Happy Friday! It is hard to believe that 2017 is at the halfway point and that today is the last day of June! The Fourth of July is just a few days away, so, let’s celebrate with thankful hearts the blessings and freedom that we enjoy each and every day. And be safe out there around the grill!
This 4th of July is almost upon us. A great time to celebrate independence and to reflect on the history and purpose of this country.
For many the fourth of July also means family gatherings and picnics. With family gatherings and picnics come grilled stuff like hamburgers and hot dogs and ribs and chicken. Mankind has enjoyed a good cookout ever since the day that man first discovered fire. It is a little known fact that immediately upon discovering fire, some saber tooth tiger meat was put on the fire and the consensus was that barbecue was a tremendous improvement over raw meat.
Yet from ancient times to the present day, man has always had the challenge of getting the fire to just the right temperature for proper grilling. One of the great inventions to aid in this endeavor was the invention of charcoal. The problem with charcoal is waiting for the coals to be hot and ready for cooking. Have you ever lit the grill and waited and waited and waited only to go back expecting nice red, hot coals yet find only cold, black coals because the coals just did not catch fire?
Over the years many great minds have worked on inventions and improvements to help us reduce that long period of waiting for the charcoal to get hot so that we can get down to the business of grilling. We used to have to get the bag of charcoal and the can of lighter fluid out. You would arrange the coals, pour the lighter fluid, light the fire (trying not to scorch your eyebrows) and wait. Then you would add more lighter fluid, light the fire again (trying not to get engulfed in the fireball) and wait some more. Then came the charcoal with the lighter fluid in the coals where you light the coals and wait, then go find the can of lighter fluid, pour the lighter fluid, light the fire (trying not to scorch your eyebrows) and wait some more. Even better are the small bags that you simply put the bag in the grill, light the bag and wait, then go find the can of lighter fluid, pour the lighter fluid, light the fire (trying not to scorch your eyebrows) and wait some more. Many people have opted for gas grills for the ease of lighting and the quick warm-up time and to avoid having scorched eyebrows.
Now comes the next great leap grilling technology. Engineers at Purdue University have made quantum leaps in the science of grill lighting. They have put their quantitative brains to work on how to speed up this process. The first thought was to blow on the charcoal with a hair dryer to speed things along. The next thought was that if a hair dryer was good, maybe a vacuum cleaner would be even better. Then as their “Tim the Toolman Taylor” thinking took over they moved onto a propane torch then an acetylene torch. Still not satisfied, they moved onto compressed oxygen and finally to liquid oxygen. Yes the stuff that is 295 degrees below zero and is the form of oxygen used as rocket fuel. This produces a 10,000 degree fireball that can have those coals ready for the burgers in a mere three seconds. So, if things are running a little late on the grill tomorrow, just grab a little liquid oxygen and you’ll be grilling in no time. Your eyebrows can always grow back later.
What do you get if you cut two legs off a cow?…………….lean beef!
What do you get if you cut four things off a cow?…………ground beef!
Thought for the Week
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~Erma Bombeck