We typically use our grill year-round for quick and easy dinners of grilled meats and vegetables. This summer, however, we barely used our grill at all. The reason? We had a guest.
A cat-faced spider decided that the hollowed-out handle to the lid of our grill would make a very safe home. She built an elaborate web that reached all the way to the kids’ picnic table and spanned about 4 feet. You can see the markings on her back that kinda look like a cat’s face; hence, the name.
It took us a while to identify her as cat-faced spiders are shy, non-aggressive and not poisonous. She liked to hang out in the dark underside of the handle and we only saw her actually on the web rarely, usually when she performed the exemplary civic duty of catching a pesky fly and was busy wrapping it up to carry back to her den.
Once we figured out what exactly she was (ever seen a cat-faced spider before? it was our first and they are huge with long hairy legs), we rather adopted her. As we trekked from the garage to the back door, the kids would detour over to the patio to check up on our spider and examine the web. I talked to her as I watered the garden a few steps away. We had a nice relationship, albeit at a distance since spiders freak me out.
When my in-laws came to visit in the fall, it was time to resurrect our “spider relocation program” and evict her from our grill. My husband carefully pushed her into a glass and helped her find the nooks and crevices in a corner where the fence meets the house in the hopes that it could be as safe a home as she left. Alas, we have not seen any evidence of a new web. Hopefully, she found a more suitable spot for herself and set up house.
So now we can grill again.
Once we had our grill back, I just had to make some barbecued tofu. So easy to do if you prep the tofu correctly. I removed the tofu from the packaging and drained it by wrapping it in several layers of paper towels and setting something heavy on top (I just happen to have a cast iron Dutch oven handy to use for this purpose) to squeeze out as must moisture as possible.
I sliced the block horizontally to make thick slabs and placed them in a baking dish with a lid. Then I coated them liberally with bbq sauce out of a jar (my favorite is Golden Toad Chipotle BBQ Finishing Sauce), and refrigerated them for an hour. At this point, I moved the dish into the freezer for at least a half hour, preferably an hour or more. Now on to the grill! They didn’t take very long to cook — keep a close eye on them and try to only flip once for nice grill hatch marks. Delicious!
For some reason I believe this is a Korean concept, to grill tofu, though I’m not sure why I think this and it could be completely off base.
I served these with some leftover zucchini and carrot latkes and fresh tomato quarters. This plate was all for me as everyone else wanted steak. They didn’t know what they were missing with the barbecued tofu!
My 3-year old told me the other day that we had two kitties. Two, I asked? We only have one cat.
Yes, she agreed, we have one cat and one cat-face spider!