Letting Go of the Overcooked Steaks

My dad had an old gas grill that he used regularly at the little cabin where we vacationed in the summer time. It was a grey clamshell that was plumbed into the same propane gas cylinder that lit our stove and gas kitchen light. My parents proudly hosted guests one week who arrived on their big boat and brought, as a hostess gift, a big paper bag of nice steaks.

I volunteered to cook the steaks. I was about fourteen years old. I overcooked them. Everyone was polite about it, but I could tell my parents were embarrassed that I had ruined those steaks.

I’ve remembered those steaks many times, maybe every time, that I’ve grilled steaks in the forty years since. I was determined, and still feel determined, never to fail like that again. But I still overcook steaks. Maybe less often, I don’t know. The difference now is that I also try not to regret those failures. Not there yet.

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