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How to grill without burning your relationship

It wasn’t easy telling our friends we had an unplanned addition to our family.

But when we saw her cute little legs and her wide-eyed promise of possibility, we knew our lives had changed for the better.

I named her Grilly.

She entered our world fairly painlessly. Labor was relatively short and took place in a shopping line.

I initially struggled with motherhood — so much that our little princess rode home with just her father, who also set up her new living quarters.

With that, we were proud parents of a barbecue grill.

After my boyfriend and I succumbed to the device’s lure, we spent three months enjoying meat that may or may not have been cooked according to basic health standards.

The risks didn’t matter. We were grillers.

Well, one of us was a griller. The other was an unofficial fire marshal whose main responsibility was saying, “Honey, maybe we should just go out to eat.”

With a shift in seasons, those conversations have occurred less frequently.

Granted, our region allows for a grilling season much longer than what our cross-country counterparts expect.

But daylight is disappearing, and my enthusiastic “wanna grill?” has lost some of its oomph.

Maybe we’re not the only ones with a sudden rush of medium-rare sentimentalism. Two local organizations will host burger competitions on Saturday.

What explains efforts to celebrate a cooking method commonly accompanied by a first aid kit?

Blame the Zen-like lessons the technique teaches. Beginning with its emphasis on perfection — monitoring your creation diligently to attain an impossible goal of “just right.”

Then, there’s the satisfaction of surviving relationship fights that grills ignite.

These include, but are not limited to, conflicts that result from learning your significant other thinks a bag of Ruffles alone can accompany a well-seared filet.

Amid conflicts and bliss, grilling allows you to savor the often slow process of watching a goal materialize from scratch.

So maybe it’s only reasonable that so many of us are seizing the remaining days of grilling season’s prime.

Grilly, meanwhile, is doing just fine.

She’ll inevitably encounter some growing pains, and then hit the daunting terrible twos. Before we know it, we’ll be saving money for her college fund.

Wherever Grilly ends up, her parents will never forget her infancy — the summer that taught us to disregard our recipes, fire up our dreams and hope for a life well done.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8516.

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