July 4th Tribute - Here's to the Men who Grill for Us!

It’s both good and bad when the 4th of July falls on a Wednesday. What’s bad is obvious – it’s humpday for heaven’s sakes, and no one gets to enjoy a long weekend free from work. What’s good is that it creates an automatic occasion for folks to fire up a grill and cook outdoors 3 or more times in one week! Now I know there are those for whom 3 times a week grilling is a light week, but for a whole lot more Americans, grilling is a once or twice a week event in the summer. So a cookout in the middle of this week on the actual holiday was mandatory of course. And it was sandwiched between more cookouts on the weekends before and after.

Some people have grilled out 5-6 times this week! And that’s a lot of charcoal and propane!

Now if you’re a lucky lady like me, the person who worked the grill, who toiled over hot flames with spatula and tongs in hand was a special man in your life. And if he wasn’t a boyfriend, husband, father or son, don’t worry, he is still a special man in your life if he’s doing the cooking!

Yes, yes, I know there are many women who are exceptional working a grill. I’m not one of them, and I’m okay with that. My husband owns the grills and he’s good with that, I’m good with that, and a lot of other folks I know have it this way too.

So I was particularly impressed this July 4th holiday week to hear from a guy who lives a few neighborhoods away. Each year, he and a couple of friends set up a smoker in the pool/clubhouse parking lot for a July 4 celebration for the whole neighborhood, and they cook a pig on the smoker ALL DAY LONG. And families come together late in the day, and they bring side dishes and desserts and about 150 people or so eat the delicious meat that has been cooking all day, and everybody has a great time. They wrap up the night with a round of fireworks.

I’m going to go back to this ALL DAY LONG COOKING detail for a moment. This is a labor of love, this tending to food for hours while others are cutting the grass, working the honey-do list, or keeping watch on the kids while the wife preps a salad for the party.

This dance with flames and rotating meat and pouring water on the fire when it gets too hot – this is more than cooking – it’s a hot work out and it’s is a HUGE SERVICE to everyone who gets to partake! This year in NC, the service was even more extreme and more worthy of gushing amounts of gratitude. With temperatures over 100 degrees each day this week, the labor of love that is grilling, smoking, cooking took on a whole new meaning. Ladies and gentlemen, these special men in your lives who grilled for you this week, and especially those who took on the all-day jobs, deserve some serious gratitude for doing what they did in this hot weather.

Please let them know you appreciate them. Heck you can share this blog post with them if you like. Or buy your favorite grill man a beer, lift your glass and repeat after me:

Here’s to the Men Who Grill!
Here’s to the Men who Grill for Us!
And to the Men who Grill but not for Us,
To heck with them and here’s to Us!

PS: And a special thanks to the guys behind the smoker at High Croft Village in Cary, NC, this weekend. We appreciate you choosing Outta the Park BBQ Sauce for this year’s neighborhood party!