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July 13, 2006

Cooking with Fire

I used to cook. In fact, as most of my friends and relatives can attest, I used to cook quite well. I did it all: sauteeing, braising, roasting, baking, you name it. Except grilling. David is the grill master, king of charcoal, so when there was a piece of meat to be grilled, David was the one to do it. Lately my cooking efforts have deteriorated to the bare minimum: boiling big pots of beans, grains, and vegetables, and then microwaving them when it is time to eat. This means that David has been doing a lot more grilling. The problem, however, is that he rarely gets home before about 8, which means the grill doesn't get lit until 8:30, and it is close to ten by the time we eat. This is fine with David, but I would prefer to eat just a little earlier. So he showed me how to light the grill, and I did it for the first time on Monday. But it didn't work. I opened the vents, piled up the (all-natural) charcoal, doused it with lighter fluid, and threw on a match. It seemed to start, but soon died down and never revived. Finally, around nine, I gave up on it and asked David what I had done wrong. He pointed out that I had forgotten the crucial first step: opening a beer. How could I have forgotten? Maybe because I don't drink. In any case, David opened a beer, put more lighter fluid on the coals, threw on another match, and, thirty minutes later, we were cooking with fire. I don't know how it works, but the beer does seem to be crucial.

Posted by eklanche at July 13, 2006 11:57 AM

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