Yesterday, my mother was at the grocery store and was asking the woman at the fish counter how to cook king crab legs. Another customer piped in that barbecuing was a good option. She said to my mom, “Just have your husband throw them on the grill for a few minutes.”
My mom politely told the customer that she was a widow. An awkward moment for sure! The grocery store woman, the customer with the cooking tips, and my mother looked at each other, and the conversation basically came to an abrupt end. No husband – no barbecue. It was completely understood amongst all three of them.
My mom relayed the story to me this morning, and we got to thinking about this. Why is barbecuing the domain of men? As women, have we been conditioned to fear barbecuing by men who feel this is a macho pastime only fit for those with ample amounts of testosterone? Do you need a hairy chest and a love of professional football to pour lighter fluid on briquettes and flip meat with a wood-handled prong?
What about all the women like my mom and me who don’t have the luxury of having a man in our house on a full-time basis? Is being barbecue-deprived our punishment?
The whole idea that barbecuing is a man’s activity is crazy when you think of it. I’ve cooked 25 lb. turkeys in my oven, cut mountains of vegetables on my cutting board, kneaded bread by hand, and can even fry doughnuts. Why on Earth can’t I barbecue?
I have a perfectly good grill on my patio, but I’ve never used it. And frankly, I’m kind of afraid to. I think it’s time that I and other women deem the barbecue an equal-opportunity cooking apparatus.
I think I can muster placing a burger or chicken breast on the grill. I’m good at cooking meat in my kitchen, so I can’t imagine that it would be tremendously more difficult if I cooked it outside.
So, I’m going to work on overcoming my fear. I’m heading to the store to buy some briquettes and I’m going to show my two boys that women can and should barbecue.
What’s next? Maybe, I’ll start waxing my car by hand, too!
Song of the Day: Fire, Ohio Players