Tracy Beckerman: The return of Super Grill Man
Like most couples, my husband and I have a fairly equitable division of household chores: I do the food shopping, make the meals, do the laundry, drop off and pick up the dry cleaning, take care of the animals, make the beds and clean the house. He takes the garbage down to the end of the driveway once a week.
I’m very appreciative when he offers to help out in some department. Typically this surge in volunteerism happens in the summer, and the area he likes to help out with is the cooking — or more specifically, the grilling.
Yes, folks, grill season has arrived and my husband, Super Grill Man, is back to save the world, one charcoal briquette at a time.
For Super Grill Man, grilling is a serious business. So what if he can’t find the on/off switch on the toaster oven? Grill Man knows that a real superhero only cooks on something with super-big burners, a rotisserie and lots of BTUs. And while it’s fine for us ladies to use utensils when we cook, when the fellas grill, they use tools. These tools are extra big and extra heavy and made of some kind of indestructible alloy from another planet to protect Super Grill Man from the searing heat of the grill, as well as from any dastardly villains who may be lurking about.
Every superhero needs special tools, as well as something to carry them in on that long, treacherous walk from the kitchen to the back deck. The tools come in their own monogrammed, triple-locked, titanium case.
First, there is the closely-guarded marinading of the meat, which is followed by the much-anticipated lighting of the grill. Next, of course, is the actual grilling of the food, with special attention paid to moving the meat to strategic locations on the grill surface for optimal blackening. Finally, we have the serving of the food, a red-carpet presentation of the charcoaled meal by Grill Man to the grateful, humble and starving family members at the table.
There are times, of course, when he must abandon his post to the unfortunately timed call of nature or the even less fortunately timed call from his mother. It is then, in a blink, that grilling perfection is snatched from his grasp and we end up having charred rocks for dinner.
As we all survey the inedible chunks of blackened food, Grill Man suddenly transforms from his superhero persona to his human alter ego, my husband.
“Is there any lasagna left over from last night?” he asks sullenly.
“Absolutely,” I tell him supportively. “Super.”
Follow GateHouse columnist Tracy Beckerman on Twitter @onerebelmom.