Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Barbecue Epiphany

   When I was growing up my Dad always was the master of the barbecue.  Every single time he came home off the road I would look forward to whatever he would prepare for us on the grill.  Whether it was hamburgers, chicken, or steak when it came to grilling, I knew that was my Dad’s domain.   I even remember it was always my Grandpa’s that ruled the barbecue grills in their households.  It was the way things were.  I accepted it.  I never aspired to learn how to grill food; I simply knew I wasn’t a guy so it wasn’t my thing to do.  Women did the cooking in the kitchen and the men took care of any barbecuing that needed done.

       It is hardly surprising that once I married my husband I accepted the fact that he was the one to grill food and I would handle any cooking done in the kitchen.  I have to admit when I was first married and setting up housekeeping I was completely clueless what to make for dinner or how much to prepare.  The weird thing was I would go to the grocery store and buy all the things my husband liked even though he wasn’t going to be around to eat it. 

       One Halloween my sister had made a huge batch of vegetable soup just like our mom used to make.  I honestly thought I had died and went to heaven.  She gave me a huge container of it to take home and asked me at the time “Why don’t you make a big pot of soup yourself if you love it so much?”  The answer was simple.  My husband didn’t like vegetable soup and hated carrots.  She seemed unimpressed.  I remember her saying “Hells Bells Kathy, as much as he is gone, why is stopping you from making some for yourself? I would make the things you like when he isn’t around and make what he likes when he is!”  That stuck with me, and I made up my mind I was going to do just that.  Believe me, I became an even happier person when I realized this small truth.

        Here I am, 44 years old having been married almost 15 years and guess what?  I am mastering the barbecue grill!  It has the added extra bonus of involving less mess in the kitchen and the beauty of not heating up the kitchen with the hot stove!  I am woman, see me roar!!  Can you possibly imagine how liberating it was for me to break the patterns of a lifetime and do something that I never imagined myself doing?  It is awesome!  I started on this new grilling adventure this summer and now, I grill every single night!!  Everything from chicken to pork chops to steaks experimenting with marinades and spicy rubs; I am having the time of my life and feeling like I conquered Everest!!  I can do it, and do it well.  It took me 44 years to accept the fact that I didn’t need a twig and giggle berries hanging between my legs to operate a barbecue grill!!

        Being a trucker’s wife, you end up taking on tasks you would never dream possible no matter how big or small simply because you don’t have a choice in the matter.  Sometimes you got to do what you have to do.  I had to either $hit or get off the pot and learn the hard way when everything went to hell.  I had to figure out how to do it myself, fix whatever was broken,  and basically figure out how to survive and get the job done on my own.   There is no one else that is going to do it for me.  It is up to me.  To most people grilling meat on a gas grill is small potatoes compared to some of the major accomplishments some folks take on and conquer.  As you can see, it doesn’t take much to make my day and believe me making edible food on the grill is right up there for me.  It reminds me I can soar and do anything I set my mind to if I just try until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.