Who’s idea was it to cook outside?

Ladies and gentleman,

It is with great gladness that I achieve a second post in a row after months away from blogging (or perhaps, from cooking?  You’ll never know)  and return to you with this SPECIAL addition of:
That’s right folks, it’s the week after Father’s Day (or, at least, it was at the time of this particular meal) so in honor of all the grilling dads out there, we’re taking things out of the kitchen and into the Tennessee humidity for a little adventure over the charcoal.
Now, usually in my home, I do the cooking (kind of) and my husband, Danny, does the grilling.  I seriously love it when he grills.  I hand him a plate full of raw meats and veggies, sit and stare at my phone for a half an hour, and he returns with dinner.  Sometimes I sit out with him while he grills, but a lot of the time he enjoys listening to a podcast or something while he mans the grill, so I let him do his thing.  Well on this particular night, hubby was feeling a little under the weather and decided that partaking in the cocktail that is charcoal ash mixed with Tennessee allergens might not be the best bet.  But, we’d planned on having brats and corn on the cob for dinner, so I took the burden upon myself to “man” the grill.
Now listen, y’all, I’ve never grilled IN MY LIFE.   There was this one time a few years ago that my cousin Martha and I took to the grill and made some kind of kebobs and Martha swore up and down she had no idea what she was doing either, but I’m not entirely sure I believe her; she’s a total foodie and everything turned out to be delicious.  I’m not even sure I can consider myself as having helped, I mostly just stood there and talked about how I didn’t know how to grill, but we got through it together (side note, Martha, what WERE the men doing??) and that is my entire grilling career.  So I have no IDEA what I’m doing.  Danny was kind enough to come out and light the coals for me, which was awesome, I didn’t even have to watch the youtube video I had pulled up.  But then he nestled safely into the air conditioned living room, and I was on my own.
I put my hand over the coals and determine that they are warm enough to start, and I place everything on the grill.  I was super excited because in addition to regular brats, our local grocery store was carrying hatch green chile brats!!  Danny asked for two green chile brats and I wanted one of each, plus I threw another regular one in there for lunch the next day.  Along with the brats, I’d cut up squash and zucchini along with corn on the cob, all of which I’d just picked up at the farmer’s market that morning.  This is going to be such a great meal!
Hahaha.  Oh, Katie.
I place the food on top of the grill and realize AFTER the fact that I should have spread the coals out evenly rather than leaving then in a heap.  Using a large grilling fork, I poke through the food and push the coals around a little.
Alright, everything is set, so now i just sit here, right?  Man.  Grilling is SO easy!
After a few minutes, I flip the brats and find that only half of the bottom side has cooked.  I give a gentle blow to see if the coals are all glowing and nearly suffocate on the cloud of ash that floats into my face.  Through my tears, I note that only the coals in the center seem to be cooking, so a very small spot in the center is the only area that is cooking up.  I reach for my trusty grilling fork through again and shuffle the coals around.  I am REALLY doing this in the wrong order!
I wait ten minutes and reassess.  The brats are beginning to look appetizing, but the squash is looking very dry, and I’m realizing I probably should have given them some oil (and probably some s&p) before grilling them, but drizzling oil now seems like a bad idea, open flame and everything.  I begin to flip them and two slices fall between the slats into the charcoal.  Whatever.
I flip the brats again and find that they are still not cooking very evenly, so I rearrange everything on the grill to be sure that they’re getting enough heat.  Mind you, it’s been like 40 minutes since I started this “easy” endeavor and I’m beginning to feel a little hangry, so I wander to the pantry and pull out the jalapeno cheetos.
(Oh!  Opportunity for a funny side story!  
I’m eating this particular gmo-filled snack because last week, I found them in the pantry and opened the bag not even realizing until I began popping them in my mouth that the ONLY reason these junky things are even in our house is for Danny’s game night next week.  Danny walked into the kitchen and found me eating his game night snacks, and the following conversation went like this:
Me: Alexa, add jalapeno cheetos to my shopping list.)
Okay.  Twenty minutes and an unnamed number of cheetos later, the brats are nice and blackened, the squash is supremely sad and dried out, and the corn…..just looks like corn.  I bring it all to the table and have the following realization-
I have NO IDEA which brats are regular and which brats are green chile.
Danny, as always, smiles sweetly and serves us both.  The corn was delicious (save it, it’s hard to ruin good sweet corn) and the brats were super tasty too, except that somehow, I got both the chile brats and Danny got neither.   But as usual, he didn’t complain a bit.
Although I did notice he didn’t touch the squash, and I don’t blame him.
Observations for next time:
Evenly distribute hot coals before adding food
Oil and season the squash and zucchini
Pay attention to what goes where and keep track
Leave the grilling to Danny

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