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The Cookout

In a series in which American authors describe the foods they associate with long, hot summers, TC Boyle remembers cookouts in suburban New York, Ohio and wooded California.

Five essays by writers about the joys of summer eating experiences across America. In this episode, TC Boyle remembers cookouts in suburban New York, Ohio and wooded California.

TC Boyle prefers the word "cookout" to the southern term "BBQ". For him, eating from the grill is the biggest thrill of the summer. It marks the freedom, the outdoors living, the scratch meals, and the camaraderie of the long hot days.

The cookouts of his childhood were opportunities for neighbourhood kids to get together and escape household rules. In his hippy years in Ohio, meals at the grill were very functional because everyone was so adept at eating this way. Later as a family man in California, he has to defend his meals from bears and rats.

Next up in this series, Simon Van Booy compares two kinds of food in a bun, which he buys at two very different New York beaches - Coney Island and the Hamptons on Long Island. And Audrey Niffenegger's essay is her tale of a passion for ice cream, which can no longer be requited.

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15 minutes

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