Friday, May 17, 2013

The grill

Someday I hope to look back on this post and laugh fondly about the days back when I was learning how to grill.


I think this is going to open a new era for our grill. In past summers, Josh and I used a grill a few times, usually for cookouts or parties with friends and family. We always kind of wanted to use it more frequently, but never quite got around to actually doing that, partly because he was the only one who knew how to use it.

Well, until now. Since we opened the grill one week ago, we've made steak for fajitas and steak on its own (for separate groups of friends who came over), caprese sandwiches, and two kinds of chicken. We don't usually eat tons of meat, so I'm excited to try more vegetables and fruit (I'm looking at you, peaches) on the grill soon.

For 29 years, starting with my dad, I've watched people grill around me. I love grilled food. (Does anyone loathe food on the grill?) I've always had a small inkling that it would be fun to learn how to do it, but honestly, with our gas grill, I was scared. This confession will seem kind of silly to grill aficionados, but there's that huge tank of gas and you're voluntarily opening it and then trying to ignite that gas not too far away and it just seemed like the potential was ripe for things to go majorly wrong.

My motivation to finally conquer this fear stemmed from a recent "Dinner Party Download" podcast featuring Bobby Flay saying he didn't get why people were intimidated by grilling, as it's the most basic cooking method in the history of the world: putting meat over fire. Oh, I said to myself, he's right! So on Sunday, Josh kindly walked me through (twice) the steps of turning on the grill and operating it. I practiced lighting it and we talked through the basics of the cooking process.

And then, on Monday, Josh was working late and my plan was to use up some frozen chicken, and it was time to put Sunday's lesson to the test. I tried a margarita-esque marinade that included tequila, soy sauce, honey, lime and garlic. I let the chicken marinade for about an hour while I walked the pup. And then it was grill time.

I went outside and got the grill lit and ready to go. Wish didn't hide his concern.

Here I am!

Is this a good time to admit that I originally took a thumbs-up photo next to the grill that lasted about three seconds in this world before I deleted it?

Wish apparently continued to have zero faith in my efforts.

I took a picture of the chicken on the grill, too, but raw chicken isn't very photogenic. Ugh.

One at a time, each piece came off the grill.

And my first try was pretty good!

Last night, I revisited the grill with the rest of the frozen chicken. I branched out (not hard to do when it's your second grill session) and tried a new marinade: a Thai cilantro one I found via Google. I loved it and it's also extra-festive because the pureed cilantro sauce clings to the chicken and made it bright green on the grill. I roasted some broccoli to go with it and had a very green dinner.

Next up? I wasn't kidding - there really are three ripe peaches in the fruit basket. I stocked up on turkey burgers, hamburgers and more chicken at the grocery store. I can't wait to try vegetables, too.

I am so excited. I love to try new cooking ideas, and the grill is a whole new frontier for me. It's going to be a fun summer.


  1. I am so impressed. Seriously. I have never grilled by myself either. What's up with that?!

  2. I am also so inspired that after 57 years I TOO will learn to conquer the grill! :)