Lets look on the bright side of the 2002-03 season cause theres nothing else left to do now.
If we dont dwell on the icy runs on the mountain or the fact that we havent had any snowball fights this year, there is at least one good thing thats come out of all this mild weather.
BBQ-ing season hasnt come and gone. Instead, it has stuck steadfastly by us, allowing us to grill outdoors to our hearts content throughout this years pitiful winter.
My boyfriend and I bought our first BBQ in January and not liking to do things in half measures, we bought the granddaddy of all BBQs. Its the deluxe, souped-up model, with lots of gadgets and buttons.
(Ive since mentioned to my boyfriend that Im writing this article and he informs me that we have a very middle-of-road BBQ. It is not the Cadillac. Its not the $900 model with attached stove. We could have gone much, much bigger he says.)
Of course, Im not too up-to-date on all the finer details of this particular BBQ its features, its functions and its powerful capabilities. All I know is that its black, its expensive enough and its taking up a good portion of our deck.
Since it arrived, I havent been allowed near it much. I certainly wasnt allowed to assemble it, although Im almost sure if I had there wouldnt be left over screws and bolts. Im also pretty sure that I would have been able to hook up the ignite switch from the get-go. But I digress.
I havent even been allowed to turn the BBQ on since our new monolith took up its home on the deck.
Last week I was given express orders to flip the roast while my boyfriend was taking a quick shower. Little did I know it was my first test with the BBQ and I failed with flying colours.
I had a friend over at the time and we were in mid-animated conversation when I remembered my duties outside. So I got bundled up and headed out onto the deck with our new 10-pound tools in hand. I opened the grill, turned over the roast and closed the lid. Ill admit that I didnt actually LOOK at the meat it wasnt part of my duties. My friend and I quickly slipped back into conversation and I promptly forgot about the roast as I finished making the veggies. (Multi-tasking while I cook is not one of my strong suits.)
Five minutes later a blackened mound of meat appeared before my face. My eyes travelled down the metal tool to my boyfriends look of complete amazement.
"I knew I shouldnt have taken that shower," was all he said. The thing is, Im more than happy to forgo my BBQ-ing duties. He can stand outside shivering over raw meat while Ill stick with the simple salads and corn.
So at the risk of offending ever member of my sex and setting the womens movement back a good century or two, here are my reasons why I prefer to leave the BBQ-ing to the boys.
#1 I dont want to get blown up. No matter how I might reassure myself that theres no way of setting myself on fire, I still cant help cringing and ducking down when the time comes to fire up the grill. I know its unreasonable. I know its pathetic. But the story of my friends mum who singed off the front section of her hair when she opened the lid of the BBQ, always flashes through my mind pre-gillin time. You see Im the person who has burned every single one of our plastic measuring cups in the past six months on our gas elements. (We now have metal cups). Im the one who has singed more than one dishtowel. And Im finally willing to admit that I also warped the handle of the can opener by leaving it too close to the stove. I dont cope well around open flames, apparently. And while, the BBQ is hardly an "open flame," the potential for me to wreak havoc outside on the deck is really too much for me to handle.
#2 Its cold outside. We havent had a lot of snow but its still pretty chilly out there. Nothing could really induce me to trade making the salad to flipping the steak outside, standing in the snow, taking my boots on and off. Im more than happy to take my turn shoveling the driveway (sometimes) or starting the car first thing in chilly dead of the morning (rarely). But when it comes to shivering over dinner, its just not on. Maybe Ill be more inclined to BBQ in the summertime, if Im allowed near the BBQ by that time.
#3 The tools scare me. The BBQ tools that we bought are absolutely massive, with big metal clamping jaws and teeth. Theyre so big that they cant even hang off their allocated spot on the BBQ. Im not really sure why you need a metre of metal stick to flip your meat. Im not the most co-ordinated person at the best of times so extending my arm by about a metre really presents a challenge.
#4 Cooking the meat to perfection. People can get quite particular about their meat, myself included. I know how I like my meat done but actually getting it to that point is a whole other mystery. Everyone has rules and tricks of the trade and for good reason. Lets face it, theres nothing worse than ruining a nice tender piece of filet by leaving it on the grill too long. Or a roast beef for that matter. Ive decided that I dont need that kind of pressure. Ill let my boyfriend try and then blame him if it doesnt turn out to perfection.
#5 Manhood. I do think BBQing harkens back to some Neanderthal gene some of us still have lurking in our blood. Whenever we go to the park in the summer, its always the guys standing by the grill, while the girls are doing other duties. And were in the 21 st century. Its just like dinner at the Sopranos.