The Asado -- by Tim

No one was looking forward to our tenth and final burger dinner. Especially not Emily and me. But then there was a spark of hope for a delicious meal when Mom had the idea to have an asado, Spanish for barbecue. Dad talked to the campground owner and for four pesos ($1.33) we got a bag of wood, a magazine for kindling, and a grate.

I started enthusiastically preparing for the barbecue while Emily just tried to stay away from the campground dog. Soon Dad and I had a pyramid of wood with some crumpled-up magazine inside. The moment had come. I struck a match and lit the kindling in two places. We waited with baited breath as the fire started creeping up towards the logs. But it was a false hope that the asado would start this easily, and soon enough the torn-up magazine had turned into a black lump and there was no sign that anything but the kindling had even thought about burning. So we tried again.

This time I went out to the river bank and collected hundreds of small sticks to use as kindling along with the rest of the magazine. After fruitlessly sticking burning matches in many places I hit the perfect spot of kindling by dropping a match into the back of the asado from the table next to it. That was the end of the beginning. The asado was finally burning away.

Then we waited for the barbecue to burn down to a good point for cooking. When it had done that Dad put some chicken burgers on foil and threw them onto the fire. But then the problems started up again. First Dad had to peel aluminum foil off of the hot and disintegrating chicken burgers. Secondly the wind started up and blew smoke in the eyes of anyone who was close to the asado. Finally my veggie sandwich would just not stay together no matter what anybody tried. But after all the problems we managed to come up with our first family barbecued meal of the camper trip.

We all dug into the burgers fresh from the grill and no one would even touch the pot full of instant mashed potatoes Mom had made. We will all be reminded of the asado by how amazingly quickly our tenth burger dinner went from disgusting to delicious, and by the smoky smell of our chefs’ shirts.

Yes! It's finally burning

Ready for the burgers

Mmm! Don't those look good?

They're finished!

Will my sandwich stay together?