Grill, Baby, Grill

So I’ll admit it, I’m in the midst of a love affair. With my new grill. That said, our old charcoal Weber was great, if not a bit of a hassle, a mess, and a fire hazard on our all-wood deck. Safety first, right?

I had mentioned to Kim that I was intrigued by our neighbor’s grill, which happens to be the the now-out-of-production, impossible-to-find, Char-Broil Patio Caddie. Go ahead. Try to find one. No luck on Amazon, Google, or eBay. It’s even a rarity on Craigslist. And you all know how we love Craigslist.

With my birthday on the horizon, my loving wife searched high and low, knowing this would make for the perfect birthday gift for her soon-to-be-29 year old husband. So you can imagine her excitement when the poor girl finally found the grill in excellent condition on Craigs. She made up a lie (drinks with the girls? I think not), took the car one night and scooped it up, and stashed it in a friends’ garage. Her plan was to clean it up spotlessly, slap a bow on it and present it to me in all it’s glory – surrounded by friends for a cookout birthday.

Boy do I know how to wreck a surprise.

Fast forward a week, and I had spent the the day on a mountain bike trip with my pal, Rex. That evening, I detoured down his back alley to drop him off – you know, just to make the bike unloading a little easier. As I turn around to head back to the main road, what do I spy behind the dumpster of the building next door? Holy cow. A barely-used Char-Broil Patio Caddie.

I rush home with the grill perched in the back seat of our trusty ol’ Corolla and burst in the back door to share the glory of my alley find with Kim. I excitedly explain what I’d brought home with me, only to see tears slowly roll down her cheeks, with the surprise now hopelessly, coincidentally, spectacularly, ruined. I’m an idiot.

In the end, we played it off like it never happened, Kim still “surprised” me with my grill (filled with my favorite candies, no less) and the rest is history.

But. On to the grill. This little guy rules. I’ve already used it more times than I can count, going so far as to grill in the midst of some pretty awful recent thunderstorms. Hot, even flames have brought us amazing New York strip steaks, grilled chicken breasts, and about five different types of sausages. But on our latest trip to the farmer’s market, we scooped up some fresh Michigan asparagus and portabello mushrooms.

We basted them with a 1/2 butter, 1/2 olive oil glaze (with a touch of lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste) and grilled them for about 7 minutes on each side. The asparagus was brushed in the same concoction, and left to slow cook on the outskirts of the grill. Everything turned out far better than we could have imagined. Even to us meat-lovers.

We took the opportunity to dine al fresco and utilize a few of our new outdoor accessories, which you might be able to spy in the photo above, but you’ll have to wait for more details on that later.

All said and done, I ruined a spectacularly planned surprise but got the gift that I’d been hoping for in the end. And although Kim was a little disheartened, she was glad to know that she picked the right gift when the time came. (Love ya, lady.)

Any other surprise buster stories out there? This one takes the cake for me, but I’m sure y’all have some doozies up your collective sleeves. Or perhaps you have a summery recipe you’d like to share? Shoot. I’ve got some more grilling to do, I know that much.

6 replies on “Grill, Baby, Grill”

  1. what are you doing with the extra grill? i hope you haven’t gotten rid of that thing yet – we need one and we’ll pay what you paid!

    1. Jill, it’s a hot commodity! Not only did our neighbor want it, but so did a co-worker. The neighbor won out, and Penina made out with the Weber. Definitely check out Craigs for a steal in your area. Good luck!

  2. Aww I’ll admit that that story nearly brought a tear to my eye too! That is just adorably sad and sweet (but happy in the end of course). Side note: Must. Eat. Grilled. Portabellos.

  3. we sauteed some portobellos to go in some regular old jarred tomato sauce pasta last night(trader joe’s lovely vodka sauce though), and they were so meaty delish! i love those damn things!

  4. and p.s. no biggie on the grill. we’ll find something soon! thanks for the update! and sounds like the ruined surprise worked out in the end for everybody. xo

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