A Grilling Legend
The moment that all of my anticipation has been leading up to has finally arrived. The mailman is here, and he has my mail. This can only mean one thing: my new grilling magazine has arrived.
I beckon the news of this much awaited delivery to my wife: “Honey, it’s finally here! The Summer Event Grill Spectacular Special!” She isn’t as excited about this event as I am, but she doesn’t understand the beauty of the grill.
I am not your standard dad. I surpass all records previously held by dads. I can make the best cup of coffee, repair any broken appliance throughout the house, and mow the lawn in an astonishingly quick number of minutes. My best attribute, however, most easily goes to my grilling abilities. I have always been a grill expert - my father began teaching me the ways of the outdoor cooking at the young age of 4. I would help him marinate the meat as well as cut the vegetables for the kabobs. These experiences shaped me into the grill dad that I am today. I always yearn for new cooking challenges so I can display my talent for the rest of the world to see. The other dads in the neighborhood are jealous of my skills, and I rub it in their faces as frequently as possible. My upcoming challenges can be reflected through my daughter’s birthday party. She begged me to have the party be catered by the local chinese restaurant chain, but I must continue to prove my grilling expertise. Why would we pay a good amount of money for a caterer when I, a grilling legend, can cook the free for free not including grocery expenses? My daughter is out of her mind, and she will come to this realization after she sees how much of a hit her party is under the control of my cooking. As the day of the party grows nearer, my wife begins to pester me about the menu.
“How are you expecting a bunch of teenage girls to want to eat smoked tuna?” she questions.
“They’ve never tried it! They’ll love it. I put this lovely onion sauce on the tuna and it tastes like Heaven,” I reply quickly.
My wife, Sharon, pauses for a brief second before she counters my reasoning with a carefully constructed response: “They’re teenagers! They will take one look at the tuna, decide that they don’t want to try it, and move on to the potato chips.”
“Are you crazy? There won’t be any potato chips at this party! I’m making grilled vegetables as the side dish!” I respond in shock.
“EVEN BETTER! MORE FOOD FOR THEM TO NOT EAT!” My wife yells as she slams the door to the house.
“Finally, some peace and quiet,” I think to myself as I return to my grilling cookbook to finalize my the menu plan.
Days pass, and it is now the day before the big party. I’m nervous because my daughter’s friends will all be here and I have to prove my grilling superiority over them. This food has to be perfect. Driving to the grocery store, I recite my cooking process over and over in my head to make sure that I have the whole plan down. Knowing exactly what I need to make the meal excellent, I parade through the aisles with ease as I throw ingredients into my cart. While searching for the barbecue sauce, however, I quickly come across a problem. They don’t have my brand! Pacing angrily, I track down the closest employee.
“WHERE IS THE SWEET BABY RAY’s HONEY FLAVORED BARBEQUE SAUCE?” I scream.
“Hey man, calm down, okay? We’re getting a new shipment in later this week. It’s a very popular item this time of year, you know?” the grocer responds mindlessly.
“HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO ME THAT WAY! DO YOU REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT I HAVE ONLY THE BEST BARBEQUE SAUCE FOR MY EVENT?” I scream once again.
The grocer shakes his head in an annoyed manner.
“OF COURSE YOU DON’T. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT,” a crowd soon gathers as I continue to verbally harass the young man, “DO YOU AT LEAST HAVE THE ORIGINAL SWEET BABY RAY’s?”
Once again, the grocer shakes his head, and walks away, leaving me stranded in the middle of the sauce aisle.
Suddenly, a frail looking elderly woman approaches me from behind.
“Excuse me, Sir? I, um, think I have what you’re looking for,” the woman announces as she reaches into her cart and pulls out an industrial sized container of Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey flavored barbeque sauce from beneath piles upon piles of toiletries. In one quick movement, the woman tosses the sauce into my cart and walks away at an impressively brisk pace.
The day has been saved.
“This important barbeque sauce must serve as a symbol for good things to come,” I think to myself as I walk up and down the remaining aisles gathering the rest of my ingredients.
When I return to my house, I lay out my ingredients in a very strategic manner across the grilling table. The meat will go on the lower rack, so as to capture the heat of the coals more efficiently, and the vegetables will be wrapped in tin foil and placed on the top rack so that they will be steamed while they cook. While all of this takes place, I will chop up some potatoes and prepare a potato salad. The game plan has been created, and I am ready to go.
Twenty minutes into the grilling marathon, everything is still looking up. The meat is beginning to show a nice glaze, while the vegetables are nearly perfectly cooked. I remain hopeful as I prepare the next round of meats: ribs, chicken, and salmon. As I prepare to place the last piece of salmon on the grill, I hear a shrill voice yelling at me from inside the house.
“WHY ARE YOU MAKING SALMON? ALL OF MY FRIENDS HATE SALMON,” my daughter complains. I am able to deduce that it is my daughter speaking due to the context of the situation.
“Everyone loves salmon!” I scream back as I enthusiastically drop the salmon on the grill.
In one long phrase, my daughter replies, “Fine! But hurry up because my friends and their parents are likely to be here any minute!”
This is news to me. I was informed that the party wasn’t due to start for another two hours. You may think that this would throw me off track tremendously, however, it does just the opposite. I shine under pressure, just like a diamond. Since I have already prepared more than 3/4 of the meal, I am able to relax and push through to the finish line. At this point, all of the vegetables are ready, and the meat will continue to cook on the top rack until the guests arrive in order to preserve the temperature.
After 10 minutes, the guests slowly make their way onto the deck to witness me taking the meats off of the grill. I take this as an opportunity to display my grill tricks. Using my customized grilling tongs, I pick up a large piece of chicken and toss it into the sky. After it makes two complete rotations in the air, it drops perfectly onto a nice outdoor plate. The crowd applauses. I am now confident that the rest of the party will be a complete hit. Even my family cheered for me! I have brought honor to my household as I am clearly not only the best griller in the neighborhood, but I am also the most entertaining dad on the block. I look forward to the next time I get to throw a grill party for my family and my pals.