Men are the kings of outdoor cooking.

In most American households, women do the cooking inside and men do the cooking outside.

If you look way back in human history (the 1950s), there's a reason for this. Buoys.

The first outdoor BBQ likely occured half a million years ago shortly after the domestication of fire and around the time of Nancy Pelosi's birth. But it wasn't until a man named George Stephen inherited part of the Weber Metal Spinning Company in the Chicago area that man conquered the modern BBQ cooker.

You see, the company made harbor buoys, but George saw something beyond a buoy. He saw a new way to cook outside.

George cut one in half, turned the bottom into a place to hold the fire and hinged the top as a lid. The rest, as they say, is history.

I believe that it was George's ability to see into the future that gave men and women their cooking roles. With the new BBQ cooker, all of the men now had a reason to go outside and talk about the women and the women had a reason to stay inside and talk about the men.

It was this defining of the roles that brought the cooking cosmos into alignment.

Prior to the modern BBQ cooker, social visits occured in "The Parlor" where everyone dressed in their Sunday best, sipped coffee, ate dainty cakes and talked about the sinners in the community.

With the new outdoor cooker, the men could go outside in shorts and flip-flops and sip beer, while the women ate dainty cakes inside and talked about the sinners in shorts and flip-flops sipping beer on the patio.

So, it is with great respect that this week, I honor George Stephen, who made it possible for buoys to be boys.