Barbecue and Chickens

Reader Contribution by Lydia
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2014 is here, ready or not. No sooner did we finish our holiday shopping and holiday meal planning, then it was 2014! Is it just me or does it seem the older we get, the faster the new year comes around?

Before the rush of the holidays, we tried to find a little peace and tranquility since we had a few rare days with temperatures in the 60s. We got home on the last Friday before Christmas and before our house full of company showed up. We decided we would cook some pork spareribs on the gas grill. It seemed easy enough to get them seasoned and put on the grill while we listened to them sizzle and contemplated the holiday menu over a glass of wine. My husband and I sat under the backyard porch and reflected on the busy 2013 we’d had as we watched the chickens peck.  I decided we needed more wine, and he decided the ribs needed more fire so we could eat sooner. As I stepped inside to pour a second glass, the phone rang, and I began a conversation with my daughter but quickly ended the conversation after I noticed billowing clouds of black smoke through the window.

As I rushed outside, I saw my husband pulling the gas grill out from under the porch to the center of the yard. There was a large fireball inside the grill, and he was trailing a plume of black smoke. 

“Do you need a fire extinguisher” I shouted. “No, I got this,” he said. I went back inside and prepared the baked sweet potato side dish for our dinner and awaited the main entre.

My husband eventually came in the kitchen, face smudged in black, holding a platter of charcoal that used to be ribs. There was a gash on his chin and splatters of blood on his white T-shirt. “What happened?!” I asked. He had left the ribs on the grill to close the chicken coop door and ended up chasing one of our younger hens who decided she wanted to stay out longer. As he reached to pick her up, she erupted into flight and gouged his chin in the process, while the ribs turned into a bonfire. I was so tempted to reach for the camera, but I wasn’t sure he would find it as amusing as I did. Our quiet dinner was meager – sweet potatoes and a glass of wine. Oh, well.

One final lesson to practice next year. Never leave anything on the grill when you go put the chickens to bed.

Happy New Year, GRIT readers!

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