Sunday, August 3, 2014

BBQ Queen

This weekend was kind of a big deal. Yesterday I barbecued for the first time.


In my life.

For those of you who aren't aware of the culinary situation at the Sachs house, I can sum it up pretty quickly: before the accident, Jeff was the cook.

Of course I made food as well, but it was nothing compared to what Jeff would prepare. When explaining our cooking roles to people, my standard statement was: "I make food that keeps my family alive. Jeff makes food that we actually like to eat."

Jeff used to love to cook. Loved being in the kitchen. He loved making a menu, going to the store, spending time in the kitchen preparing it, and of course, savoring every bite. And he was so good at all these things.

Me, not so much. I have no patience when it comes to the grocery store. No imagination when it comes to "whipping up a meal," and very little confidence in actually preparing a meal. I'm a wreck in the kitchen. I am always in awe of people who invite guests over for a get together, and simultaneously create a masterful dinner, engage in conversation, and keep tabs on the kids. If I tried that, it would end up with me shooing everyone into another room and snapping at anyone who tried to talk to me. "Can't you see I'm trying to cook in here!"

The kitchen and I just don't go together.

I knew pretty early after Jeff's injury that I would need to step up my game in the kitchen. Jeff and I talked about how we would have to start cooking together from now on. My good friend and I joked that I could star in a cooking/comedy show and she came up with two very enticing titles: Cooking? with Kristen and Throwing the Spatula. Creative and accurate.

Until now, I've been getting by by making my standard "keep the family alive" meals. These have, thankfully, been supplemented by meals from more culinary-savvy folks like my mom, family when they come visit, and some foodie friends.

But when I was in Costco last week and saw Jeff's favorite Santa Maria Tri Tip, I knew I had to get it and make it for him. He was so excited and couldn't wait to make it together. Yesterday was the day.

Here we are with the BBQ.

Photo courtesy of Evie.

We started with grilling 101. He had to talk me through everything.

Turn the knob counterclockwise on the propane tank.

Turn on the left burner . . .

You get the idea. He was very clear and patient with his instructions.

Once the BBQ was nice and hot, it was time to put the tri tip on the grill. I was scared to death I would drop it (that sucker was heavy!) and thus ruin dinner.

The meat made it onto the grill with no problems.

Whew. So far so good.

Cheers for getting this far.

Then it was time to turn the meat. More panic about the flip.

I was so proud I didn't botch the flip. 
Jeff was yelling in the background, "Close the lid!!"

Lastly, it was time to take the meat off and check it for doneness.


Here we are enjoying our meal.

Grilling meat is certainly no great feat - millions of people do it every day. But I'd never done it before, so it was a big deal at our house. Before the accident, Jeff and I had a great division of duties, as many relationships do. Barbecuing was his thing. He loved doing it, and I loved not doing it.

But things are different now. And yesterday we found a way to work as a team to get the job done. We were happy campers after eating our yummy dinner.

Jeff was so proud of me.

I was proud of me too.

Mostly for not dropping it.

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