Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gentlemen, start your grills

In the past few months i have observed some interesting behavior in regard to meat grilling.

Scene 1: At someone else's house, i watched a male guest critique, and then ultimately take over the grilling of the fish. The host, a secure and calm man, let Mr. Rude Guest take over without a fuss and went off to toss the salad.

(As an aside, the fish was slightly over done.)

Scene 2: Steak this time, also at someone else's house. Three male guests began to argue rather vehemently about the correct steak grilling technique. To sear or not to sear? How long on each side per inch of thickness? Is the grilling fork with the temperature gauge a worthwhile tool or a crutch for the incompetent? Apparently. THESE THINGS ARE VITALLY IMPORTANT!

(My steak was also overdone, but to be fair, i like it RARE.)

Scene 3: Our house this time, and back to fish. The Mister and Mr. Polite Guest were outside. When The Mister declared the fish done, Mr Polite Guest expressed concern that the fish was NOT done. The Mister's explained his theory that the fish continues cooking after being removed from the grill.

(The fish was yummy.)

I'm trying to think if any guest, other than my mother, has ever criticized me while i was cooking. To my face i mean. (When my mother did it, i told her "Great idea. Here, you do it." That shut her up!) I couldn't remember any.

My theory is, if someone else cooks, my job is to offer to help, shut up, and eat it.


Anonymous said...

Excellent theory. The only person who ever criticized me to my face was my husband's, father's girlfriend. For the record, she was a mean little woman.

flutter said...

if anyone came to my house and told me how to cook, they would end up with a grill brush up the bung.

thailandchani said...

People who tell us how to cook are like those who tell us how to drive. They need to get out and walk.


Clowncar said...

You are not a man. Cooking is not a competition for you.

I'd like to be more condescending toward the rude advisers, but I have some strong opinions toward grilling myself. Alas, I cannot escape the cliches of my gender.

Bob said...

I'm wondering if I missed out on a few male genes - I NEVER criticize anyone else's cooking, I am too too happy not having to do it myself; I have my own methods for grilling, but I have not the hubris to think that they are better than anyone elses.

While I was on my most recent middle eastern odyssey, my daughter learned to grill in my stead. Now that I'm home I wish she would keep it up......

nick said...

As Clowncar said, it's just another form of male competitiveness. Even cooking has to be turned into a contest rather than something friendly and relaxing. I think I've missed out on those male genes too. When other men cook, I'm usually quite happy with the results.

Lynnea said...

I can't imagine criticizing a host's food. I was taught you eat it, thank the host and smile whether you like it or not. After all, they are feeding you, and taking the time to prepare the food.

Oh and steak should be bloody, blue rare, but hot. Yum.

Candy said...

I had a bunch of people over for a meal one night, and one of the women worked for a caterer. She didn't actually cook anything but she was comfortable in the kitchen. Comfortable enough to criticize everything I was doing, and to basically lose her shit that I wasn't cleaning up after myself to her liking. I'm pretty sure I eventually told her to get the hell out of my kitchen. We don't see them much anymore.

Gordo said...

Scene 1: What an asshole. Handled very well by the host.

Scene 2: I never, EVER, cook anything by time. Especially steak. It all varies and is best judged by touch. With your thumb and forefinger apart, if ou poke the webbing between them, that approximates the feel of rare steak. Touching your finger to each finger in succession will take you to medium well in four steps.

Searing seals the juices in.

Scene 3: The Mister is right. The vast majority of fish can also be eaten raw and you can cook salmon with lemon juice alone.

Anybody that argues with me about cooking methods can cook their own damned food. At their own home.

My steak must be rare and warmed through. Blue rare (seared, with a cold centre) is gross.

meno said...

deb, wow, nervy little bitch!

flutter, so if i see someone with a grill brush up their arse, i'll know where they've been. :)

chani, ha ha! i totally agree.

clowncar, so, is the grilling fork with the temperature reader for the weak?

bob, you should try the 'painting the picket fence' trick with your daughter. It might work!

nick, those are genes you can live without.

maggie, i like it rare too, but perhaps not quite that rare.

candy, bet you miss her too. heh!

gordo, yeah, he actually is kind of an asshole. And i love sushi!

Scott from Oregon said...

A (female) caterer extraordinaire (she was one of the few invited into the Bohemian Club to prepare meals) once told me that men are far better at grilling than women.

Her reasoning-- Grilling is a singular activity that requires a singularity of focus.

Men are good that way. Give them a beer and a focus on some meat... Happy men...

Women, however, will try and do more with the interum time and "miss" the exact moment to pull their meat (men know how to pull their meat from experience) and will therefore ruin a good sausage...

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

This is is the beauty of cooking Indian for my White People Friends. They never make suggestions. Heh.

Indian friends do, sometimes. Bah.

sari said...

I couldn't get past flutter's comment, I snorted so hard I think I hurt myself.

(in a good way, of course)

Magpie said...

Yes. And more yes.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

This is just another incidence of rudeness becoming so commonplace that it is no longer even recognized as rudeness. When someone cooks for me, I am delighted. Whether or not I like it is irrelevant.

The Proper Response is Thank You said...

Only if someone asks how I like my steak do I offer eating preference.

I don't mind cooking, but I despise being on public display while doing so. I don't want anyone in the kitchen if they are going to A) take over or B) get in my way. Have a seat on a bar stool and entertain me with a story about your grandmother pinching the waiter. If you offer to help that's lovely, and if there is something I will ask. Asking more than once is unnecessary. Asking four times after I said no thanks will result in kitchen banishment. As the co-host I have the honor of preparing and cleaning.

lu said...

I've always though it was a bit dicey to whip it out and start comparing in front of a grill.

I suppose penis envy knows no bounds.

luckyzmom said...

It has been my observation that lately, men seem to have an over-inflated opinion of their meat, cooked or raw.

meno said...

scott, ha has ha! Pull their meat. Awesome!

cagey, you can cook Indian food for me anytime. I will help, and offer no opinions.

sari, flutter's a good woman, just don't mess with her.

magpie, you know these people too?

hearts, that's how i feel. "advice" will make sure that this is the last time i invite you over.

Proper Response, kitchen banishment is accomplished at knife point i hope.

lu, they could get burned!

luckyzmom, ha ha ha! Yep! :)

Anonymous said...

One man on his own can be quite good fun
But don’t go drinking with two -
They’ll probably have an argument
And take no notice of you.

What makes men so tedious
Is the need to show off and compete.
They’ll bore you to death for hours and hours
Before they’ll admit defeat.

It often happens at dinner-parties
Where brother disputes with brother
And we can’t even talk among ourselves
Because we’re not next to each other.

Some men like to argue with women -
Don’t give them a chance to begin.
You won’t be allowed to change the subject
Until you have given in.

A man with the bit between his teeth
Will keep you up half the night
And the only way to get some sleep
Is to say, ‘I expect you’re right.’

I expect you’re right, my dearest love.
I expect you’re right, my friend.
These boring arguments make no difference
To anything in the end.
Wendy Cope

Mrs4444 said...

Okay, but what I want to know is why can't my husband ever predict the time it takes to grill correctly? Honestly, the man is a terrific cook, but I am forever trying to have everything else ready at the same time he tells me it will be ready, only to be consistently ahead of him by 10-15 minutes (today, it was 30). I should just learn, but I never do...