I'll leave the grilling to somebody else

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

I have a confession to make. I cannot master the grill.

But I have to start out by saying that, as many people know, I’m a fiercely independent person. I like to learn how to do things, and out of necessity have learned to fix toilets, do minor electrical work, change my own oil and so on.

But this weekend, I learned one thing that truly stumps me. It must be that I’m just not built to do it.


Give me some wood to do a camp fire, and I’m good to go. I can fix a decent camp breakfast — but let’s forget for a moment that I actually caught bacon on fire at the last campsite. Yes, it holds a flame. And quite nicely.

This weekend, however, I thought I’d do something nice for my husband, and get something to toss on the grill.

Our grill, by the way, isn’t necessarily ours. It sort of came with the house we rent. It lives outside. It’s rusty. It’s old. But I figured hey, if we can work with this, we won’t need to purchase a grill.

And then I decided to go cheap. I didn’t get the convenient self-lighting charcoal. Nope. I was excited by a $2.50 bag of briquettes.

When Derek went to start the cooking, he came inside, frustrated. I’d not gotten the self-lighting charcoal, and he was sending me out to get some lighter fluid.

Fair enough.

That mission was successful, and I rather sheepishly handed over a couple of bucks for lighter fluid at a convenience store.

But the lighter fluid didn’t seem to help as the charcoal just wouldn’t stay lit. I was more than happy to do the cooking, but the grill had me stumped. I couldn’t figure out how to make it hot. So, I let Derek take over, and some time later, we had some nice hot food.

The whole thing made me think back to Memorial Day 2006 when I attempted to cook a feast for us, a friend and my father-in-law. I was less than successful, though I did have some of the self-starting charcoal. I just didn’t have enough. And it was getting old.

So no more charcoal for me. I think I’ll stick with my campfire breakfasts and flaming bacon.

Jonna can be reached at editor@hclocal.com.