Ah, the grill and the gridiron.
I’ve made no secret of my enjoyment of cooking. I don’t really go with recipes as anything more than basic guidelines, but enjoy taking those basic guidelines and going off in my own direction. Creating something new, combining flavors to get just the right taste, and improving on the recipes every time. There’s something magic in that and it also allows me to both save money (by not eating out) and eat healthier (by avoiding pre-processed meals and food items as much as possible). It’s similar to juicing, but there’s heat involved.
Grilling is my absolute favorite way to cook — though, I will never understand how it got associated with summer time. The heat index here starts climbing into the 90s in the spring and hits triple digits nearly every day in summer and even sometimes in the fall. It’s the humidity, mostly, that makes the late spring and summer total bummers for cooking or doing much of anything outside. Autumn is my favorite time of year, followed closely by winter. It starts to cool off, and we get that nice bite to the air, the smell of fall.
Sports also hit a high in the Fall: The World Series, Football (College and Pro), hockey starts, basketball starts, and soccer begins to wrap up. There’s just a lot going on — too much to take it all in, really, and I love that. While no one should live and die by a sports team, there is something to be said for physical abilities and developing skills. Sports showcase some of the best athletes in the world at what they do, people spending lifetimes on their talents. Yes, it’s mostly men being paid to play a game, but that’s also part of the joy of it: at the end of the day, it’s purely unscripted entertainment.
The start of football season always holds so much promise: college teams, with new players and old, get a clean slate and a chance to go all the way. Professional teams, also with new players and old, get that same clean slate. Everything is erased, and now it’s time for the abilities of men to decide their fate. It becomes a social activity, as well, with fans of your team (and even sometimes fans of rivals) coming together to enjoy a shared interest.
Anyway, back to grilling: Today, barring rain, I intend to grill for the first time in 2015. My goal is to build the perfect burger, and as such I’ll be carefulling grilling all-beef patties as well as all the non-cheese, non-lettuce toppings: Tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and bacon are all going to feature on the grill. In the past I’ve grilled exactly none of those directly, so this will be a fun learning experience and possibly a humbling moments. That’s another good thing about cooking: learning how to best prepare every aspect of your diet, in a way that suits you. Some kosher hotdogs will also be in the mix, as well. Sausage were in my initial list, but looking at my planned meal… I’m not sure that’s necessary. I’m obviously not just preparing food for myself here. (Update: It worked perfectly. Mmm grilled everything.)
As the season cools, standing next to a hot grill outside will become less onerous. Once, way back when, I was grilling into December. What can I say? I enjoy cooking the flesh of the weak over a flame.
Perhaps steak and sausage will be next weekend’s menu. It has some nice alliteration to it.
Fall is also one of my favorite times to write, and is somewhat inspiring. It’s probably all the life going on around me and the things I enjoy so much all happening at once.
Finally, since I almost exclusively smoke cigars outside and at home, I’ll be able to take up the habit again without sweating myself to a state of near dehydration.