With the idea to make use of the charcoal grills outside, we head to Safeway with a mission. Nights like these have basically become a tradition. We head to the back of the store to pick up some of the “fresh” steaks from behind the counter. Next stop: produce. Zucchini, bell peppers, and onions are the best. Also, pick up pineapple for “dessert.” We split up. A couple go to grab the most important food group: carbs. Bread is done in one of two ways: ciabatta or sourdough, in that order. Finally, we reunite to check out. Make sure our supply of the rest is still sufficient: steak rub, olive oil, garlic salt, lighter fluid, and charcoal. If not, retrieve said items. But make sure the cost of items is well distributed, and rotates each cookout.
Walk back to the place we call home. Use CF powers to take plates and utensils out to the grill. Grill master must start the fire while others prep the food and atmosphere. Bring a portable speaker, drinks, and chips and salsa from rooms. Wear adequate clothing, because temperature will drop. Hook up the music and make sure someone plays songs adequate for the mood. Coat your steak in rub and get it in line to get on the fire.
Wait patiently for steaks to cook. Feast on munchable chips and salsa, veggies, bread, and taste-tests of other peoples’ steak. Die of happiness when your steak is perfect. Follow it with cinnamon-coated, grilled pineapple. Laugh, talk, bask in shameless dancing and lude jokes. Dream of next year, with legal drinking and the ability to cook more often. But more importantly, treasure the effortlessness of being together. Constant jokes and conversation. Relaxation and ridiculousness before a hectic week.
Some use mass or meditation to soothe their souls before stressful days, we’ve found that a good cookout is more than sufficient.
So head to Safeway, pick up a nice cut of steak (or just veggies if that’s your thing), and get to it.