Skip to content

Random Thought for Friday, August 29, 2014: FIRE! GOOD!

20140614_121551Welcome to Friday’s Random Thought.

Why do we crave to be so primitive?

The human race has evolved to the point that we can manufacture food, very loosely defined as food, which can sit on a shelf in a cabinet for years at a time and nourish us when the need arises. When we say need, it’s mostly when we come home and realize that we forgot to stop off at the local Peking Cat for some “Chinese inspired, Asain sounding recycled version of batter fried chicken named after some general whose name we can’t pronounce. T So, Tso, Sto’s chicken or something.  Anyway, we’ve all been there.

As summer comes our way each year, why do we forgo all those conveniences that have made our lives simpler and decide to cook our food over an open flame in our collective backyards? Is it some deep seeded primal urge to become simpler? Do we crave the challenge of cooking that perfect medium rare steak? Do hotdogs and hamburgers fulfil some deep abyss in our souls? Possibly, but I think we all know the real answer and we all are living in complete denial.

We are all pyromaniacs. Yes, it’s true.

Well ask yourselves why it was as a child, you just could not go one single summer without sticking some poor marshmallow on a stick and hold it over the flames. What the hell did that marshmallow do to you anyway? Was it just too fluffy and cheerful? Is that a justification for such burning torture? No, you were taking your first young steps down the path to becoming a full blooded pyromaniac.

Later on in life, you will get your first grill. Yes, a burning torture palace all to yourself. A place to relentlessly abuse the remains of so many pigs, cows and possibly lambs. Yes, the silence of these lambs, marinated lovingly and perhaps lightly peppered, will be all too deafening as you consume each succulent bite with a nice pile of potato salad and greens on the side.

Why do we find this so fulfilling? The simple answer, we like it. We as a species began our culinary path to greatness with early attempts to ward off the dangers of the night with a campfire. How did it happen? We can only guess. Let us take a trip back in time.

Meet Roco. Roco is what we will call him. He would say his name was “grunt, ugh, ugh”, but Roco just sounds better. Roco is walking around his campfire this evening as he sometimes does, but this time, poor Roco, trips over a rock and the meat he was carrying has flown loose from his hands and into that burning hot light that came from the “dead and fallen owie things with green tops”. You know, those things that he keeps walking into during the night when it was dark outside. We call them trees with leaves. Roco isn’t too bright, they are “owie things”, similar to those other “owie things” that line the roof of his cave and menace his head when he would stand up. Today we would call that “low ceilings”.

Anyway, Roco again encounters another “owie thing” as he retrieves his now slightly burnt lump of meat from the fire. “RRAAAAGHG!”  Still, he deftly plops the now recovered meat it into his mouth. Roco likes this slightly burnt meat. He really likes it but he’s eaten all he has. Perhaps there is some more in the fire… “RRAAAAGHG!!” Yup, he’s learned that you can’t touch that “owie thing” twice, it will still hurt. Poor Roco still hasn’t discovered grilling tools yet.

Later on, we found that certain herbs could enhance the flavor of our food. Again, I can see Roco on his road to discover with his clumsy feet and hands. I tell ya, that shrub with shiny leaves of three didn’t help the meat he dropped that time nor were they good for cleaning himself. It was another “owie thing” to him…yup, you may have guessed it. Poison ivy doesn’t work too well. Poor, poor Roco. The only thing that makes all the “owies” go away is that nicely cooked lump of meat he has in his unburnt hand that while leaning back against a rock.  He eats and sighs with content and realizes that the spear laying on the ground next to him would work well in handling the meet in the fire. Way to go Roco, way to go…or as he would say, “Grunt, GRUNT! Ahh!!”.

Eventually we evolved to the point that we now “gather” our herbs and spices from the local grocery store along with the “hunt” across the store to the meat counter and get our “lump of meat” that we will savor in the feast to come later that evening.

So, while you are enjoying being that twisted pyromaniac that is expertly putting a wonderful char on that select cut of prime rib, raise a glass of whatever you are drinking and toast our good friend Roco. Without him, we would still be learning about all those “owie things”.

Happy Friday Everyone and for those of us in the USA, Happy Labor Day!

Published inFriday's Random ThoughtHumor

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: