Summer is just around the corner. I just bought Max and Mishka their first suburban-dog kiddie pool for hot days. I’ve started planting flowers outside. In the garden we’ve planted tomatoes and melons and pulled up most of the row cover.
It’s time to grill.
I’m actually a year-round grill jockey and still a live fire purist. Gas doesn’t work for me, never has, never will. This is why I’ve smoked something for nearly every charcutepalooza challenge so far – it’s a great excuse to light a fire.
But even I’ll admit that it’s a lot more fun to grill when you can light the fire and hang out on the patio, rather than running back inside to avoid the rain, or to grab your down coat because Boise is a hell of a lot colder than Seattle in the winter. When I was younger, all my fires started with a dangerous woosh – and the toxic smell of lighter fluid. These days I use a chimney starter and most of my friends are no longer afraid to let me man the grill at their parties. It’s been years since anyone had to run for the fire extinguisher.
It’s true: being a homeowner changes you.
I learned to grill from hanging around my Dad as a kid –just as I learned to take a picture, play chess and change a tire; all pretty empowering skills for a kid. But for Dad, grilling was always about beef – steak and burgers, where as I am just as likely to grill artichokes, asparagus, tuna or peaches.
Burgers are still one of my summer favorites though – and K.M.’s goat cheese stuffed turkey burgers are hard to beat. KM does all the mixing, with cilantro, coriander, cumin and tandoori masala (a hotter version of garam masala), and shapes the patties and then I grill them. A little mustard, maybe a tomato and some arugula and you’re good to go. The best part is when you bite into the pocket of warm goat cheese. It’s the taste of summer.