Extra Flavour

Summer is finally here, and with it comes my one of my favorite pastimes: barbecuing. Forget about slaving over a hot stove, cooking a dinner that no one will eat. To sustain my offspring, all I do now is fire up the barbecue, chuck on some hot dogs, and call it a day. If I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll grill some corn cobs. With said corn smothered in butter and salt, six-year-old Molly and three-year-old Andy can be tricked into eating vegetables. I call that a win, despite worries about their cholesterol levels.

I can’t say I’m a master of the grill. More often than not, hamburger patties and wieners are served up as burnt offerings. “That’s extra flavour!” I chirp, but my kids are unconvinced. I’ve mastered a parental “trick of the trade” and serve their blackened protein drenched in ketchup and mustard. Who says sausages can’t be crunchy? I’m telling you, that’s extra flavour!

Since my stove pumps out as much heat as a Swedish sauna, it’s now cheerfully neglected. In fact, I haven’t been in my kitchen for weeks, except to grab ice cream from the freezer (another nutritious summer repast). Gone are the days of sauteed vegetables and lean meats; from here on out, it’s pasta salad and pre-cut carrots. Don’t get me wrong, my kids never eat any of the above, but at least I save time making meals. As we sit on our patio, chewing our crispy hot dogs, life is good. Never mind that Andy only eats his condiment-covered bun, or that Molly is finger painting with potato salad. Clean-up is a breeze since I just hose down the table chairs, and kids. If only I could do the same indoors!

As with all the meals I make, I’m sure my kids will tire of burgers and tube steak. They’ll want more sophisticated fare like chicken nuggets or peanut butter sandwiches. But until that day comes, I’m gonna ride the barbecue train until it derails. Rain or shine, who’s up for some blackened wieners and burnt buns?