The Art of the Barbecue

This has been the continuous argument in my house the last few weeks.

Me – “You don’t make dinner”

Boy – “Yes I do, I barbecue.”

Me – “That’s not making dinner.  That’s flipping meat.  It would be like saying you made dinner if I did everything to prepare and then you put it in the oven – that’s not you making dinner, that’s you putting it in the oven.”

Boy – “There’s more to barbecuing than that.”

Me – “Hardly”

Boy – “Blah blah blah… you don’t think I do anything… blah blah blah”

Me – “I’m not saying you don’t do stuff, I’m saying you haven’t made dinner – beginning to end in a long time.”

Boy – “Yes I have, I barbecue”

And it continues.  Mostly this argument is just to bother the Boy, but there are days when I am genuinely bitter when I come home from work, and he gives me the look that says, “what’s for dinner?” It drives me crazy.

In an effort to show the Boy that there is nothing special about barbecuing I took on the challenge.  Let’s clarify, this is not to say I haven’t done it before – I have.  Recently in fact I made delicious pork tenderloin on the barbecue.  It was cooked to perfection if I do say so myself.  But the other day he was cutting the grass (because we’re at my parents) and I was leaving shortly to meet my sister for a quick shopping trip after work (she was going to zip into town after work… from Guelph) so I took on making hamburgers.  Now, these aren’t just any burgers – they’re my Dad’s burgers.  They’re homemade, different every time, throw in whatever is about to go rotten in the fridge, add some cheese, add some meat, one always falls apart burgers.  Turns out they’re impossible to cook.

They fell apart.  Almost all of them.  Of 4 there was only 1 that stayed completely intact. I was frustrated.  I had to go.  I must be a blogger now because my first thought was – “I’ll need to blog about this.”  I called the master.  I lost the argument.  Barbecuing is contributing more to making dinner than putting something in the oven.  It takes patience.  It takes finesse.

I was ready to admit all of these things to the boy, but he was cutting the grass and apparently can only attend to one thing at a time.  When I asked him for help, he was not terribly helpful, “Yeah, they’re hard to cook.” When I asked him to come and tell me if they were done he said, “I don’t know when they’re done, they’re impossible to tell unless you break one apart – how long have they been on for?” I replied, “I don’t know.  15 minutes, maybe?” Boy in frustrated can’t you see I’m cutting the grass tone, “They’re probably done.”

I tried to ask him if he wanted his now, since I had to eat and run – but he started the lawnmower again.  I’m not going to lie – I was annoyed with him.  I had this lovely plan of admitting my inferiority in barbecuing skills, letting him know I was hopeless without him.  I would clearly starve if it weren’t for his mad skills… and nothing.  Grumpy.  Because he was cutting the grass.  So I went shopping.

When I came back we had a discussion about his grumpy pants, which he explained with, “I wasn’t grumpy, I was cutting the grass.”

Lessons of the day.

  1. Barbecuing does take some practice
  2. Leave cooking Dad’s burgers to either Dad or the Boy
  3. Boys can’t multitask

Happy Weekend!

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