Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Grilling Dilemma

First off, let me say that I apologize for the lengthy 10 day delay in posting. I also want to shout out and say thanks to all who took part in the roll call (and it's not too late if you didn't, just click here).

It's been a busy 10 days of getting summer schedules set for the girls, finalizing planting plans and getting a new, improved job (yay me!). In the past 10 days we've also dealt with a dilemma that's been on the burner, so to speak, for a couple of years.

The dilemma is our grill.

Eight years ago when I was pregnant with Eowyn and Sissy was but a wee toddler we decided to upgrade from our traditional charcoal-powered college-years grill to a propane grill. I was tired of dealing with the briquettes and justified the expense by touting how much safer a propane grill would be (with an immediate "off" switch and faster cool-down period) with young children around. Our budget was tight, having just moved to our current burg and saving up funds for the new addition. So we went to Sears and bought a basic propane grill (I can remember that, with the sale and the mail-in rebate our cost was $109. Aren't I good at useless trivia?).

The grill had served us well, getting much use and decently holding up to our neglectful attitude (grill covers just seem too bourgeois). But last year it became painfully obvious that the grill was falling apart. Literally. Parts of it were disintegrating and causing uneven heating and flare-ups. But we didn't feel like we could dump the extra hundreds of dollars into replacing (and slightly upgrading) the grill because I was the receiver of one of the State's pink slips that went out last May because of the economic crisis.

But that's another (painful) story.

So we compromised and ordered a new flare guard (or, as I like to call it, heat shield) for the grill for something like 13 bucks. Not bad, eh? The burner was still experiencing it's own demise but at least with the new heat shield the food was only slightly scorched in places. With this purchase we could get through another summer and plan on buying that fancy new model next year.

But see, we didn't know then that we'd be rationing this summer (isn't that very historically accurate of us?). Buying new appliances during rationing wasn't necessarily a no-no, but it was to be done in emergency situations only. And we had already had one close call with the oven, remember?

But with the burner assembly literally falling apart, using the grill was about as refined and effective as using a Bunsen burner to cook a hot dog. What were we to do?

Luckily, the interwebs came to our rescue! We were able to order a new burner assembly and have it shipped to us for only $23. Within a week of ordering TMOTH had installed the new burner which, combined with the almost-new heat shield, has made our grill an evenly heated cooking machine.

I think, with the new parts, we'll be able to get at least two to four more years out of our grill.

The only problem is I now have to adjust to cooking with a fully-functional grill. I had memorized the hot spots before the repairs to avoid burnt food. Now grilling is so easy and simple it makes me feel, well...

...a little bourgeois.

--Rational Mama

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