I have a friend named Mike Pitzen. I have known him for a long time, going on 30 years. He is a good man, and he is funny, with a sense of humor formed by a rural Wisconsin childhood, an education at the University of Wisconsin, and a levelheaded and pragmatic approach to life. We worked together as counselors at Space Camp, took part in a high-speed chase with Officer Wiley Bibb on an interstate highway in Alabama, and, yesterday, we grilled some very fine meat in Houston.
Mike has lived here for about 13 years now, and when I decided to move to Houston, this past year, one of the things I looked forward to was reuniting with him. I had not seen Mike in a long while, for perhaps eight years or more, and since I’ve been in Texas we have had several long lunches and conversations over beers, and Angela and I have enjoyed getting to know his family, Krista and Holt. I am glad he is here.
I received a call from Mike several days ago during which he told me, “Come over around 4 and we’ll fire up the grills and burn some meat.” Angela and I headed over to their house and upon arriving saw two Weber Kettle grills ready for some proteins. Mike had rubbed a brisket, and it and some ribs were on the smoke. Angela and I brought some jumbo shrimp, and I got busy marinading them, in preparation of wrapping them in bacon and giving them a nice sear. We added a giant sausage link to the mix, and two chickens, one of which we cooked in the beer-can method. Mike rubbed his bird with a mixture of oil and spices, and I put some garlic slivers under the skin of mine and stuffed its cavity with fresh rosemary and a lemon. We talked, drank some beer, kept up with the match between The Netherlands and Costa Rica, and ate some very good meat.