There are two types of men in this world: Those who love to grill and those who don’t. I used to fall into that second category, and I will tell you why. Because I had crappy grills. Tiny table-top Hibachis. Rusty black orbs on unbalanced wheels. As sweat dripped off my nose and onto the food, I churned out Chicken Breasts with Salmonella Sauce, and hotdogs marinated in lighter fluid.
I am pleased to report those days are over. In my latest advance from dude to dad, I have relieved myself of twelve hundred bucks on a completely kickass Weber Genesis. Did you know it is possible to create fire without a sack of charcoal bricketts? I, for one, did not know. But now I am wise. I have two tanks of propane, just in case I run out before the peppers get those cool black skidmarks on their skin. Yes, I know how to do that now.
This weekend, I would like to invite the world’s population to my deck to show off my new grill. My only request is that you leave me alone while I do my magic on your meal. I may be a rock star on my Weber, but a multi-tasker I am not. For me, it’s distracting enough to have my kids around during the course of a normal day. Imagine what your food is going to taste like if you stand there talking to me while I’m trying to grill it. Please just stay inside until I tell you to come out. You’ll thank me when you taste your steak. Unless you want shrimp. I’m on a shrimp trip this week because my in-laws got me a special shrimp tray you’re supposed to put on the grill so no stray shrimps fall through the bars. It doesn’t prevent the occasional shrimp from falling on the ground, though.
This exact incident occurred when my friend Paul visited from the city to see our grill (and our kids) (in that order). When I dropped his shrimp on the deck, it led to a lively discussion about that “five second rule” we have in our house. You know, if your kid drops food on the floor, they’re allowed to eat it as long as it was only on the floor for five seconds.
Tell me, do you subscribe to that rule in your house? I need some answers pronto. I’m asking you this because on the morning of the shrimp-dropping incident, I happened to have put a little tin of ant poison on the deck. And some of the ant poison crumbs fell on the floor as I was I was putting it down. I was the only one who knew these were ant poison crumbs as opposed to regular, non-poison crumbs. But when the shrimp hit the deck, I suddenly realized there’s got to be ant poison crumbs on floors all over the place. The whole world, really. So. When it comes to grilling, this is the main lesson I want to leave you with: Just because your shrimp has only been on the floor for five seconds doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat it. It means you’re about to eat a shrimp with five-second-old ant poison on it.
And now, a recipe.
Dan Zevin’s Grilled Shrimp On The Special Shrimp Tray His In-laws Gave Him
- Step one: Take the bowl of raw, marinated Costco shrimp outside.
- Step two: Use the crazy, giant tongs from your in-laws to place them on your special shrimp tray.
- Step three: Grill them for like, hardly any time. Just until they turn orange.
- Step four: Eat the ones that didn’t fall in the poison ant crumbs.
Dan Zevin is the author of Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad.