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tips for the grill-phobic
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I consider myself a good twenty-first century, non-militant-but- nonetheless-firmly-pro-girl-power feminist.  While it seems clear to me that men and women are, indisputably, physically and yes, emotionally, wired differently, anyone who tries to tell me that there are just some things that boys do better than girls should be forewarned that themís fightiní words.  I can carry my own heavy luggage, read a road map with ease, and have never, in my entire life, been scared of math or science. 

So you can understand when I say that while Iím embarrassed to admit that I have not the slightest clue how to operate a grill, Iím positively ashamed to reveal the reason why: grilling has always seemed like a guy thing. 

Now what is it about grilling that makes it, traditionally and stereotypically speaking of course, the only properly manly way to cook a dinner? My dad, who once steamed an enormous pot of barley and served it to us for dinner because he mistook it for short-grained rice, has virtually no interest in cooking Ė except when it allows him to show off his fancy grill and fabulous grilling skills. On those sunny summer weekend afternoons when my parents decide to barbecue, my mother helps with the chopping, the marinating, the putting together of side dishes like potato salad and boiled corn-on-the-cob, but itís always Dad who stands watch over that big outdoor cooking apparatus, long-handled tongs in hand as he dutifully covers and uncovers the lid, periodically turning skewered kebabs and well-seasoned cuts of filet mignon to ensure even browning. Mom might reign supreme in the kitchen, but when it comes to the barbecue grill, thatís decidedly Dadís domain.

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