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September 03, 2006

Cooking with Fire, Part II

My mom and Ken recently got their first charcoal grill, a beautiful green Weber. They also got a chimney starter, which eliminates the need for lighter fluid. It also seems to eliminate the need for beer: we grilled without beer three times while we were out there and each time it worked just fine. We liked the chimney starter so much that my mom had one sent to us when we got back home. It arrived Friday and I used it for the first time last night. The way it works is that you crumple up two sheets of newspaper and stuff them in the bottom, then fill it with charcoal and light the newspaper, which ignites the coal. It took me a long time to get the newspaper lit, however. It was a windy evening and I was using paper matches. Then I ran out of matches and had to switch to a lighter. It still took a while, and I began to wonder if my lighter was running out of butane, but then it caught dramatically. After I got the newspaper lit, I called my mom to thank her for the chimney starter and to tell her I was using it. She sounded a bit alarmed to hear that I was using it without adult supervision (after all, I'm only twenty-seven), and reminded me that it would be flaming when I dumped out the coals. I reassured her that I had oven mitts (in fact, I had just run over to Kmart to buy them), and that it would be okay. And it was. By the time we got off the phone the coals were glowing red with white ash on the outside, so I dumped them out and put my food on. I learned the hard way, however, that one chicken breast, two egglplants, and four large zucchini is just too much, even for a large grill!

Posted by eklanche at September 3, 2006 11:48 AM


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