When it comes to practical household stuff, whether it’s trimming trees or repairing a nice wrought iron bench and painting it rather than buy a new one, I am right most of the time.
Julie’s learned to acquiesce on most of these matters, often as early as the third or fourth discussion!
However, when it came to the choice of whether to buy a gas or charcoal grill, she was steadfast. No matter how many times I insisted we get the bottled flame, she kept saying, “Great, enjoy it. I’m buying a charcoal grill.”
I was adamant about the quick-start, relatively clean nature of the instant-on death machine. She kept saying, “there’s nothing like the taste of a real charcoal grill.”
So the other night we went to Home Depot. I had a revelation. I didn’t like the gas grills — if you spend anything less than $399.95, what you get is a disposable, cheap looking contraption. And the expensive ones were too tricked-out looking. I was waiting for the blue neon undercarriage lights to come on.
Julie walked over to the $39.95 Aussie Grill. A simple box with a red lid, two wheels and foldable. Even before I looked inside and saw the perforated charcoal tray, I fell in love. The simplicity! The elegance! The chance to use matches!
Then she delivered the coup de grace.
“We have to get the charcoal starter,” she said.
She showed me — a 19th century-looking, brushed black mini-chimney with a handle — you put newspaper in the bottom, charcoal above it and then light it — the tight space and air holes gets the charcoal ready to cook in about 10-12 minutes.
My god — a retro-gadget! Now I have a suburban brontosaurus roasting pit, not just a grill.
And the food tastes better, too.
This is my public mea culpa to my wife, who was right [I told her so in the store at least seven times], and to whom I’m glad she stuck to her wood burning matches on this one.
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