Cooking with Fire! · 29 February 2008

I know that grilling is supposed to be a man’s job. After all, some Neanderthal beat his chest and said forcefully, “Me man, cook with fire!” So it grieves me greatly that I am not the one behind the hot grill sweating up a storm as the meat cooks. And it causes me much pain knowing that I have been relegated to getting propane for and cleaning the grill.

Men in my own family are probably groaning as they read this and that Neanderthal who is so often quoted is probably rolling over in his grave. Still, I will bear the shame in order to have better grilled meat than what I can manage over the primitive fire.

When we first got married, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi let me grill on the barbeque. It was a very manly deed to be cooking over the fire of our wedding present grill. I grunted and guffawed as only real Neanderthals can as I relished in the cooking of brontosaurus burgers and wild boar. But after just a couple times of cooking over fire, my days of manly grilling were over. The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi said that the burgers were too rare and the pork was too cooked. I was crushed as no man should be crushed. I had my job taken without even trying to be inept.

I might have been able to gain back some of my male dignity for being ousted from chief meat burner if I could stand before a group of my manly peers and say that I had meant to be ousted. I might be able to save face if I had shown my wife that I was inept by trying to be inept without her catching me trying to be inept. But alas, I did not do my best at doing my worst so that I could get out of a job. I was merely incapable of producing the kind of meat that most of our family enjoys. Really cooked burgers and just barely cooked everything else.

Fortunately, I do get to use the grill every so often. I get to pull off the propane tank when it needs filling and clean it out when it needs cleaning. I even get to start it up every once in a while. And every so often I get to cook something. I try really hard not to cook fish and pork and chicken too long. And I try to burn the burgers. Unfortunately, I do not do as well as my wife. She is the chief chef and the chief griller in our household. And that is probably for the best.

I wish that I could have followed in my father’s or two younger brothers’ footsteps in grilling like a real man. And even though I can not gain back a bit of male respect by saying that I meant to be inept at such a manly task, I do enjoy the food that The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi grills. It is never too done and I have rarely had such wonderful morsels grilled to perfection. When it comes down to it, I guess the good eating is worth the shame of not being able to be the Neanderthal and say, “Me man, cook with fire!”

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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