Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Firestarter

Just to clarify before anyone is gets confused, this isn't a review of the Stephan King novel by the same title.
I am not a material person per se. I am not a car guy. I don't have a big horsepower hobby like 4-wheeling ,snowmobiling, boating or flying.
So what do I like to spend my disposable income on? Why of course food and wine. An innocent hobby turned into an raging obsession. Why spend $36.00 for a case of "Two buck Chuck" (I live in Oregon and here it is $3.00/btl) when you can spend that much on single bottle of decent Chateauneuf du Pape? Frozen turkey from Safeway's for Thanksgiving, naw, I need to research for two weeks to find free range, heirloom turkeys that are butchered to order (except I had to drive 3 hours round trip to get them).
Yesterday I did something that I had been needing to do for quite some time, I went out and purchased a new BBQ grill.

Obviously from the above you can see that I will spare almost no expense to procure the best when it comes to food and wine related items. I have to have great knives (Heinkel), great pans (LeCreuset, All-Clad,Calphalon).
As much as I would like to have built the above fire pit, I think my neighbors in my condominium complex might have complained.
That is why yesterday's purchase I went all out and got what I consider to be the BMW of BBQ equipment.

Naw, this is too Big.....(kinda like the Hummer of BBQ's)

Nope, too small.........(the VW Beetle of BBQ's)

Just Right!
(Yeah, baby! Sleek, well engineered and built for performance)

I went out and bought a brand spanking new 22 1/2" Black/Silver Weber Kettle Grill.
To me this "Old school" piece of equipment is as good as it gets with a reasonably small, highly portable, piece of cooking equipment. As far as I am concerned the "only way" (nose in the air for emphasis) to grill or bbq is with charcoal or hardwood. Using a gas grill is like microwaving a steak, sure, you can do it, but why ruin a great piece of meat?
I was packing up the box (assembly required) of this new grill and a neighbor said: "Oh, you got a new barbeque", I beamed and said "yes", them she said: "That looks like your old barbeque" and again I said, "yeah, I wore the other one out". My neighbor laughed and said: "You are serious about barbequing". I would say I am "serious" about Barbequing. Even with this new grill I went so far as to keep my "old" grill grate just because it had been perfectly seasoned (a brand new stainless steel grill grate is like the back-up quarterback on a football team-you can tell he hasn't been in the game because his uniform is so clean). To me cooking isn't about providing fuel to my body, it is about the thought, preparation and execution that go into cooking. Searching for raw ingredients, working on kitchen techniques and preparation all reflect in a finished dish or meal. For me it is the Zen-like quest for perfection and it is all about the journey vs. the end.....not to say that I don't enjoy a great meal with friends and family. I hope you get to taste the fruit that this new grill will bear.