Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Calling an Audible

There is nothing that has a shorter memory than the weather.  'Round here on Saturday it rained so hard for so long that it seemed for a little while as if it was never going to stop.  Sunday, while it dawned a bit overcast and iffy, matured into a simply gorgeous early Spring day. 

It was the type of day on which it behooves the soul to spend a bit of time out of doors.  That is why - after spending the morning exercising my soles by running in a race at Rutgers - I spent a bit of my late afternoon/ early evening soothing my little chestnut of a soul.  How?  By doing something so simple that even a hardened agnostic like me could do it with little difficulty.

Sunday night is usually macaroni night in our house.  Margaret makes sauce, Joe joins us (usually Suz and Ryan are there with the Missus and me) for dinner.  We eat macaroni with red sauce, Italian sausage and meatballs.  It is something so inherently enjoyable that one almost overlooks the fact the next day shall be welcomed by the alarm clock's tolling, which serves as the entry point to another work week.  It is a nice way to put a bow on the weekend while fueling up for the week ahead.  And it puts us all in one place for a little while, sharing stories as well as food. 

This Sunday though I called an audible.  I know not whether it was a reaction to Saturday's weather, Sunday morning's run through Rutgers, a combination of both or something else altogether.  Whatever the case, we dined not on macaroni and meatballs but on hot dogs and burgers.  Sunday was the day on which we christened the 2011 grilling season. 

I love grilled food.  For my money pork chops, steak, chicken and the like never taste better than they do when you grill them.  Grilling during the winter months is a tad impractical (although one would think that a guy who gets up at 3:00 a.m. to run outdoors in January could suck it up long enough to man a grill occasionally between November and April - I suppose the briquettes are not the size one might have hoped for) so although we have a terrific, enormous Char-Broil grill that we bought a few summers ago, we cover it up and store it indoors all winter.  I rolled it out of the garage a week ago Sunday in hopeful anticipation of using it sooner rather than later.  It took but one week.

First time out of the box was nothing elaborate.  It was not exactly a meal on which culinary careers are launched.  But it was a thing of joy.  Rosie likes the grill almost as much as I do.  It is almost extraordinary to watch the transformation of my dog from four-legged crackhead into Shetland Sheepdog statue as she inhales the aroma of grilling food.  I am not sure that a dog can smile but if it can, then Rosie does every time the grill cover comes off and it is fired up for business.  Whether a dog is indeed man's best friend I know not but I do know that when a man is standing before a grill cooking anything, if not his best friend then his dog is at least assured of a spot on the medal stand.

Winter was long in these parts.  Saturday reminded us that the transition from winter to spring shall not be pain-free.  But Sunday reminded us that Mother Nature is quite fond of simply wiping the board clean and starting over.  And when she does and she presents us with a day like we had on Sunday, we should suck the marrow out of every minute of it.  There is no way of knowing when or if the next such day will come along again. 

-AK

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