Sunday, September 28, 2008

Grill on the patio

grill.jpgWELL, THIS WORKED OUT rather nicely; I congratulate myself. For some time I've been trying to figure out how best to grill on the patio, not that we do so often. Years ago we were given one of these "Tuscan Grills": a frame with sets of pegs into which you insert an iron grill at one or another elevation over your fire. The grill has two handles and is held in place by sheer balance against the pegs; it's an ingenious design.
But it requires a firebed. I suppose it was originally designed to be set inside a fireplace. Last time I used it, I simply laid firebricks on the patio and built my fire on them, Afterward I thought of having a frame welded that would stand say waist-high and have inverted T-section crossbars in the right places to hold the firebrick.

When it came time to clear the thing off the patio I loaded the bricks on a hand-truck we use otherwise for moving big potted plants around. Today when a couple of friends drove up from the city, bringing with them a nice beefsteak and a handmade sausage, I wheeled the handtruck back to the patio, and suddenly realized I had my frame: the hand-truck. I set the brick out a little more carefully, on a sheet of weathered plywood; set the grill's frame on top of the brick, and we built our fire. Now I can wheel the thing out of sight when it's not in use, and move it around on the patio to just the right place. Nothing could be simpler.
steak.jpgOh, yes: dinner. Almonds and figs, bread oil and salt, steak and potato salad, a nice tossed green salad, Lindsey's remarkably delicious chestnut-honey ice cream, Mary Jo's deliciously remarkable short cookies and almond tarte. Delicious food, entertaining conversation, dear friends. We do live well.
Rosé, Château la Canorgue, Luberon, 2007
Old vines Zinfandel, Lou Preston, Dry Creek, 2006

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