Girl on Grill

by Rachel on June 10, 2009

Do men eat yogurt? Because, according to the commercials, only women buy, eat, and enjoy yogurt. If men do eat yogurt, do they eat the same flavors as we do? Or do they eat manly “Spearmint” and “Woodland Mist”?

Similarly, do women grill? Because from what I can tell, only men are allowed to be near burning coals and slabs of meat. If women do grill, must they use a George Foreman or, more likely, a pink grill?

Dudes, I know you must secretly want a little strawberry-banana Fruit on the Bottom…cause I’m dying to learn to grill.

Learning to grill has quickly become one of my summer goals. I am sick of watching Bobby Flay and having no idea how to make what he’s making. I actually don’t know why I don’t know how to grill. I just have always believed they are some piece of machinery too complicated for my little woman brain. I am not a big one to blame things on the media, but really, when was the last time you saw a woman grilling on TV or in an ad? It’s always the woman saying, “I made the veggies while he grilled the steaks.” Never mind that it’s a form of cooking, which is traditionally the “female sphere.” Something about the coals, flames, and raw meat, and suddenly, guys get all Stone Age and think they can dominate, even if they don’t know sirloin from chuck. 

It shouldn’t have taken me this long to learn. My mom has always grilled things for my family. But because she’s a single mom, she does lots of “male” things. I just treated it like other dude duties she assumed, like building things and wrestling with the Christmas lights. My uncles grill. My aunts drink wine spritzers. I just had no confidence in myself as a woman. I was worried I char expensive steaks, or, at the very least, poison everyone. It was practically a given I’d singe off my eyelashes.

My Wake Up, Sister! moment came from Ellie Krieger, my Food Network Girl Crush. She hosts “Healthy Appetite,” and I adore her, her attitude, and her recipes. Last week I was watching clips of her show online, and she grilled chicken and grape skewers. They looked easy and delicious. The first part of the recipe was so simple, but when it came to grilling them, I didn’t know what I’d do. (You can watch the video here.) When I saw Ellie, it finally dawned on me that you don’t need testes to figure out how to make a damn shish kebab. I was ready to learn.

So Tuesday night, when we had fresh chicken that my mom said she’d grill…and we had grapes from the farmer’s market…I saw an opportunity. I could do this! It was my night! I made the skewers, just like Ellie said to. Then…it was time.

Here’s how the lesson went: You turn the grill on. You light the grill carefully. You let it get hot. You place whatever is to be grilled on the hot grill. You check it in the same way you check any other dish. You turn things once or twice. You have successfully grilled.

What? Seriously? Why did I spend all this time thinking there was more to it than that?

I was so proud of this meal! Even my picky brother was raving (like a child can) about the kebabs. Now I can bake and cook and open a can and heat soup and grill.

Here are some fancy food pics…

I made some veggie kebabs too! Here they are, hot off the coals…

And served with couscous and fresh watermelon!

I am so excited at this simple way to make healthy food! I am planning all the great things I can do with a grill now. The grapes were the star of the meal, so I want to try more fruit on the grill. But really, the sky’s the limit (you can actually even grill pizza).

If you’re worried your lack of a sac makes it impossible for you to grill, don’t! This was a seriously empowering moment in my cooking saga. Move beyond the George Foreman and learn to fire up a real grill.

And speaking of grill(z)…

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