Everyday Artists

The world's greatest artists walk you through simple, everyday tasks.

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The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good charcoal grill, must be intolerably stupid. The very first moment I beheld charcoal, my heart was irrevocably gone.

I could easily forgive the pride of a gas or electric griller, if it had not mortified mine own. Though it pierces my soul to so limit myself, I am half agony, half hope… I have loved none but charcoal and the smoky taste infused within my glorious meats. Till that moment, I never knew myself.

In order to begin, try not the woes of lighter fluid. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a cook in possession of lighter fluid must be in want of a mind. Gather instead the beautiful charcoal and crumple the newspaper—pray no books—lighting it as such until the charcoal’s catch.

Now then, what to cook.

A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from brats to burgers, from chicken to braised vegetables in a moment. But there is no cause to believe you cannot have them all. We must learn to be content with being happier than we deserve. Sense and sensibility will serve us as we prepare our menu for the evening.

We start with the burgers. Ground beef and ground chuck are very different things, though the meats are often used synonymously. A person may have burgers without chuck. And beef relates more to the lean. Choose wisely, for we will not be returning to this moment for as long as we live.

Round them into circular disks, or patties, as they are colloquially known. Pack them tight. There is nothing more intolerable than losing bits of beef through the grates. Tortured, we’d be, to smell the dying breaths of good meat, never eaten. And while we are on the subject, any meat lost to the ground shall not be recovered, but forfeited. We may lose a niblet, but not our self-control.

In regards to the brats, or hot dogs for the less couth, if I loved them less, I might be able to talk about it more. When my senses consume the fullness of a brat, bunned and krauted, it will be forever. As I like to say, give a girl a bratwurst and introduce her properly into the world, and ten to one she has the means of settling well, without further expense to anybody. Her pride be damned, her prejudice be expelled.

But for the lack of other nutrition, the meats would leave our bodies as lethargic boulders. Turn then to vegetables, cooked upon the grill as meats themselves. Ah! There is nothing like braised corn, for real comfort. It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable. And the pepper and onion, skewered upon wooden spikes. I always deserve the best shish kebabs because I never put up with any other.

One must take care to flip the meats, less they burn on one side and deliver yet dismayed stomachs with the other. Turn them over. Not with hands but with a spatula. Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion that there is immense stupidity in this world.

If you have a meat thermometer, deploy it if you wish, though learn to train the eye to not so embarrass you in the circle of your society. If cheese is merited, melt before removing from the grill. There is no other way.

When serving, lightly grill the buns for added enjoyment. You have options of adornment upon the meats prepared. Barbecue sauce is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love. But yet, without ketchup, life would be a blank to me. Then again, only the vain and proud ignore the qualities of mustard. There is no right answer here, only that they are all one. Though one shall not combine all three, lest they suffer the iniquities of their own sallow heart.

As you consume, reflect. One meat may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best. Our handiwork is our love, never to be put to judge by any but ourselves, for it isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we grill.