Friday, September 02, 2005

Do you cook?

One of my co-workers had a cookbook at work today. After commenting on one of the recipes, I was asked the loaded question.

Do you cook?

Do I cook?

My answer? I'm pretty sure I muttered something vaguely incoherent and shuffled slowly away.

Do I cook?

This question is open to some controversy and a little bit of interpretation. For instance, right now, as I am writing this entry, I am waiting for the charcoal to heat up on our Weber Kettle Grill. Once all the briquettes are warm, I will then "cook" sausages and peppers over the hot flames.

If you ask Carrie, what I am doing now is classified as "grilling" rather than "cooking". Just because she has oodles of cookbooks that she makes fantastic multi-step recipes out of, what I do is relegated to the more pedestrian world of flipping burgers. I can't help it, I like standing in front of a hot grill, spatula at the ready, a cold drink in the other hand. Even then, there are the accusations that I overflip the food on the grill. I know, I've ready all the barbecue cookbook that say that for optimum results, each cut of meat should only be flipped once during its cooking time. But damn, flipping stuff over a hot fire is fun.

Ultimately, I am perfectly happy with my relegation to being a griller rather than a cook. Still, if anyone praises my cooking (thanks, Steve and Ramon), or if I tell someone I cooked dinner after grilling a cut of meat that Carrie prepared some elaborate marinade for, I'll hear about it.

Not all of my food preparation is limited to the grill, however. I am justly famous for my grilled (or toasted) cheese sandwiches. Even Carrie will admit this. At times, I'm convinced the only reason she stays with me is because she couldn't bear to live without my delicately buttered and deliciously crispy grilled cheese sandwiches. I also had a pretty good run at making tuna melts until Carrie perfected a more complicated version that involves celery and carrots diced up in the food processor. This is pretty unfair, since I am not allowed to use the food processor unsupervised. I believe the position of the sharp, whirring blade and the phrase "bleeding out" has come up more than once.

So, do I cook?

Depends on your definition, but if you're hungry, odds are I can start a fire or deep-fry something that will satisfy your appetite.


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