Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Psycho Griller

I finally did it, and I cannot understand what took me so long: I bought a grill!   I suppose it was the level of commitment; now that I own it, I will have to drag it around with me whenever I move.  But now that I have it, I would never want to let it go anyway.  It's the cutest little grill I ever did see.  Given the magnitude of this decision, I did the necessary research prior to making my purchase. As far as I'm concerned, Weber is king of the grilling world, so that's where i started to look. I had to buy a propane grill because charcoal is prohibited in my apartment building.  Although I grew up with charcoal, the convenience of propane is a definite selling point.I briefly toyed with an inexpensive, camping model, but I quickly realized this was the wrong avenue.  I wanted to be able to cook more than hot dogs and burgers; I have visions of whole chickens and pork tenderloins sizzling on my grill.  This will require a higher, more even heat than what a camping grill can offer.  I decided on the Weber Q 120, complete with a cast iron grill, thermometer, and fold-out tables.

For its debut, I decided to grill a simple classic: cheeseburgers.  My parents take grilling seriously; they grill every Sunday, regardless of the weather.  They make a wide variety of food, but basic burgers make a regular appearance on their menu.  They are always treated simply: patties of ground sirloin seasoned with Lawry's seasoning salt, topped with melted American cheese. If there is ever an appropriate context for American cheese, this is it.  My parents like Kraft singles; I prefer white American from the deli counter.  The burgers are usually medium well, not because that's exactly the way we like them, but rather my dad is  so afraid of serving a raw burger that he serves the opposite.  It's still delicious.  My burgers came out almost exactly the same.

The burger then goes on a sesame seed bun with pickles.  Sesame seeds are mandatory.  My dad would start a riot without them.  Also, the matter of pickles is not taken lightly.  We like crisp new dills, if possible (although every jar eventually becomes closer to an old dill, as that is a pickle's process).  However, it has to be a high quality pickle from the refrigerator section of the grocery store.  My mom gets some sort of locally made kosher pickle.  I bought Bubbie's, which are widely available, as long as there's a Whole Foods nearby. I believe my brother is partial to them, but he will probably tell me that I'm wrong, because he is partial to me being wrong above everything else.

This is a simple food, but clearly not one lacking thought and foresight.  This is how food should be!  And this is where my grill and I had to start.  Obviously, this is a dinner that is not without significant sentimental value, as it makes me feel a little closer to my parents to be able to eat a cheeseburger on Sunday nights just as they do. Next time, I will try to get my burgers a little closer to medium, but they were still delightful.

I couldn't resist the urge to throw a few vegetables on the grill: sliced planks of zucchini and parboiled red skin potatoes.  They were a little boring, but it was still fun just to hear them sizzle.  For a first time grilling solo, everything was very edible if not tasty. We (my grill and I) are on the right track.