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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • A man and his grill

  • This past weekend, with temperatures in the 60s for the first time since Oct. 13, 2013, we broke out the grill. To honor the occasion of grilling for the first time in nearly six months, Hubby bought himself a new grill.
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  • This past weekend, with temperatures in the 60s for the first time since Oct. 13, 2013, we broke out the grill. To honor the occasion of grilling for the first time in nearly six months, Hubby bought himself a new grill.
     
    At our house, grilling is the time-honored tradition of the alpha male (Hubby) wielding a set of tongs and manning the grill station.
     
    The “women cook, men grill” attitude somehow seems as American as apple pie, and a widely accepted gender distinction. Frankly, I couldn’t care less if there is an attitude out there about men grilling. If Hubby wants to cook a meal with minimal help from me, by all means have at it!
     
    When it comes to the business of barbecuing, I am not at all offended that I’m not in the boy’s club.
     
    Think about it–there is lighter fluid, a match, a breeze and a miniature pitchfork to stab things with. There is a potential for danger and that alone makes it thrilling to Hubby. I tend to be a salad spinner and Hubby is the Keeper of the Grill.
     
    Tender of the Flame.
     
    Master of the Meat.
     
    It was almost ceremonious as Hubby lugged the new grill up to it’s very own thrown on our deck. It really is quite the contraption.
     
    When the grill is turned on, the igniter rod ignites the hardwood pellets that are feed by an auger into a firepot inside the grill. A fan feeds air to the firepot to keep a continuous, even flame. A heat shield above the firepot acts as a primary point of heat diffusion, forcing heat from the centrally located firepot to the insides of the grill chamber. A few inches higher is a steel drip tray that serves as a secondary point of heat infusion, channeling the heat into the front and rear of the cooking chamber. The drip tray also catches the drippings from the cook surface and funnels it outside the grill to a waiting container.
     
    As hot, smoky air circulates around the cooking chamber, it surrounds the food (in this case, T-bone steaks and baked potatoes) with heat, cooking the food evenly on all sides, both top and bottom. An electronic control board controls the temperature.
     
    It is the master of all grills, according to Hubby, who has effectively named himself the Grill Master.
    Normally, I work on small tasks helping to prepare the meal, whether it is chopping vegetables to grill or making a salad. On Sunday I was perfectly content to sit back and watch the Master of Grills and the Grill Master do their thing.
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    Hubby was like Superman–pumped up, capable, spatula in hand. I almost expected him to raise his miniature pitchfork and exclaim, “Fear not, good citizens: the steaks will be done soon!”
     
    I found it exhilarating to watch Hubby in his primal glory wearing the grilling crown and waving his mighty tongs like a scepter, defending the flame.
     
    Short of beating his chest, grilling connects him to his inner caveman–at least until football season starts. He was out there roasting hunks of meat on a flame with a can of beer and not a care in the world (except for said hunks of meat).
     
    The most significant obstacle to his reign as King of the Grill is the cookbook that came with the grill that he mistakenly threw in my direction. From appetizers to breads to baked goods and everything in between—it can be cooked on this grill with precise directions from how to mix the elements of the meal, to what contraptions to use on the grill, down to the temperature and placement of food on the grill.
     
    “The next warm day I will grill,” I told Hubby. “On the menu: grilled peaches! Doesn’t that sound good?”
     
    The cookbook has since disappeared and The Grill Master, besides looking a little smug, isn’t saying a word.
     

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