Yeah, sure, that sounds lovely, right?
I should probably start by saying, we have a gas grill back in Indiana, I’ve never attempted to start a charcoal grill by myself, and the Amsterdam house only has a charcoal grill.
All that aside, I’m a smart, intelligent, strongwilled woman, I can start a charcoal grill, no problem. My confidence is high, so much so that I throw my typical “must research first” approach to the wind and head out to the garden (in Amsterdam, the backyard is referred to as the garden).
I’ve purchased charcoal and starter matches at the grocery store, so I’m ready. I think it will take about 30-mins to heat up the grill, so I head out about 6pm to start the grill. I pile up the charcoal in a perfect pyramid, strategically place the starting sticks, light my masterpiece, head back inside, set a timer, pour myself a glass of wine, and settle into the patio chair to await my successful blaze of glory.
I’ll save the play-by-play of the next few hours, but …. at about 9pm the grill was ready and at around 8pm I had decided to toss the steaks in the oven. Needless to say, the evening was filled with lots of laughs and I’ll even admit a few tears of defeat.
I took a couple days to allow my pride to recover but decided I was not going to let the BBQ get the better of me. I reassessed my approach and decided that perhaps “research first” was, in fact, a better approach. I search up “how to start a charcoal grill” on the good ole’ YouTube, here’s the one I found most helpful, made a few FaceTime calls home to my brother and finally decided I was ready for my second attempt.
I am very proud to say, Success! We were eating within an hour.
After being in Amsterdam for a month, I can say I’ve mastered the charcoal grill! It’s been a weekly menu item and Jim even acknowledged my skills have improved. I will say Jim was 100% supportive along the way, he never complained, only offered to order pizza if I decided to accept defeat — keys to a good marriage.