The Simple Things: Cheeseburgers and Sunbeams
I saw the grass today, and it was glorious. The amber beams of an evening sun striking a patch of it, and every soul within sight of that grass paused to rejoiced. I immediately fell prostrate, poking my nose through the wilted, brown and resilient green blades, sniffing through it like an old coon dog, reveling in the earthy aromas there. I know you southern tier folk are just shaking your head, wondering what the big deal is. You see grass every day. In point of fact, you’re probably tired of your grass. But let it be said, to a winter-locked Minnesotan, after a span of a half-year embedded in snow and ice, just the very sight of their grass sends their soul straight to church! It stirs a person by the heart-strings, and gives them hope. Hope that there is another season, one of milder inclement, and warmer evenings in front of a pastel sun. Glory!
The waft of hickory smoke came my way, whilst I was frolicking in my patch of grass. A gentle reminder that the pit was probably ready now for supper. That other tasks were on hand, besides admiring a plot of sod. Cheeseburgers! Were taking it easy tonight, nothing grandiose or elaborate, but like a sunny patch of grass after a winter eternal, delightful, none-the-less.
Three portly third-pounders hit the hot cast iron grate with a trademark sizzle. I had some hickory wood on the coals too, just for good measure. For seasonings tonight we used a liberal dose of Famous Dave’s Steak & Burger Seasoning, a tasty pantheon of flavor concocted by local BBQ genius, Famous Dave Anderson. It’s pretty good on any cut of beef, burgers in particular. We cooked the burgers in-direct the entire time.
Putting the burgers opposite the hot coals does a couple of things really well. One, it cooks them a little slower. Pit keepers as a rule are never in a hurry, less entombed in heady throes of competitive BBQ. But indirect cooking, like we’re doing tonight, first thwarts the odds of morphing your plunder into blackened rubble, and thus gives the wood smoke more time to do its high magic. Slowing down via in-direct cooking also gives a person covetous slots of time in which to take up the proper BBQ posture, pit-side, feet propped up, hat tilted just so, left leg crossed over right, with a manly beverage close at hand. These are the moments we grill jockeys live for. Moments where we can study the coals, and watch the smoke curl. Admire the interesting cloud shapes as they parade over-head. Listen to the tweety birds and feel the gentle breeze on our face. A time at last we can be still, and just watch the world spin. And how yonder, the golden sun falls upon a lone patch of grass. The simple things to be sure. And every one of them, patron to the pit. Amen.