Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fire Hot, Fire Good

All good cooks start out at a very young age, playing with fire.

Whether it was matches starting up the BBQ with Mom and Dad, waiting for it to “poof” with heat, or maybe blowing up plastic WWII airplanes with fire crackers with your big brothers, fire is fascinating. Perhaps it was the classic neighborhood fireworks show with bottle rockets, along with buckets of water, water hoses and the lingering smell of sulfur and shredded paper in the street. The feel of heat on your face is addicting to a classic chef pyromaniac. The dazzle as your eyes react to heat is a rush as you stare and “everything is going according to plan”. The hot summer grill, the sound of meat sizzling, yes you tree hugging vegetarians, I said it, “sizzling meat”, smelling a marinated and well seasoned hunk of flesh, so there. Even if you don’t enjoy eating it, or thinking it used to have a face, you can’t tell me you don’t naturally salivate when you smell it. You still have teeth, right?

It’s what heaven will smell like, reducing brown veal stock and a perfectly crowded grill. What do you think we’ll be doing around Gods banquet table anyway? Just talking?

Here is my point; turn your neighborhood into a slice of heaven this weekend. The Fourth of July is on a Saturday this year, get it in gear, no excuses. Do some shopping, plan ahead, season and properly marinate your carnage, or your cauliflower puree pancakes. Take your time and do it right. Nothing is worse than rushing a good meal, trust me. Invite your neighbors over, yes, even the ones who drive too fast past your house. Put the dog on a leash and leave the side gate open, see who decides to drop by. Watch the fireworks, maybe blow some things up. Enjoy the smells and open breezes through the windows in the evening. Watch the kids, maybe a future cook, delight in the noise and heat, witness their wide eyed wonder. As they rub their hands together, bounce and balance on their toes in the grass, watching the fireworks display over their heads, you will swear you hear them whispering to themselves,

“Fire Hot, Fire Good”.