Saturday, May 26, 2012


The disaster was inevitable.  I had been wallowing in self-satisfaction, thinking of myself as the complete package, artist, writer, and a kitchen master who could do more than just cook pasta.  Last night I was going to treat my sweet wife, (who has never, ever, even once, complained about all the pasta I serve her), to a special dinner…grilled flank steak with veggies, and fresh beets and beat greens.  She loves fresh beets.

I cut up the zucchini, broccoli, and onions and marinated them in oil and seasoning, blanched the beet greens, sautéed them in olive oil with garlic, and went out to the breezeway to turn on the gas grill.  While the grill was heating up I and placed the veggies in Aluminum pack and placed it on the grill. 

Back in the kitchen I began cooking the beets and seasoned the meat in preparation for grilling.  I returned to the breezeway when my dinner plans went up in flames, literally.  I opened the grill and was greeted by flames everywhere…from the grill, the burners, and the drip pans below.  Turning all burners down to their lowest level I spritzed everything with water; the flames diminished and I thought I could continue as planned.  With a large spatula I turned the veggie pack over and it promptly came undone, spilling half the contents out onto the grill, which quickly caught fire.  That is when I fell to my knees on the hard cement floor and begged the gods for mercy, vowing I would never allow myself to become so inflated with pride if they would save me from this fiery disaster.

Evidently they heard my plea and sent Patience to salvage the dinner while I tried to salvage my pride. Returning to the kitchen I sat and watched her work her magic, seeing solace in a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio.

Patience grilled the meat on the stovetop and saved all the veggies, which turned out to be just right, and in the end we enjoyed a very nice dinner, no thanks to me.

There remains a very prominent streak of soot on the wall behind the grill, a stark reminder of the disaster that would be dinner.

There is a lot more pasta in our future.


Katherine Thomas said...

That's a great story! Glad to hear other people have little 'flare ups' once in awhile too!

laurie said...

aww, bless your sweet heart, Bill Renzulli! You are such a good man and both of you are fabulous cooks, as I am fortunate enough to know first hand! I'm sure it was delicious, no matter the process or near disaster along the way. You tackle many cooking projects (and have outstanding results )that most people (especially me) have no desire to attempt!