Every time I want to barbecue, it seems to be the perfect day for rain. LOTS of rain. What is up with all the precipitation this season? It already ruined a dinner with my mom, and I’ve had to alter dinner plans more times than I care to think about this spring. have a vegetable garden out back, in which I’m growing tomatoes, corn, zucchini, leeks, onions, lima beans, green beans, poblano peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts, but I haven’t really had to bother watering it because Mother Nature seems to be doing a fine job without me. That’s good. Sometimes, I’m lazy, and it’s easier on my water bill that way, but I just wish that the rain would fall around my weeds. I need a sunny day to get out there and pull them up! Let’s have a break from all this wet weather, hmm?
Anyway, I need to barbecue! I have some bratwursts that need to be simmered in beer and finished on the grill. I have some corn on the cob that desperately needs to be caramelized over the charcoal burner. I have skewers awaiting fresh zucchini. Mmm. Summertime is almost here! But none of those delicious flavors are quite as vibrant when you try to replicate them on a griddle inside. I do LOVE my griddle. It’s great for pancakes, eggs in a nest, and grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s a breakfast and lunch appliance!
I used to take the stance that cooking indoors was my limit. I’m still kind of noobish when it comes to the grill: I can screw things up in a ROYAL way when I am barbecuing. But I’m determined to learn. I can temp a steak by touch, so that (along with most other meat items) is something I can do, but my veggies often end up weirdly underdone, and I’m terrified of things like fruits, pizza and other things that are traditionally thought of as “inside” foods.
I was going to face the fear head on, but I couldn’t find a ripe pineapple at the store. Do you know how to check a pineapple for ripeness? Grasp a leaf near the middle of the stem, and gently pull. If the leaf pops out easily, it is ripe. If it doesn’t, pass it up entirely. Pineapples are one of those things that only ripens on the tree, so leaving it out on the counter isn’t going to improve your experience with the fruit. I was kind of bummed out that I had to skip them because they were available for pretty cheap at the store. (Gee, ilkaisha, I wonder why!)
So, I’ll be reading the recipes over and over, setting timers, and attempting not to fret over the grill — hopefully tomorrow. While I’ll encourage Things One and Two to try the vegetables, I’m secretly hopeful that they won’t like them: Grilled corn and zucchini are among my favorite summer treats.