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This smoke is your life until Halloween at least

Oh Weber kettle grill, how I’ve missed you: your glorious, efficient, round shape; your sparkling new grates; your efficient ash collection; your gleaming blackness.
My adored charcoal grill and I became separated many years ago. It had been the focus of summer cooking for ages, producing mountains of tender ribs, smoky half chickens, acres of potatoes and vegetables, and gallons of soups.
The parting was painful. I had a small, square grill for awhile, a gift from my children, which helped fill the void, but it just couldn’t stand up to the punishing, fiery schedule I demanded of it. It fell apart and had to go off for recycling.
Recently I got my hands on another kettle grill, and it occupies a place of prominence in my small backyard. I catch myself parting the kitchen curtains in passing, looking out to the oval black beauty, thinking of all the wonderful meals to come.
Not that it hasn’t already been worked half to death. Oh, I’ve been grilling out there, yes, every sunny day. So much so I find I have to double up on laundry and shower taking, lest I show up everywhere reeking of smoke and scorched sauce. I had forgotten the smoke thinks I’m beautiful, following me around the yard no matter where I turn.
I even took the fancy road, buying one of those charcoal chimney starters and eschewing lighter fluid. Mustn’t have gasoline-flavored dinners, you know.
Before the snow flies, there will be much experimenting and many fiery adventures. The thing had hardly stabilized in an upright position after a hurried assembly before it was ablaze and emitting the smells I can only imagine the neighbors greeted with envy, jealousy or more likely annoyance at the billowing smoke. I’m sorry friends, but this smoke is your life until Halloween at least.
In just a couple of weeks I’ve made a few racks of ribs, several chickens and some really great grilled corn. As I’ve mentioned in these pages before, a charcoal grill is the only way for me, though I do think gas grills are better for things like pizzas or fire baking.
I can grill chilis again. Steaks will taste as they should with a reddened smoke char and juicy centers. Appetizers of clams and shrimp are strong possibilities, and paella is waiting for its moment to shine.
Over the past weekend I started experimenting with grilling cabbage and arrived at this first-try recipe. The result was delicious, but I learned you have to keep an eye on it if you’re picky about the final texture.
There’s a fine-line moment between done and mushy. If you like Polish-style stuffed cabbage, leave it on as long as you like. If you want a slightly crispy final product, be ready to pull it off in 15 minutes or so.
I’ll be working on this recipe all summer.
1 head cabbage, cut into serving-sized wedges
Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
Olive oil
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Aluminum foil
Tear off several sheets of foil and stack them in readiness. Place a cabbage wedge on one of the sheets and drizzle over the Worcestershire and oil. Sprinkle on the crumbled bacon and salt and pepper. Wrap up tightly and repeat for the remaining wedges. Once the grill is hot, place the wrapped wedges just off direct heat, bottom side down. Allow to remain here, carefully squeezing occasionally to check for doneness, until they reach the texture you prefer.

Published: July 14, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170719988