We like to drag out a stack of cookbooks, mostly the grilling variety, on the weekends and feast our baby blues on all the pretty pictures. This ritual signals it must be Friday night and time to stoke up the grill at the Frantz house. Not just on Friday, but also on Saturday, and especially on Sunday. Yep, if you stroll past the front of our house and go sniff-sniff a couple of times in the late afternoon, you get the gist someone is receiving time-and-a-half for working overtime in the backyard. It was this past Sunday Rick and I got kinda wacky, for us anyway, and attempted a grilled salmon recipe ala Thai marinade. Did I mention there were foreign components like coconut milk, chili garlic sauce and green curry paste in the list of recipe ingredients? In other words, the marinade had the kind of stuff not readily pulled off the Frantz pantry shelf. It is only in the last couple of months that we have begun to cook way outside the box. I attribute this to way too much time vegging out in front of the Food Network Channel. Basically, it seems we’ve turned into a couple of peas and carrots. Actually, did I also mention it was Rick who picked the Thai recipe out? I just nodded my head, not completely satisfied it was a dish I woulda hopped up and down about like an enthusiastic first-grader who knew the answer to the teacher’s question. But I had faith … sort of. Besides, I reasoned, we always have a handy-dandy backup plan. When one of us has some serious reservations about a new recipe, the other usually mutters under their breath, “We can always call out for pizza if the recipe we created explodes and leaves little pieces of yuck all over the ceiling.” Oh, we’ve had our share of culinary disasters. There was at least one, maybe two, “flaming” beer can chickens. It is a recipe we successfully execute quite often. But there were a couple of times it turned out not so good. And I’ll never forget a memorable vegetable course: a half dozen severely scorched corn on the cobs. But you know … sometimes you just gotta look past all the burnt parts. There was always a little something edible to chew on. We just tried to chow down on the only part not burnt: a couple of chicken leg tendons close to the bone were less than satisfying. And I will admit that sucking on a kernel-less cob, after sawing the blackened kernels off put me an inch away from dialing up the pizza man. But I digress. Obviously to properly construct the Thai salmon dish there would be a trip to the grocery store in our future. “Here’s the list and while you are out would you mind running my car through the car wash? The pollen is extra yellow this time of year,” I said, gently nudging Rick out the back door. I didn’t see the dude for the next two hours. When he finally came through the door, I could tell by the look on his face, Rick musta had an adventure in the grocery store. You aren’t gone for that long and all you have to show for it is a shiny car and two small plastic sacks. I don’t care if the car wash was busy. “You wouldn’t believe what happened. I had gotten all the stuff on the list I needed for the marinade, no problem, and was standing at the fish counter waiting my turn for the salmon. The place was packed. When I turned around after getting the fish, my basket was gone,” Rick said. I wondered who steals a grocery basket with interesting items like coconut milk, chili garlic sauce and curry paste in the bottom. “That is what took me so long. I had to backtrack and gather everything all over again,” he sighed. By the way, the salmon turned out awesome. We rate all the recipes in our cookbooks with stars and add the date it was made. Thai marinated salmon you got five big stars. The other day I caught Rick thumbing through an Italian cookbook in the middle of the week. No grill work involved on this one … homemade ravioli stuffed with fish. I know … got the number of our favorite pizza palace hot glued to the receiver … just in case. Dixie Frantz is a longtime Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 16 years. Email Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..