Tag Archives: grill

“Some assembly required”

This past weekend, I tackled a project I had been putting off for more than three months. My children gave me a new grill for Father’s Day. It has been sitting, unassembled, in the box in one of our guest rooms since mid-June.

I had been procrastinating for two good reasons.

1.) When I had any free time on a summer weekend afternoon, I wanted to spend it doing something more useful than poring over a set of directions – like sitting by my pool with a good book in one hand and a beer in the other.

2.) I knew it was going to be a pain in the rear. On that note, I was not disappointed.

A turn of cooler weather along with the fact that my old grill finally died prompted me to go ahead and get the new one assembled.

So while Mrs. Poolman was off at a baby shower, I spent several hours Sunday afternoon trying to transform a set of directions and a pile of unrecognizable parts into a functioning grill. Actually, it wasn’t really all that difficult. It was just tedious. If I had to assemble another grill of the same model again today, I could do it in around 30 minutes. But the first effort involved much time staring at diagrams and trying to connect the drawing with an actual part that was one of many spread around our family room.

At least twice, I missed a step and had to back up, disassemble the previous few steps, and pick up where I had missed.

When Mrs. P got home, the family room looked like a tornado had hit it.

It's not as bad as it looks.

There was lots of cardboard, plastic wrapping and Styrofoam. But the grill was assembled.  A few minutes later, it was out in the courtyard and ready to go to work.

In all its glory!

We had some very nice sirloin steaks for dinner that evening.  Not a bad reward.

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A little OCD can be good for you

Mrs. Poolman thinks I am slightly neurotic. She is probably right. I am a little obsessive-compulsive. Most of my OCD revolves around turning off hot appliances. An hour or more after using it, I’ll ask myself…

“Did I remember to turn off the oven  /grill / iron?”

Mrs. P makes fun of me, but actually there have been a number of times I have discovered the oven left on overnight. Usually this has been when one of our children had been using it, or we had a party and a guest used it to heat up a dish. All the same, I may be neurotic, but I’m not completely crazy.

I have a way of compensating so I don’t drive Mrs. P or myself totally bonkers. When I turn off one of these appliances, I “tell myself” to remember that I have done so.

“You are unplugging the iron, Poolman. Remember this later.”

I’ll have a solid memory of performing the act to fall back on.

As I have told Mrs. P, “Not all neuroses are bad.”

I thought of this last Sunday, when I sat at Mass and listened to the lector read an entire set of readings that were entirely wrong. I felt sorry for her because she was the only person in the church who didn’t realize she was “on the wrong page.” She read the readings for the same Sunday in the next annual cycle. She wasn’t off by a week; she was off by a year. Ignorance is bliss, at least for awhile. She probably figured it out eventually.

I’ve had just about everything go wrong that possibly can go wrong when I have been a lector. Painful experience has encouraged me to get to the church early and double check everything — the Gospel book, the announcements, and especially the page-marker in the lectionary. I hate unpleasant surprises in front of large groups of people. So I”m pretty OCD about making sure everything is lined up properly.

I don’t know if a little OCD can be contagious. Why should I be selfish and enjoy all the benefits?

Love that ‘beer butt chicken’

We had some folks over for a “float-in” Sunday afternoon. I cooked some “Beer Butt Chicken.” If you have never tried this, it is worth a shot.

1.) Mrs. P put together an herb rub which she applied to the birds the night before and sealed them in plastic bags in the refrigerator overnight.

2.) You take one can of beer for each bird, and after draining some of the beer (either in the sink or down your throat, as you will), you stick the can of beer into the large cavity of the chicken.

3.) We have some wire frames designed to hold the beer and the chicken, but supposedly you can use the drumsticks to form a tripod and keep the bird-beer combination vertical.

4.) I cooked it slowly on a covered gas grill. It took about an hour and a half, but it doesn’t require a lot of attention. As a matter of fact, I imagine the fewer times you open the grill, the better.

The end result was very tasty and very, very moist and tender chicken. Our company sure seemed to like it. If not, they sure faked it well.