Although it might be difficult at times, having the patience to allow people to be themselves is the most important ingredient in any relationship.
My grandparents, Willis and Iva Lashbrook, were almost complete opposites in the spectrum of personalities, but they were married for more than 60 years.
"It took some time, about 10 years, before I realized I could tolerate that man's 2 a.m. eating habits," Grandma Iva said while patiently wiping crumbs out of the sink one morning. "It helped save our marriage when he learned to eat over the sink."
My grandfather had his complaints too.
"That woman moves the furniture in this house more than Mayflower Moving Company. The only thing in this house she doesn't move is the toilet," Papo Willis said. "I realized things weren't going to change about five years into our marriage. When I left for work, the bed was one place. But when I came home that night, I realized it was on the other side of the room when I fell on the floor instead of the bed. Now I turn the lights on when I come home."
They both expected the worst from the other, but a few simple changes in their expectations created the patience they needed to sustain a loving 60-year marriage.
"The only monsters you have to deal with in this life are those you create for yourself," Grandma Iva said while imparting wisdom. "Remember what happened to Dr. Frankenstein. Don't create a monster so big that you can't kill it yourself and you won't have to worry."
What does that have to do with cooking?
Warm weather is just around the corner and so is cooking out on the grill.
For many would-be grill masters they don't have the patience to prepare and grill good food.
A marinade is a very basic way to do that, but it does require some patience.
You will need the following ingredients:
I package of onion soup mix
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 12-ounce can of your favorite beer (soda can be substituted)
1/4 cup melted butter (olive oil also works well)
4 tablespoons red wine
1/4 cup of bourbon
1/4 teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 lemon, lime and orange sliced
1 medium purple onion sliced
In a medium size container with a lid or a large Ziploc bag (place in a 11x13 baking dish to prevent leakage), combine all the ingredients.
Soak your choice of meat in the marinade for at least one hour in the refrigerator, turning over at least once. Remember a longer soaking time (two or more hours) for tougher cuts of meat is better for taste and tenderness, but could overpower the taste of the meat itself.
One way to prevent over-flavoring is to place the meat on racks (with a drip pan underneath) for about 15 minutes to allow the marinade to drain from the meat before cooking.
You can always pour the drippings back into the marinade for use again, but remember to marinade only like meats in the mixture. One summer when we were grilling on a nightly basis, I had three different batches in my refrigerator, one each for chicken, beef and pork.
Grilling outside is a wonderful way to keep the house cool in the summer, but make sure that chicken, hamburgers, and seafood are fully cooked before serving to prevent anyone from becoming ill. Use a meat thermometer to check for the appropriate cooking temperature.