With Father’s Day just around the corner, this little tongue -in -cheek is a tribute to all those wannabe weekend cookout chefs running loose in the backyard dragging 20 pound sacks of charcoal over to a grill.
All it takes to bring out the Neaderthal in these guys is a shiny new grill.
Just let the weather turn warm and you can spot these charcoal wonders everywhere you look. They are either standing hunched over a grill or kneeling before a habachi with dark puffs of smoke billowing over their heads.
Their cooking utensils consist of ice-tong spatulas, bent coat hanger forks, salt and pepper shakers balanced on garbage can lids and a large can of bug spray. Their aprons have slogans that read “Burned is Beautiful,” Watch My Smoke,” and “I Cook For Food.”
They all have their idiosyncracies. Take the hamburger whiz. This poor fellow can’t cook a burger without letting it slip through the grill. Once he flips the burger over, you never see it again. The only clue is a faint sizzle down in the coals.
Even worse is the chef who doesn’t know when to light the charcoal. Either he starts it an hour too soon and the coals burn themselves out before anyone arrives, or he waits so long to finally light the charcoal the guests have turned ugly and the baked potatoes have been reduced to dust in the oven.
Equally pathetic is the poor guy, who, no matter what he tries, can’t get the charcoal to burn. He spends the evening fanning the coals, pouring lighter fluid or rearranging the coals in little piles. (His wife doesn’t even bother to take the steaks out of the freezer, she knows it’s not going to happen)
It’s best not to expect too much when these special order cooks ask how you want you meat cooked. The steaks will be overcooked and the grilled chicken undercooked to a pale shade of pink. Count on it.
These guys can get more fired up than the grill once they make up their minds to charcoal, barbecue, grill or whatever, no matter what the weather. Come hell or wet charcoal, these cooks are going to fire up the coals and throw something on the grill!
Tom McDaniel, Jane Jenkins and David Rainbolt were among the guests at the 23rd Annual Dean A. McGee Awards sponsored by Downtown Oklahoma City at the Skirvin Hilton hotel. Honored for their work in Oklahoma City, James A. Pickel received the Dean A. McGee Award for Lifetime of Excellence, Catherine O’Conner was given the Stanely Draper Award for Community Excellence and the Oklahoma Heritage Associaation was presented the Neal Horton Award for Renaissance in the area. Jim Brewer received special recognition. Jim Couch and Meg Salyer were co-chairmen.