Friday, June 8, 2012

Miss Chef’s Notbirthday Present

So there’s this thing Miss Chef’s been talking about getting for two or three years now.  When she first brought it up, we didn’t really have the budget for it.  After I started working a second job, I considered buying her one for her birthday, but it was still a little hefty of a price, and I wasn’t convinced she’d really use it enough to make it worth it.

Well, we can afford it now, but I got a different brilliant idea for her birthday present and already bought that last month.  So I told her she wasn’t getting her desired gift this year, either.

But then our neighbor went and got one, and had to show it off to us.  And use it, practically under our noses.  I guess that was the last straw, because within a few weeks Miss Chef decided she was gonna buy her own damn birthday present!

Did I mention her birthday’s not until August?

Anyway, we were talking about it Monday night, and where we would put it.  Next thing I knew, we had re-arranged the patio furniture, and Miss Chef was saying with a gleam in her eye, “So can we go to Home Depot now?”  (Can you guess what she wanted?  I bet you can!)

We went to Home Depot, then to Lowe’s, then back to Home Depot.  Then home, with a carload!  It wasn’t until Wednesday night that Miss Chef was home to put the dang thing together, and she was disciplined enough to do her homework first, so we didn’t get started until after 8:00.

The grand opening:

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There were lots and lots of pieces, from teeny washers and pins to big hunks of heavy metal.  It was on the verge of utter chaos for a while.

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Rosie was happy to have us outside with her, but couldn’t even be bothered to supervise properly.

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You may notice the picture above is a bit grainy.  That’s because we were rapidly running out of daylight.  While there was minimal confusion and cursing, it was still a lengthy process.  (I bet that propane tank behind Rosie is the final hint, if you still needed one.)

 

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Hey, it’s starting to look like itself.  Notice the prominent placement of the directions.  We are very good about reading them when it’s something this involved.  I’m always amazed that we can do this kind of project without getting ticked off at each other.  It usually works out well, because when Miss Chef gets frustrated or can’t figure something out, I can usually step in and make it work.  And vice versa.

It was at this point that things got down to “the fidgety bits.”  Gas burners, electronic leads, various grates and racks.  And you’ll notice it’s definitely getting dark now.  But we dragged out an electric work lamp and soldiered on.

Finally, about two hours later, we had our first “real” grill!

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Rosie: This??  Seriously?  This is why you were ignoring me?  I don’t get it.

 

What Miss Chef had been talking about for a couple of years actually was getting a smoker.  This, as you may be able to tell, is a grill with both gas and charcoal units.  You can of course use the charcoal side as a smoker, but that box on the ground holds a separate attachable smoking box, so you can do cold smoking, too.  Which Miss Chef is very excited about.  As you can see, there remains a bit more assembly in our future.

As for Rosie and her attitude…she sure got it the next evening…

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First grill meal: steak, corn on the cob (that’s a cob zooming through the air at top), grilled zucchini and squash, aluminum-foil potatoes and portabello mushrooms.  Miss Chef wasn’t happy with the lack of grill marks, but that’s ok.  I’ll be happy to let her keep practicing.

Oh, and I almost forgot: s’mores for dessert.  Happy days!

16 comments:

  1. Yum! That's one amazing grill - and in the hands of an expert, it's going to produce wonderful food!

    I think a partnership that can put together a grill without it leading to divorce court is a rare one! Ours was put to the test the weekend we moved in together: assembling about ten Ikea bookshelves...

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    1. Maybe it was our own Ikea bookshelf construction that provided us the necessary practice. We only have eight, though.

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  2. Oh my goodness. I would be totally intimidated by the sheer size of that thing. Could not cook on it, let alone set it up and assemble it. Congratulations to you and Miss Chef, truly. Impressive. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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    1. As Miss Chef pointed out during assembly, the gas side is really just a gas stove in a different box. So I think you could at least cook on it.

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  3. I am so impressed; I could NEVER assemble such a thing! Happy cooking and eating.

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    1. I'm sure you could hold a light and hand over screws and nuts. There were two of us, after all. :)

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  4. Wow that is impressive although I'm not a fan of smoked foods.

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    1. I'm tempted to say you haven't had any properly smoked food...but who knows, maybe you're just weird. :)

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  5. That corn on the cob looks perfect! I'll be right over...

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    1. Ah yes, and by now we've added a smoked chicken--perfect timing.

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  6. Drooling!!!! What a great early birthday gift. I'm impressed you got it put together so fast too!

    Wow, that dinner looks reallllly good.

    Happy grilling,
    jj

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    1. Thanks, Joanna. This summer's looking up!

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  7. Now THAT'S a grill!

    The Professor once smoked a turkey when we used to own a smoker. It was his first and last time. He was so concerned that the meat wasn't getting to the right temperature that he would only let me sample a little bit before tossing it as a failure. After staying up 24 hours babying it.

    I grilled hot dogs that night before going to bed sometime after midnight.

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    1. Ha, he probably wouldn't eat the chicken we just smoked, then. We left for a couple of hours to meet friends for drinks while it was cooking! I can't imagine late-night hot dogs led to a very restful night's sleep.

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  8. A new toy for Miss Chef! And many delicious meals were had by all :)

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