Oh, the things we took for granted before the world went crazy. I don’t know about you, but I’m missing my friends and getting together for a cold beverage and a steak on the grill while listening to music and telling the same stories over and over again. Our weekends, at one point or another involved meeting friends at a restaurant or having them over to cook something up in the kitchen or on the Weber grill; now that seems like a luxury!
I love cooking and grew up watching my mother cook soups, casseroles, hams, pot roast, and fry fish and shrimp like it was routine. She could throw a meal together in fifteen minutes that would rival anything anywhere and was, still is, willing to do it at any time. I've learned from the master.
Back in Will's Boy Scout days, I was the dad that brought the huge cooker, fryer and grill and enjoyed feeding the masses with fine cuisine. My motto was, “no need to suffer”, so no freeze-dried foods and Vienna sausages for us. For me, the best part of it all was the camaraderie among old friends and new. There is something about getting to know someone over a grill while smoking five or six Boston butts or a fryer full of mullet. The total nonsense discussed among the group helps us forget the woes of the world just for a moment and always brings about a good laugh at someone's expense.
One of my favorite meals on the planet is the low county boil. Corn, potatoes, onion, lemon, sausage and crawfish. Here in Florida we often substitute crawfish for large gulf shrimp. Although, they are good, it just doesn't compare to those bugs from Louisiana and that sweet tail meat loaded with spices. Once you pour it out on the table, it’s a free for all. The sausage seems to go first, followed by the crawfish, corn and there are always a few potatoes at the end. Usually there isn’t much conversation other than someone wondering why there wasn’t more sausage or asking the inevitable,” is this your beer or mine”?
As we are living this new, hopefully temporary, life of “social distancing” our world is being transformed into something I hope we recognize when this is all over. I urge you to reflect on those things, people and liberties we have taken for granted all these years and make plans to embrace and enjoy them with a sense of appreciation, rather than entitlement, when it's all said and done. We live in the greatest nation on the planet earth and this current crisis will pass…. they always do. In the meantime, cook something up on the grill or drop some fish in the grease. You may not be cooking for a bunch of people right now, but it's good practice and gives you time to give thanks for the things we all take for granted. And don't forget, alway pinch the tail and suck the head .....