The joys of cooking

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So the other day Iíd had a couple and when I was done grilling whatever it was I was grilling I cut a squash in half and threw it on the grill, skin side up, just for fun.

Then I went back into the house and did what I usually do after Iíve had a couple, which is to say I passed out in front of the teevee.

Couple days later I went to grill again and opened the lid and there was my squash. Black on the outside, perfectly done in the middle.

I threw some butter and brown sugar on it, nuked it for a few minutes and it turned crispy and tasted like candy, if you cooked candy over a charcoal grill, which doesnít sound good, but in reality is very tasty.

I grill with charcoal or wood from the woodpile exclusively. No gas grills, no fancy pellet grills. Itís not that I have anything against those grills, itís just that Iím too cheap to buy one.

A $200 Weber grill is a fantastic grilling device, that, if set up properly, can cook a host of different foods differently.

The other day I grilled a whole chicken. Crispy on the outside, juicy in the middle. One Thanksgiving I grilled a buffalo roast, which I donít actually recommend, not because the roast didnít turn out ó it did ó but because the chunk of meat cost something like $50.

As you might guess, Iíve always enjoyed cooking. My grandmother was a good cook. My mother a better cook and a great baker, and Iím trying to take my motherís recipes and take them just a notch higher.

For example, Iíve been working on my motherís Sunday gravy. Sunday gravy is not gravy in the traditional gravy over the mashed potatoes use of the word. Itís a tomato sauce, with meat. Mom makes it with a whole onion thatís not cut up, just plopped in the tomatoes, with dried basil and dried parsley, sausage and pork spareribs. But she also adds a quarter cup of sugar.

It tastes great, but just a shade too sweet for me. I go the vegetarian route with mine (which, I suppose, takes it out of the realm of real gravy and more of a sauce), with lots of dried basil, the same whole onion (you remove it when the sauce is done), olive oil, and the kicker: roasted garlic.

Roasted garlic gives it a whole different realm of flavor and some sweetness to boot.

The sauce takes hours and hours to cook and is best if eaten after sitting a day or two.

Thatís OK by me. Gives me time to sit back and have a couple and hope for another culinary discovery.

Chris Peterson is the editor of the Hungry Horse News.

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