Tonight, for the first time this summer, I fired up the grill and cooked some bratwursts for dinner. But here's the thing I have trouble wrapping my mind around: tonight was the first time we've cooked on the grill since we moved to Buffalo back in November of 2000. Yes: we've gone four-and-a-half years without grilling.
Why so long? Well, I seem to recall that grilling was not allowed in our first apartment in Buffalo. Our Syracuse apartment had an absolutely miniscule balcony that was not even large enough for a lawn chair. As for our current apartment, where we've lived for two years now, it was not the balcony that was the issue (our current balcony is great) but the grill. Our old Weber grill, a small charcoal model, simply got too banged up to be usable in the course of three moves in two years. We were without a grill until late last summer, when I won a new charcoal grill at the Store's summer picnic. That, however, was five days before Little Quinn was born, and after that, the priorities changed a bit.
So tonight I gave the new grill its maiden voyage. It's not exactly the ideal grill for cooking -- it's one of these, with Labatt Blue decals instead of Coors -- since there appears to be no way to vary the distance between the charcoal and the grille itself, a must for serious grillfolk. But for what we do with our grill -- steaks, sausages, hot dogs, burgers, and chicken -- it worked nicely. I'd forgotten the simple pleasure of cooking on a grill while drinking a beer.
(And I'd also forgotten the pleasure of lighting a controlled fire. I like to burn things.)