Saturday, June 22, 2013

Out of the Kitchen, To the Fire

In the spirit of broadening my cooking horizons, I decided this year to get in on some of the "summer" cooking that you can only do if you own a grill, so I bought a small (18") Weber charcoal kettle grill a couple of weeks ago.  There's a small part of me that feels a little weird about it, because the more things I read in order to learn to use this grill, the more I get the sense that outdoor grilling is very much considered a "guy thing"--to an extent I'm not sure I realized when I got the thing, although my sweetie had mentioned it as a concern that kept her from buying one for me as a gift.

Of course, I tend to think the "guy thing" business only applies if your household actually includes a guy, which mine doesn't.  At least, not unless you count our German Shepherd, Bodie, and I really don't think I'd trust him to cook anything properly.  And I have to say, any tiny niggling "weird feeling" is rapidly being chased away by the flavor of the food that has come off of my cute little grill so far.  

First, I christened it by making some cedar-planked Copper River salmon, which was absolutely to die for.  It was too rainy for outdoor cooking last weekend, but this weekend I made the entire "Farmer's Market Menu" from the July/August '12 issue of Food Network Magazine, including some brined pork chops off the grill, with a nice chutney.  I think they had to be the best pork chops I have ever had, and the meal really did make me realize that there is no substitute for the grill--you simply don't get that flavor any other way.  I'm already hoping the weather stays nice enough I can fire it back up tomorrow and make some flame-broiled burgers.

So I'm thinking, why should I bother feeling even the least bit weird about enjoying "men's" cooking?  I'm a kitchen witch, which means I like to cook.  Why would cooking with a charcoal fire be any different--or any less magical--than cooking in an oven or on a stovetop?  To me it feels more magical, more in touch with nature.  Besides, we witches have a long history of challenging the status quo of what is or isn't a "ladies' thing."

It would take some planning... but maybe one of these days I'll even have an opportunity to cook something outside under a Full Moon.

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