Monday, July 22, 2013

You got to roll with it, baby, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Very exciting news: the Duchess Kate has gone into labor; this marks the first time anyone in the Royal family has been connected to the word labor.

West Virginia University lineman, Korey Harris, was arrested for armed robbery after his victim identified him because Korey wore his football number on his team sweatpants. Wow, you talk about a kid who is ready for the NFL.

The Cleveland Browns signed their #1 draft pick, Barkevious Mingo. Many experts feel Barkevious Mingo is the best player in NFL history named either Barkevious or Mingo.

Between the countless vampire, zombie and now “R.I.P.D.” it has never been a better time in Hollywood to come back from the dead. It is such a good time to come back from the dead, Gary Busey and Amanda Bynes could get movie roles. 

Congratulations to Phil Mickelson for winning the British Open at Muirfield; did you see the golf course? It reminded me of Dennis Rodman. So ugly looking it was cool.

Did you see the Muirfield golf course? They generously called where they putted Greens. They were more like Less-Browns. Not to say the course was ugly, but Kim Kardashian wouldn’t have dated it if it was rich.

Since you asked:

One of the longest love affairs of my life has been with the backyard barbeque. Nothing told the senses summer was upon suburban Chicago, Illinois more than the smell of Coppertone suntan lotion and Kingsford lighter fluid exploding in a fire ball in a Weber grill.

Frisbees flew, croquet balls clacked and ice clinked in tall glasses. The stereo played Frank Sinatra and Simon and Garfunkle and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and Judy Collins

My parents loved to entertain and were very good at it. By good at it I mean the guests had a great time. Truth-be-told, my Dad was one sorry-assed grill chef. Not because he didn’t have skill, he could tear it up on a Wok, he just did not care.

The lighting of the grill meant the end of Martini time and neither my Dad nor his friends were in a hurry to end Martini time. This usually coincided with sunset. My Mom would repeatedly ask my Dad if the grill was lit, he would smile at his Martini buddies and say, “Yes, honey.”

The pre-grilling question of “Can I freshen that drink?” Meant a nod, a chug of the entire contents in the glass and a total refill.

Freshen my ass.

Not until my mom brought out the meats to be cooked – t-bone steaks, hamburgers, chicken, hot dogs – would my Dad douse the briquettes with lighter fluid, a mini-A-bomb would erupt and the food was cooked on the flames of pure lighter fluid. It was a miracle my Dad retained his eyebrows. Looking back, he never really needed to buy the briquettes, they never had a chance to light. Dad cooked off of pure chemical flames.

Of the meats, only the chicken came out pink-medium rare. Everything had a black char and tasted like kerosene.

By that time we, the kids, were all sweaty,  sunburnt and covered with mosquito bites and hungry enough to eat Dad's incinerations. Our faces were sticky with watermelon juice and about to get stickier with ice cream. When guests were over on hot nights it was really a treat because then, and almost only then, would the central air conditioner go on.

After dinner it was either Sealtest Neapolitan triple-flavor ice cream, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, or ice cream sandwiches. 

Or if we really went crazy, a stroll into town to get a double-cone, Sundae or milk shake at the Sweet Shoppe.

Lord only knows what my Dad would have thought of my oak wood lump charcoal and charcoal chimney. My eight-burner-gas grill. My brine-marinated, slow smoked chicken thighs. My sea salt and first cold press olive oil. Beer can chicken, shrimp skewers, he would have probably loved that, and my – get ready to roll your eyes, Dad – pizza on the grill.

Who knows what Dad would have thought about all that? Mom would have raved. But I do know I think about Mom and Dad every time I light up a grill. And all the times between.