Adventures in BBQing

We purchased our first barbecue at the end of April in preparation for a flurry of dinner parties we were going to have in lieu of a housewarming party. It was kind of stressful having so many events because we never entertained in our old apartment but now we feel like complete dinner party masters. Except for that one time that I started drinking before the guests arrived and tried to uncork a bottle of wine. I forgot in my drunkenness to first remove the seal and demolished the cork inside the wine. Good times.

If anyone had suggested how much we would use this device over the ensuing months (ie. several times a week) I would have proclaimed them mental and told them to go to hell. In fact, when we were buying it I was thinking to myself, "What a friggen waste of money, we are never going to use this stupid thing." Sometimes, it’s good to be wrong.

The greatest thing about the barbecue is that Kevin now likes to cook. This is awesome because, although I can cook fairly well, I really don’t like doing it – or at least not every single night. For whatever reason the barbecue really is the domain of the man. At first my thoughts were very much, "Eff that, I can barbecue just as well as any man!" However, when my first attempt at grilling resulted in me screaming like a school girl and bursting out in tears I decided to stick with social convention. Now I just whine and carry on until Kev cooks whatever I want on the grill.

For the most part our barbecuing efforts have been limited to the classics: burgers, hotdogs, bratwursts ("Johnsonville*, it’s like heaven on a bun") with the occasional steak thrown in for good measure. I’ve been whining and carrying on for some time about branching out into chicken and Kev has been adamantly opposed to the idea citing risk of salmonella blah blah blah. A little food poisoning is good for the constitution I say.

Anyway, my fabulous friend Lisa came over for dinner last night and I had some chicken resting in a marinade. Kev asked me how I was going to cook it and I told him I was going to cook it on the George Foreman grill. I guess he couldn’t believe I was about to do something so pathetic (our George Foreman grill can only accommodate one chicken breast, two if they’re tiny – I needed to cook four) so he offered to put them on the barbecue. I reacted with something I can only describe as unadulterated elation. Really, this ranked right up there with my wedding day, and taking possession of my house in terms of being one of the greatest days of my life.

The chicken turned out to be so fantastic that Kev was feeling pretty confident about his skills. He decided to barbecue some catfish. He was so enthusiastic about his plan that I couldn’t dash his boyish glee by doing my typical Debbie Downer routine. However, I hate anything that comes out of the ocean. I believe this is a full-fledged psychological affliction I suffer from, not simply a taste issue. In general, I find that seafood actually tastes fine, but when I’m a few bites in my mind starts screaming, "Oh my God! That came out of the sea!" and because my brain is such a bully, my throat closes right off and I physically gag. I take a lot of flack for not liking seafood but I mean, seriously, what the hell? You don’t see me getting all up in people’s faces and saying, "WHAT? You don’t like brussel sprouts/beets/eggplant? You are such a loser!" Apparently, it’s okay for people to dislike what I like, but not okay for me to dislike seafood. Whatever, my point is this: I had to have a few drinks in order to prepare for eating said catfish.

Much to my surprise, this barbecued catfish actually tasted good. I was able to eat about half. This amounts to a veritable break-through for me. Maybe it was the combination of the barbecue and cajun marinade, or maybe it was the alcohol – it’s a tough call. All I know, is that my husband is a bloody genius and if he’s grilling, I will force any amount of ocean-dwelling creature down my gullet. Who knew the solution to my psychosis would turn out to be a man and his barbecue?

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