Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I knew Chris was an avid griller soon after we met, and when we drove to Memphis to purchase our wedding rings, he stopped on the way out of the mall to admire the nice rank of Webers lined up outside a store. We purchased one right then and there, and he still refers to it as "our first piece of FURNITURE we purchased together."

And when we moved up here, he came in late October, a couple of months before me, and went to buy a grill for our apartment. Somehow, the summer supply had gone, had been put away for the icy season, but a man at WalMart said he'd bought one of his own earlier, had only used it once, and he'd call ahead to his wife and let her know that a stranger was coming with MONEY to buy their grill. I've always wondered what the dear woman thought about some Southern weirdo coming in and buying their grill right off their patio.

Last night we had two racks of babybacks, to feed our grillsmoke withdrawal pangs. We grill all year long, and Chris thinks nothing of standing out in the driving snow, manning the Weber, cooking up Mahogany Chickens or racks of Country Ribs or marinated tenderloins (pork or beef). His only consideration is that the snow not actually fall upon the meat itself. I've been known to stand beside him in a blizzard, holding up a big old blue and white golf umbrella, whilst he brushes each piece of meat or vegetable with marinade or sauce.

And these ribs were perfect: the very essence of porky tenderness---not that first creamy tenderness of a piece of meat cooked just SO, nor the long-pitted drop-from-the-bone tenderness of a piece of Memphis-done perfection, but the middle-ground, a tender, softly-tearing mouthful of smoky, porky realness. My tongue could feel the little ragged edges as the meat ripped gently apart.

And now we have seven grills (sigh) in all sizes and types, all stages of use and decrepitude, all for one specific use or another, dotted all over the lawn out back. All Webers but one. That one, built by my BIL in a moment of sculptural frenzy with his new weldin' torch, is composed of a horizontal barrel, a smokestack, and a goblet-bottom made of a heavy pipe and a disc blade. I'm waiting for the refrigerator-rack-and-toilet model to grace the back garden any day.

A couple of years ago I bought several hundred pretty yellow bricks on sale, for a walk out to the back gate of the garden. THEN I saw him surreptitiously eyeing the book of build-your-own-Pit plans at Home Depot.


Keetha said...

SEVEN grills. Wow.

Jon said...

Gotta love this post! Maybe your honey will grill you a ribeye for Valentine's Day and serve it to you with a nice vase of red roses. With you in the kitchen fixing your wonderful recipes and him on the grill I know y'all eat high on the hog!

Have a Happy Valentine's Day!
Jon at Mississippi Garden

racheld said...

And a Happy Day to all of Y'all as well!!

We're going out and about in a bit, to spend the day in a wonderfully Romantic endeavour---in honor of the day, we're giving each other a DOOR!

And---I mis-spoke---in a frenzy of clean-up for a lawn party in August, the stock of grills was reduced to FOUR!! I just hadn't noticed.

But I wish for your GREEN touch, Jon, when I look out back at everything GREIGE and Brown and leaflessly grim. Things do, however, JUMP out of the ground here, as if to acknowledge their knowing of the short days of their Season.

What I'd give to be your neighbour, with that garden right there to enjoy, and all that friendly advice at hand. I'd swap fried chicken and pie for bulb-planting or landscape planning any day.