Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo

410-641-0039

Suplee's secret to successful beach cookout

Another week brings us closer to the end.  Our clock is ticking.  We are all one day to be bereft of
life.

Try as we might, we must own up to the reality that with
each passing season comes a sense of mortality.  And nothing seems to remind a parent with young children of our
very finality like the late summer sales.

I can’t tell you how many friends have written recently of
their woes of back-to-school shopping. 
 It is as though a doom has
settled on their souls, their beings shaken to the core with fright as they
reflect on what could have possibly happened to the summer.

And yet, I just don’t understand the issue.  I can tell you where the summer
went.  It went the way of each and
every subsequent summer to date. 
For countless decades, time has stalled for no one.  We are all in this together.

Maybe this is where we need to become a little tougher; a
little more willing to accept our fate, whatever that may be.  Maybe we should take the time to write
a thank you letter on occasion. 

Perhaps now is a good time to make sure that we sit down
with our kids every night for dinner to hear about their many adventures.

Or maybe it’s just time to go to the beach and grill like
madmen; and women.

There is nothing like the salt air mixed with the smell of a
campfire to soothe the soul and make any parent disregard both their aging
souls and the wails of children as they are given their first homework
assignments of the year.

Living here as we do, the joy is truly that we can do this
well into October, softening the blow of the school year.  And that is an important thing to
remember as we clip coupons for backpacks, Tide and Old Navy.

When we go to Assateague the truck is laden with wood and
firebombs.

A firebomb is a secret fire-starting weapon that we were
taught by our friend a few years ago, and it is not quite as devastating as it
may sound.  Simply save your lint
and used vegetable oil, old candles and paper towels and even old socks.

Squeeze them in gallon sealable bags and when the time comes
to build a fire, loosely pack newsprint as you normally would (but not this
paper) and then place your firebomb on the paper.

Stack the wood like you would Lincoln Logs, 2 by 2, and
light.  This technique has never
failed us and we are never overwhelmed with the noxious fumes of charcoal
lighter and gasoline, both unfortunate favorites among fellow fire starters on
the shore.

And now we’ll discuss the secret of a successful cookout on
the beach; on the cheap.  As we
typically have cinder blocks laying around the yard, all it takes is two thin
blocks and some grates from the grill that you probably have in the back yard.

When you dig the fire pit, always dig it about 2 feet in
diameter bigger than you think you need it since, as the sand dries the walls
will cave in.

On the downwind side of the pit, and about a foot and a half
above the bottom of the pit (at ground level) dig out just enough to set the
cinder blocks on edge.  Make the
outer edge of your grilling pit go up at an angle, encouraging an updraft as
the wind blows through the fire.

And here’s the cool part.  When you start your blazing inferno, the wind naturally travels
through the fire and starts to preheat the grill.  Then, as the cinders glow and the blaze has subsided, simply
use your shovel to move some of the glowing logs into your cooking chamber.

It will only take a few minutes to bring the temperature up
for grilling.  And the rest is in
the bag.

And while a simple trip such as this won’t keep us from our
inevitable demise, it makes every passing moment with our family even more
special.  And we have at least a
couple months before we have to worry about the passing of autumn.


Firebomb Burgers

per 3 burgers 1/2 pound Chuck Steak

1/2 pound Brisket

1 whole egg

1 Tbsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. cracked black
pepper

1/2 tsp. cayenne
pepper

1/2 tsp. granulated
garlic

1. Grind the beef together twice; if you have an
amiable butcher have them do this for you.  Just make sure that it is good quality beef

2. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and
press into 6-ounce patties

3. Chill to set and fire up the grill

4. Season the grill well with oil or spray and
grill on both sides until the burger is cooked through.

I
understand that cooking a burger like this is sacrilege,
but too bad.  You could pasteurize
the egg and wash the beef well before you grind it.  At that point you can eat the burgers raw if you like.  That’s your bugger

5. Serve on potato rolls if you can’t find brioche,
the latter being the best

6. Top with condiments and cheese, side with some
salads, slop yourself down in a beach chair and enjoy the sunset, and the
ocean, and the lack of city noises