The Grill

I admit I have my weaknesses and there are tasks that I cannot accomplish not matter how many times I try. As a veterinarian, I am thankful and pleased that my professional skills have improved over the years with practice and tending to multiple cases. I have learned professionally my strengths and weaknesses and fortunately have been successful, but for the life of me, some of my personal endeavors never improve. I pride myself on being a better than average cook, actually, I am a very good cook and being in the kitchen relaxes me, but I have a violent and dysfunctional relationship with Pork Tenderloin. I use the best marinades, roast it in a bag, without a bag, slow cook, covered/uncovered, on a grill, sear then in the oven. Nothing is good enough. It is abusive to me. It is always dry, unflavored and chewy.

Other procedures I cannot perform include making Christmas bows and re-placing harnesses on my patients after examinations. I cannot sing (my daughter will be the first to tell you), and I cannot paint my own nails because it is a mess. I have a doctorate degree and I can surgically remove bladder stones, uteruses, and various objects dogs swallow but I have my down falls. I am not allowed to make appointments at my own clinic. We kind of joke about it, but it is best if I stay out of front desk activities.

Finally, the major failure in my life is that I cannot grill meat. I think I could be better at this task if I was not female. Calm down. I firmly believe the grill, attention to meat and monitoring fire goes back to prehistoric times and is a male oriented endeavor. When Kyle grills meat, he stands at his post. There are no interruptions! He has his cocktail close at hand and the heat is monitored for temperature and the meat is monitored for perfection. I think about drawings in museums with cave men gathered around fire with the beast after drawings of the same men with clubs chasing the beast over a prairie. Perhaps this fixation with cooking meat is an extension of the male need to ‘provide’’ for the family? Men still chase things with clubs over hills and valleys, they just happen to be small white balls and the clubs are now long expensive metal rods. Some instincts never die, they just evolve.

When I grill, I start the fire, throw meat on the iron slats, help celeste with homeowner, start noodles for Mac and Cheese, answer text messages about a puppy with diarrhea, including evaluating photos of diarrhea and other photos with questions…”Do you think this could be vomit or diarrhea?”, check the meat and turn, I attempt to help with more homework but fifth grade was a long time ago and I am as frustrated as my child, stir noodles, check the meat. More texts about the puppy. I ask about appetite? Depression? Drinking water? How many bowel movements? The doorbell rings. My neighbor is holding the collar of a Golden Retriever I have never seen and asks if he is mine. I say no but will be right out. I head to the garage and grab a leash; What steaks? What noodles? I chat with my neighbor and help figure out the faded phone number on the tag and call the owner. My daughter walks out and when I see her I think “DINNER!” I explain I have something on the stove and sprint back into the house. Oh thank goodness, everything is ok, but the meat is medium plus. Celeste and I like it medium rare. I have over done it (again), but at least it is not ruined. I remove the noodles from the stove. Kyle would never let this happen. He would never leave his meat. He would wait to do homework and he doesn’t know how to make Mac and Cheese so that would never be an issue. A pack of renegade dogs could be running through the neighborhood but of course, he would leave that for me to tend to or he wouldn’t notice. If a neighbor came to the door, he wouldn’t help them not because he doesn’t care, but because he would NEVER go inside while his meat is on the grill, therefore, he would not hear the doorbell. When Kyle grills, he is in a quiet state, as if he has transcended to those prehistoric times when making sure the fire stays hot is priority. I return to the driveway in time to see another neighbor retrieve his retriever. Celeste and I return to math homework and text messages about puppy diarrhea and I finish making dinner. Yes, this is a true story.

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