Dear George Foreman,
I have always considered myself an avid at home chef. From meals for one and small family dinners to holiday gatherings and catered events, it has been relatively easy to bake, broil, steam and sauté my way into the hearts of diners.
But, I realized a few years ago that something was missing. I couldn’t connect fully with my culinary audience because…(Gasp!) I couldn’t light a grill.
Nemesis 1: The Weber Charcoal Grill. The first attempt was with a Weber Charcoal dome grill. Having watched my father use the grill for years, I was exciting to throw a little backyard BBQ of my own and show off the superior flavor of charcoal grilling to my friends. I followed the instructions to the letter and, leaving the coals to smoke, I went back inside to prep my food. BUT…the coals never smoked and the BBQ part of the backyard BBQ was a bust.
Nemesis 2: The Gas Grill. Oh, this one lit alright…and took half of my arm hair with it! Again, everything was prepped and ready for my mother’s 60th birthday party. Her friends were enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres when I went out to fire up the lamb lollipops. I turned on the gas and began to click the ignition dials into place. Um, weird…nothing. I can hear gas, but I don’t see a flame. So, I try it again and then after about 10 seconds, I wave my arm over the grill to see if it is warm at all. In the middle of the second wave the grill explodes to life and my arm is toasty and bare!
Nemesis 2, Continued: The Gas Grill. After a mild set back that resulted in a surprisingly soft arm, I place my Lamb Lollipops evenly over the grill. After a few minutes, I turn the lollies over and run inside to grab a platter. I come back to a scene from Backdraft. The whole grill is on fire and an impressive lamb appetizer is reduced to smoky remains. In case anyone is keeping score…Gas Grill: 2, Andrea: 0.
Nemesis 3: The Hibachi. Good idea in theory, but this isn’t a grill. It is one small step beyond the caveman’s discovery of fire in the evolution of cooked food.
George, you saved me. Years of embarrassment and ridicule for this culinary shortcoming led me to pretend that I didn’t love grilled foods. Then I found you and your magic grill. No coals to light, no arms lost and no rubbing sticks together! Your grill is a plug and play masterpiece and I can grill in the winter. That’s a two-fer.
Andrea Carr (Closet Indoor Griller)