Grilling Mini Vacations

since it’s such a beautiful day, i decided i should break out the charcoal grill and cook outside. when all the windows are open, it’s impossible not to feel jealous of the birds and trees.

so i decided to make corn off the cob with grilled peppers. i hate eating corn off the cob because i seem to end up with butter in my lap and bits of corn husk stuck between my teeth. besides, cooked over the charcoal grill, corn with peppers gets a wonderful smokey flavor that better than butter-slathered corn on the cob. and if you don’t have butter for corn on the cob, why bother?

since i didn’t have any grilling meats in the house (except for chicken but i’m sick of chicken), i pulled some hotdogs out of the freezer. they’re these big, oversized dogs that fill up the bun completely and grill beautifully (although they’re not all beef and i feel a little dirty eating them). but if you know me, you also know i love, love, love hotdogs blackened and crusty from the grill. even if i do feel ashamed to be writing it.

i love grilling because it feels like a vacation. not from cooking or from the effort of cooking because it actually takes more work. but cooking outside turning hotdogs and lounging in a chair just feels like a holiday. i blame my friend S for fabricating this association between grilling and vacations. when we were housemates in college, some nights she would come home and arbitrarily decide we would grill. and then grilling would turn into a private party and a private party would turn into an escape from classes, projects, papers, and jobs. any night could become a mini-vacation.

maybe i just miss those impromptu vacations in the middle the week. (seriously, i’m ready to declare the rest of the week a holiday...) maybe i just crave more time for watching the sun set and chucking grilled foil-wrapped potatoes into the street (good times). but whatever it is, tonight can be a vacation.

i suppose some people think of a vacation the picture a white beach with an unlimited supply of alcohol and absolutely no responsibilities to interfere with the relaxation and vegetation. but i don’t care about the alcohol or the sandy beach or the responsibilities. i just want uninterrupted time in the company of people i love. sometimes it’s with alcohol, sometimes its with hotdogs, sometimes with a pitchfork and mulch.

if you know me, none of this should be too surprising. i’d rather go over to my friends’ houses for dinner than eat out. i’d rather spend time cooking something with someone else than watching tv. i’d rather spend an unpaid day with my bf mulching flowerbeds around the house than spend a well-paid day at my desk job. that’s probably why i love the idea of a mini-vacation grill-out - it’s a vacation from everything that gets in the way.

the reality is, i’m terrible at grilling because i never seem to get the charcoal hot enough (even with my charcoal chimney) and i grill so infrequently that i end up spending more time cleaning the grill and finding all the necessary pieces than i do actually grilling. but all that just means less time for the stuff that doesn’t matter - like tv, career, and this crap called money that everyone claims i’ll need...