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You Go Girl. Grill.

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Grandma D going on a walk, apparently leaving their Schnauzer, Rocky, behind.  Love those bell bottom pants.

Seeing this photo has Andy thinking about dogs – and 1950s radio programs.  The photo makes me think of Andy’s mom.

“You go girl!”  I heard that often from my mother-in-law, Grandma D.  In addition to be about as kind and gentle as anyone could be, Grandma D was in there rooting for her girls when we needed it.   Adjusting to motherhood?  “You go girl!” Starting a new job?  “You go girl!”  Preparing for the empty nest?  “You go girl!” Tackling a complex recipe?  “You go girl!”  I’m sort of smug in thinking there wasn’t a comparable expression she used for the guys in the family.

I need her little push right now.  Grilling has always been, is, and probably forever more shall be the province of the man in this household, Andy.  But I consider myself a feminist and think that I should be able to do most anything.  So I decided to see what it’s like to grill, rather than bake or roast or saute.

Of course, first I had to try to figure out WHY Andy and I clearly agreed on this division of labor – years ago.  An article from Forbes offered up some plausible theories.  Especially interesting is the idea that 1950s suburbanization caused it: all of a sudden, after a move to the suburbs, men had to figure out what to do with their spare time and in their backyards.  So they started to mow the lawns and grill.  Mind you, I don’t believe my dad, a father in the 1950s, ever grilled, but we didn’t live in suburbia either; plus he was more than happy to have me mow our enormous lawn.

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According to Michael Pollan, in a 2009 NYTimes article, the only kind of cooking that is on the rise in the U.S. is grilling, and it’s being treated as a weekend sport, not as something that puts home-cooked food on our tables every day.  And, as weekend sport, it still tends to be men who grill, though the invention of the gas grill has apparently encouraged more women to find grilling approachable.    Mmmmmm.  Sounds chauvinistic to me.  My I-can-do-anything side makes me want to go build a big hunky wood fire and grill a huge bloody slab of meat, defying any stereotype.

But I’m scaling back (or chickening out?? :).  Andy showed me how to turn on our relatively-new petite gas grill.  And he showed me how to turn it off.  And how to hold my hand over the grill to see if it is hot enough (which, I might add,  I already knew!).  I’m not interested in learning how to clean it.  Or how to do a huge bloody slab of meat on it.  But I am willing to try some simple little grilled appetizers.

You go girl.  Grill. Continue reading

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