25 April 2010

Of Grills and Gaming

Back when we lived in California, before I took a plunge head-first into the computer gaming industry, we had a very nice grill. It was a gift I bought for myself on my very first Father's Day (in 2005), when Stephen was still only a few months old. I loved that grill. It wasn't top of the line -- I think it only cost me about $250 -- but it was a big step up from the grill we had before. More cooking space, more heat, higher quality components.

When we moved to Virginia from California, we left the grill behind. We were going to an apartment complex in Fairfax that didn't allow grills of any kind. This eventuality meant that my options for preparing food were reduced by about half; maybe more than half.

Let it be known that I'm the cook in this family. Amy can bake cookies, roll sushi, and she makes a mean pot of miso soup, but that's about it. This leaves me to figure out what goes on the family's menu most nights. I've been feeling pretty uninspired since we moved to Massachusetts. It seems like my typical menu since the last migration includes roasts (cooked in the crockpot), chicken fajitas, stir fry (pork or chicken), hamburgers (cooked on the George Foreman grill), and pasta. Honestly, it's gotten boring.

The condo we're renting in Hudson has a deck out back. It's not a sprawling, huge deck, but it's a good bit larger than any balcony or patio that we've ever had access to. Plus, just about everyone in the neighborhood has a grill, which made me a tad bit envious. I agonized over the decision to buy a new grill, trying to justify spending the money just as we're start to work the kinks out of our new budget. The thought of being able to grill burgers, hot dogs, sausages, steaks, chicken, pork chops, London broil, kebabs, carne asada, and vegetables (corn, asparagus)...

Let's just say my appetite won out over my money sense.

So, yeah. I've got this grill. Like the last one, from three years ago, it's not top of the line. It's the same brand (Char-Broil), and it runs about $200. Four burners with 48,000 BTU, 480 square inches of cooking space, and a side burner (which, I admit, I had but never used on the last one).

What's this have to do with gaming, you ask? Well, it's simple. Grilling is an easy way to prep food for guests. Even if they're bringing their own meats to the game, I certainly don't mind throwing it on the BBQ and cooking up a dish of awesome for them. We may need to start an hour early, but damn... it's going to be fun.

Today is Sunday, the last day of my weekend. Yesterday was something of a wash, given that the grill didn't arrive until well after 5pm (over an hour later than the latest delivery time I was expecting from the shipper). As a result, I wasn't able to get a propane cylinder and light it up last night. I'll need to do that today, in addition to finding a cover for the thing. The forecast predicts rain today (a 20% chance, down forty from yesterday's 60% chance), but I like those odds. Tonight we dine in Hell!

Er. Well, not exactly, but I couldn't resist the 300 reference (regardless of that movie's relative mediocrity).

I'll let you know how things turn out.