There comes a time in every man’s life when he must face the cold, hard truth that despite how he feels about it—grill season is over. There are some fellas who, like the postal service, believe that neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stay them from the swift completion of their appointed charring.

My husband is not one of them.

For some reason, digging our grill out from under a foot of snow and then tending to his food while the icy wind blows his face off at 50 mph, just isn’t his idea of a good time. Even so, when the leaves fall and the temperatures begin to plummet, he does get very, very depressed that his time as “Super Grillman” has once again come to end.

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The grill gets moved to the shed, the monogrammed titanium grill tools case that can withstand the power of Kryptonite gets stashed in the closet, and his “Grill Master: Man, Myth, Legend” apron gets packed away until it is warm enough once again for him to add it his to his BBQ fashion repertoire.

Being his loving, understanding wife of 27 years, I do my best to summon up the appropriate amount of sympathy at his loss. But the truth is, I, too, am mourning. For five months out of every year, my job as chief cook in our family is joyfully rendered redundant. I am not the greatest cook to start with and dread having to come up with new recipes for my family and then slave over a hot stove cooking which, not to be shallow, wreaks havoc with my pores. I am so much happier to turn over the cooking reigns to my husband who seems delighted to shish kebab and sear meat to his heart’s content, or at least until we run out of propane.

Having been honing his grill skills for many years, one would think that he was good enough to give Bobby Flay a run for his money. But alas, even Super Grillman has his momentary lapses in grill judgement, and, much to his chagrin, has unfortunately been distracted at times and turned hamburgers into hockey pucks, and steak into something that once use to be meat but now looks like a piece of charred moon rock brought back from the Apollo 11 space flight.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, I felt bad that my husband was suffering from his Seasonal Grill Disorder, and so I decided to invest in a second cast iron pan just for him to help him get his sear on. I followed the directions and oiled and baked the pan several times to get it good and seasoned, and then I ceremoniously handed it over to my husband.

“I am bestowing upon you this special cast iron pan,” I said. “It is a magic pan and if you treat it well, it will last you into the next Ice Age. Just like grilling, you can sear all your meat, but then, you just move the pan with the steaks in it directly into the oven to finish it off.” I beamed. He scowled.

“But will it have those nice little grill marks on it?” He wondered.

“No”, I admitted. “But it will taste just the same. And if you like, while you’re searing the meat, you can turn the flame way up and singe your eyebrows just like you do when you’re grilling.

He smiled and accepted the challenge. The next night he came home with some lovely steaks, seared them in the cast iron pan and then transferred it into the oven. Within moments, smoke started to billow out of our oven and fill the kitchen. I threw open the windows, but it was too late and every smoke alarm in the house went off, followed swiftly by a firetruck arriving in our driveway.

As I shooed the smoke out of the front door, a fireman approached and asked me if there was a fire.

“No, just smoke. Lots of smoke. My husband was cooking in the kitchen. He used the wrong oil in the pan.”

The fireman shook his head.

“Next time tell him to invest in an outdoor grill.”

Follow Tracy on Instagram at instagram.com/tracyinsuburbia.