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After 40+ years of home grilling, the cruel truth comes out

By: Keith Kappes
Columnist
Carter County Times

Are fathers supposed to get their feelings hurt on Father’s Day? Well, it happened to me again this year.

I waited patiently for any of our eight kids to suggest coming to our house and letting me prepare another feast on my portable, flat top grill or my upright grill.

On the way home from our Father’s Day event at someone else’s house, I mentioned my injured feelings to my loving wife of 49 years.

To my surprise, she offered to poll our children about my outdoor cooking skills. I hesitantly agreed, never imagining the rejection I would feel when she reported two days later.

First, good grill cooks don’t burn the meat and punish their guests with greasy, overcooked burgers and charred hot dogs in an atmosphere of choking thick smoke.

Secondly, real outdoor chefs know how to skillfully grill vegetables instead of turning them into ashes.

At that point, she recalled that the first cookout we had at home seemed more like a cremation than dinner.

As I tried to catch my breath for a nifty response, she said one of the kids suggested I wear firefighting “rollout” gear instead of my “Papaw” apron.

Another of the ingrates claimed that I used so much water to put out grease fires on the old grill that it spiked the water bill.

To add insult to injury, she admitted that she seldom lets me grill steaks because my cooking is so bad it somehow seems like cruelty to animals.

And then she had the audacity to recall my grill-buying history of the last few years.

My upright gas grill with a cast iron grate is too hard to clean. The stainless-steel griddle I bought to sit on top of the cast iron takes forever to get hot.

As for my fancy flat top grill. I’ve cooked about four meals on it. All were delicious but I’ll never get used to eating alone.

(Keith can be reached at keithkappes@gmail.com)

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