Growing up I have vivid memories of my dad standing over our classic black charcoal weber grill. He was not too tall, not too short, handsome, of course, and his hair was much less peppered with gray. Has it been age…or three daughters? I’m going with the latter, hands down. Anyway, he would start it up long before dinner time was announced because, well, charcoal grills can be finicky like that. I remember him placing the round charcoals carefully in the bottom of the grill and rolling up balls of newspaper, tucking them in just the exact right spot to get things going. He’d then confidently walk away and stop back by just every once in awhile to lay a flat hand over the coals to gauge the temp. Somehow his hand told him exactly when it was good to go. I know. He’s pretty impressive.
While the charcoal was getting hot you could find my dad doing a few things. The first would be pitching to my sisters and I for our ‘baseball game.’ Looking back at this now it’s quite a hysterical thought as not one of us has even a remote sense of athleticism in us. I’m not quite sure how the game went on but somehow it did. I’m guessing the massive hollow ball and hollow bat made it a tad easier on the violin and piano playing, art class taking, choir singing ‘team’ my dad was dealt. Poor guy.
The second would be, if we were lucky, prepping his speciality – charcoal onions. Hmmm, how to explain these. Well, they are a highlight of my childhood to start. Waaaaaay before Chili’s and Outback come out with their fried blooming onions, my dad came out with his smokey charcoal version. No deep frying here, he’d peel an onion, cut slits, stuff down thick pads of butter, salt & pepper it and call it a day. Not one but two sheets of foil would go around these baseball sized treats and directly into the charcoals they’d go for 45 – 60 minutes, or however long it takes a bunch of violin nerds to get through an inning or two.
Gosh, isn’t it amazing how food can bring you back? Great work, dad. As always.
P.S. Are you wondering what to do with these? They are killer over burgers, or hot dogs. Also, they aren’t too shabby by themselves either. You really can’t go wrong.