Grilling is the key to summer, as far as I'm concerned.
Up here I'd say "barbecue" but I know that the 'cue has an entirely different meaning south of the Mason-Dixon line -- a meaning I am happy to indulge. Particularly if it includes hushpuppies.
But up here, "barbecue" is essentially synonymous with "grilling," an activity in which I have been unable to indulge since I migrated from the midwest to upper New England, with the rare exceptions of visits to South Carolina.
Although our apartment has a terrace -- or perhaps more rightly described as a "terrace," sarcastic air-quotes necessary -- the lease stipulates that gas and charcoal cooking apparatuses are not allowed out there. Electric grills, however, are entirely kosher (rim shot).
Jim had some birthday money on Amazon and they were running a great deal on the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Grill, so we ordered one.
Of course, it arrived in the middle of the Endless Weeks of Soaking Rain (TM), so we didn't get a chance to use it in its desired outdoor capacity until tonight. Luckily, a weather fairy arrived in the person of my fantastic sister-in-law and her fiance, and the sky cleared at last.
Now, I can safely say, The Grill rocks.
Unlike your average apartment-dwelling Foreman grill, the outdoor domed version:
1) has variable heat settings;
2) does not automatically press the "fat" (and sometimes flavor) out of meats;
3) can accomodate larger sizes and amounts of food.
Plus, well, it's just fun to be able to grill stuff outside -- moreso if said "stuff" comprises baby back ribs. No one will ever make them the way my dad does, but at least we'll be able to have ribs more frequently than we can afford the cost of a plane ticket to Hilton Head.
I know they won't be the same, and never fear, the presence of The Grill will not impinge on our desire to visit various sets of parents, all of whom possess far more authentic and seasoned grills than ours. Still, it's nice to have a little bit of that domestic staple on our own home turf.
Tomorrow night: filet mignon a la Grill. After our return from the Low Country? Well, let's just say that a good portion of Father's Day will be passed as Jim takes copious notes on how, exactly, my father produces the world's best baby back ribs, and soon, we will put his apprenticeship into action. I'm sure it will take countless attempts even to come close.
I'm up to the challenge.