Watch out, Emeril.
Move over, Bobby Flay.
And get out of the way, Rachael Ray.
There is a new cook in town -- me. I am now a griller, and while I would still be classified a novice, I'm finding this new passion both challenging and satisfying. I can sense, at some point, I may likely be known as the Prince of Propane.
For most of my life -- actually, all of my life -- I harbored a simple, yet effective philosophy when it came to food. I always felt there were those who specialized in the preparation, and those whose forte was eating.
Obviously, I always felt more at home with the latter.
And then, one warm September evening after we had both gotten home from work, I looked at my wife, Kathy, and proclaimed, "I think I'm going to grill supper for us tonight."
She responded, following a look of disbelief, in her best matter-of-fact fashion, "Steve, you don't know how to cook, you have no idea. And besides, you might burn down the house or something."
How tough could it be? You put a piece of meat on the grill -- after figuring out how to turn the grill on -- and cook it. For years, we've had a rather large grill sitting on a patio type of area behind our house. My only contact with it had been to move it into the garage during winter, and take it back outside in the spring. Kathy did all of the grilling, and I did all of the fetching when we would run out of propane.
But now, for reasons I still don't understand, I wanted to be a grill master.
My first challenge was cooking some burgers I had picked up a few days earlier at the Butcher Block. After I had placed the patties on the grill, it crossed my mind, "OK, what do I do next?"
I yelled into the house at Kathy, "How do I know when these are done?"
Her loving response was, "Figure it out, Grill Boy."
I flipped the patties over a few times until they "looked" cooked on both sides, put them on a plate, took them inside and put them down on the kitchen table.
"Let's eat!" I said.
The first bite, off the edge of the burger, seemed fine. I was encouraged.
But then we had a problem.
The inside of the burger(s) appeared a bit red. I would say "bleeding" might be the most apt description.
Back to the drawing board.
Over the coming weeks, I am happy to report, I have mastered the art of not only a thoroughly cooked burger, but also pork chops, skinless pineapple bratwurst and a few other items.
As I begin venturing into other food groups, I'm thinking about buying a chef's hat. I'm also considering new challenges, like learning how to drive a stick shift. Or attaching documents to an email.
The possibilities could be endless.