cooking lying down because that is usually how they end up after eating the meals I fix.
But when they occasionally rebel and complain about supper being singed beyond recognition, I simply tell them it’s Cajun Style. “They’re blackened pancakes,” I’ll explain, “the most often requested meal at Mardi Gras.” They pretend to buy this explanation even though I’d be willing to bet they would buy no such thing at Mardi Gras.
Actually I have a lot of little fibs I use to cover my trail of cooking smoke. For instance, last night on a whim, I decided to fix chicken Kiev as I had some extra Kiev lying around.
Unfortunately, right in the midst of my Kiev culinary conniption fit, I got a phone call and I was amazed how quickly my supper transformed itself from Chicken Kiev to Chicken Chernobyl.
So it’s little wonder that my family was positively giddy when my husband unwrapped his birthday present. It was a box containing 5,167 shiny new pieces which, when properly assembled, would become a deluxe barbecue, and it meant that somebody else (like Bill, himself) would be doing the cooking.
“ASSEMBLES IN MINUTES” was emblazoned on the side of the box and since there was a whole hour before supper, my husband got right down to the task of assembly by carefully reading all 158 pages of instructions then meticulously laying out thousands of parts labeled with every letter in the alphabet and then some.
We all hummed Happy Birthday and watched in hungry anticipation as my husband (a mechanical engineer) struggled to fit Piece A into its corresponding Slot VII. He admitted defeat only after the batteries in the flashlight went dead.
We ended up eating Bill’s birthday dinner at 11 p.m. While we were waiting for the steaks to finish broiling in the Great Indoors, we amused ourselves by making up jokes about how many mechanical engineers it would take to put together a barbecue.
When we finally heard the familiar buzz of the smoke detector, we were jubilant. It meant we could finally sit down and enjoy the delights of broiled filet mignon steaks cooked to perfection in the style most often requested at Mardi Gras.
Until next time . . . I love you