Mary and I are fortunate to be able to spend winters in Florida. At the place where we stay there is a grill area that will accommodate six or so at a time.
The grill, or barbecue, is a busy place after happy hour. You will see guys from Canada, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Boston, the mortician from Illinois, (he knows just how to adjust the gas grills so they won’t cremate the steaks) and of course me from Indiana.
Now the Canadian is barbecuing not grilling. This is obvious since he puts barbeque sauce on everything. I do believe if he were making a banana split, he would put barbecue sauce on it. You will see a variety of foods such as two inch thick steaks, crab cakes, brats mit kraut, chops and complete gourmet meals.
There are different types of grills; the gas with lava rocks; the gas with direct flame and the one with flame under the metal deflectors. There is also a charcoal one for the one from Minnesota. He will have nothing to do with gas. He fills the chimney with charcoal and fires it up until the coals are exactly right. This grill area is all under roof in case of bad weather. Weather doesn’t stop the grillers.
Now you will note there are only men at the grill. This is a man thing!! The patio bricked area has different color of bricks which outline an area around the grills. There is an unwritten law that no one steps over that line unless you are the one grilling. No advisors, no connoisseurs, no tasters, and God forbid, no females.
Now added to all of this, is the various liquid refreshments to match the various mixture of master chefs. Put it all together and you have a notable evening of tomfoolery and good food.
Now about the term master chefs. Most of the households that I am acquainted with, the little woman is the cook of the family. I know there are some men but mainly it falls upon the woman to do the cooking.
After all, the man has duties to coach the football team on TV. However, when I watch the cooking shows on TV, it seems the chefs are men. You know like BAM! Yes, there are women chefs, but it seems the men are always the headliners. If it is a woman, she is simply a cook. You know like the beautiful Italian gal; the one Mary won’t let me watch because I drool a lot. The food looks so good.
Well, anyway, at home Mary is the cook. Her inner sanctum of the kitchen is off limits to me. Oh, sometimes she lets me be the sous chef. You know, the one who does the prepping. Like I get to do the chopping and grinding, and even put the napkins on the table. Sometimes I measure things. I ask, “how much do I add?” She answers, “Until it looks right.”
Now that’s a master chef.
Don Hill is a resident of Seymour and has served as a volunteer at Southern Indiana Center for the Arts for more than a quarter of a century. Send comments to [email protected].