OK, so maybe for most of you this isn’t so momentous, but for me it was. I’ve prepped things for the grill, read numerous recipes for grilling, and watched it done ad nauseum on television and on my own back deck. I had not, however, actually used a grill.
After Dave’s brief description of where to turn on the propane, which burner to light first, how to stand back to preserve one’s eyebrows, and a few other tips that I’m sure were important but that I cannot for the life of me remember, it was time to use the grill.
The occasion for this momentous occurrence was the simple fact that it’s hot. Beastly hot. So hot that my jar of coconut oil that I’d left out on my counter liquified. I don’t know if it’s quite “fry an egg on the side walk hot,” but that’s only because I refuse to sacrifice one of our awesome farm fresh eggs to such an experiment. It’s so hot that the very thought of turning on my stove or (please forbid it) my oven made me cross and snappish. So to the deck we went.
Little Man was highly amused and wanted to be sure that Daddy had given me permission to play with his grill. Then he stood back, keeping his eyebrows at a safe distance, leaned onto the deck table crossing his ankles in the appearance of nonchalance (which in a four year old means that he was preparing to gather information in order to tattle on me to Daddy) and watched.
I wasn’t sure at first what I was going to grill, but then I remembered that I had some boneless pork chops defrosted in the fridge that needed to be used. So after a few quick moments of internet searching for easy recipes, I stumbled on a Lemon Basil Marinated Pork Chop recipe that fit the bill. It had only a couple ingredients, all of which I had at hand (the basil in my garden is trying to take over the world), and it seemed pretty forgiving to me. Meaning that it hopefully would be very hard for me to really mess things up.
Then I opened the pack of pork chops and saw what I was faced with. They had been hack sawed. I don’t remember which store they came from, but as you can see in the accompanying pictures each chop was vastly different in size and thickness. In short, they were a mess, but they were also destined to be dinner so on we went. Marinade done. Pork in marinade. Rice on the stove. Massive bowl of uneaten kale salad from a potluck bbq where everyone was too hot to cook so we all brought salads… on the table. The moment had come.
I successfully navigated the propane (after a few fruitless attempts to light the burner before I realized there was no gas) and burners, getting a good fire going and letting the grill heat. Then on the chops went. Nothing burst into flames, and I laughed at myself for how nerve wracking that one moment was. In my head as I hovered with the pork in tongs over the grill I could hear my upstate New York friends saying to get on with it. So on they went. I had the best of intentions to take the smaller pieces off first but then just decided to give myself a pass and get the pork cooked. Sorry, Dave. I hope I didn’t let you down there, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
In the end, the pork was delicious. And, yes, the smaller piece was over done, but Little Man didn’t mind and nothing was overly caramelized (aka burnt). My kitchen stayed cool-ish, at least in the fact that I didn’t add much more heat to it with my cooking, and I’d gotten over the first fear of using the grill. Now my summer dinner plans have opened up with the new addition of grilling to my repertoire. I’m thinking of some grilled tandoori chicken soon perhaps. We’ll see.
Some day I’ll have to tackle the charcoal bbq beast, but for now the quickness of propane is my new “go to” for the days when I just can’t face the stove. I’ll just need a nice icy beverage in my hand next time.