Wednesday, June 03, 2009

BBQ Season

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The barbecue: bastion of male pride, dominance, status and virility.

Females are only allowed within 10 feet in order to bring over the charcoal, pass the matches, hand over the meat, the tongs, the plates, the rolls, the beer and to occasionally rub her man’s shoulders and tell him what an amazing job he’s doing.

At least that’s what seems to happen in American movies and TV shows.

And as for Australians, we’re left with the impression the BBQ is quite possibly the only way they know how to cook anything. “Broccoli and Stilton soup? Throw it on the Barbie, sport!

But while I can easily imagine the likes of Jeff, from Big Dawg Tales, heaving half a steer on - probably road kill from a trip out on his Harley – in the Ayres household, it’s an altogether more subdued affair.

Somehow a 2-for-£5 disposable barbecue doesn’t quite have the same impact. With a tray size of about 8x10 inches, and an area actually hot enough to cook only the size of a postcard, it took a while to grill a handful of vegetarian sausages (we didn’t dare risk food poisoning from undercooked meat). After which there was barely enough heat left to vaguely warm some slices of halloumi cheese.

Still, Maggie did her best. As well as sorting out salad, tortilla chips, dressings and sauces, drinks and some slow-fried onions she’d done on the cooker in the house, she passed me the matches, handed over the sausages, the tongs, the plates, the rolls, the beer and occasionally rubbed my shoulders and told me what an amazing job I was doing.

Fortunately the kids don’t yet have a wide enough experience of BBQs to know any different, so they just enjoyed eating out in the garden.

Even if everything did taste slightly of paraffin.
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18 comments:

Mary Witzl said...

Everything sounds great, (except for the slight taste of kerosene).

People here have BBQs almost every night now -- the smell of roasting meat comes wafting along in the warm evening air and even hardcore vegetarians start wondering what's for dinner... And halloumi is something this place is famous for!

Ché l'écossais said...

Well, at least it didn't rain.

savannah said...

this is the first time in years we haven't had a grill out in the back yard/garden! i've decided i'm going to get a webber grill NOW. (the MITM has plans to build an outdoor kitchen eventually!) xoxoxo
(by the by, nothing beats eating together! the coconut krewe always talk about how we had supper together almost every night when they were growing up!)

Kim Ayres said...

Mary - mmmMMMmmm... halloumi...

Ché - it does make BBQs considerably more difficult...

Savannah - we nearly always eat together at dinner time in the kitchen, but it's great to have the weather to sit outside :)

PI said...

If we ever had barbecues ours would be a poor imitation of yours which is possibly why we are never tempted. I believe there are successful ones but they have escaped me.

hope said...

Some of my favorite words from hubby are, "What should we put on the grill?" which means he is cooking. :)

I don't mind the toting, fetching and occasional back rubbing as long as I don't have to heat up a kitchen in the summer!

Still, it's not the meal, it's the company you keep. Sounds like you're in good company.

Eryl Shields said...

We have sworn to not even say the word 'barbecue' in this house this summer: last year every time we got ours out the shed it began to rain.

Tom P. said...

Food poisoning? You poor fool! The grill is used to complete the chore of cooking for anything that carries that risk. For example, we boil our chicken in the kitchen and then after it has had any trace of salmonella removed, we cover it in BBQ sauce and cook it on the grill.

mapstew said...

Two weeks ago meself and the Youngest assembled the gas bbq which had sat in it's box in the yard since we bought it TWO years ago! We're threatening to get some gas for it one of these days!
(We eat together every night too, Herself always starts with "well, who's gonna start the news?")

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Ah, I love a good barbie! I'm not very adventurous in what I grill, though I'd like to be. The "craziest" thing I've BBQ'd is salmon kebabs.

We have a 3 burner gas BBQ, but I really want to get a charcoal BBQ, like a weber grill, just so I can smoke some meat, have some real Q :)

But I've had the same experience of a disposable BBQ BBQ. The firelighters tend to coat everything. Still, a BBQ is about getting together.

debra said...

We hadn't had our own grill for a long time, since we aren't meat eaters, and it's a lot of work for veggie burgers. When my Dad moved, he asked us if we'd like his grill. We gladly took it, thinking that it might come in handy. We pulled it out at a gathering and, to our dismay, found that it had been adorned by a graffiti artist with a 4 letter word that starts with F. That day, we cooked in the kitchen.

Charlie said...

It's nice to read about a family who enjoys the simple things in life, like a small BBQ and eating in the garden . . .

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - Just get the chef to serve you in the garden and it'll be much nicer anyway :)

Hope - I do enjoy the company of my wife and kids. Which is just as well really :)

Eryl - so it's your fault is it?

Tom P - pre-cooking? But that would stop the tradition in the Uk of thousands of people getting salmonella!

Mapstew - I always felt the gas ones were a convenient cheat. If you're not choking on the smoke how can it be a real BBQ?

FLG - unfortunately I think the combination of the cheap disposable, and my lack of BBqing skills means having a get together would be altogether too embarrassing...

Debra - Maggie and the kids used to be vegetarian and although we now all eat meat, we still live on a primarily veggy diet. Still, a for your grill, change the F to a B, and the U and the C to Os and you can pretend it said BOOK all along. Maybe.

Charlie - hahahahahahaha...

Mauzy said...

Well since Big Dawg is in our country's capital lobbying for better Health Care Reform, I tried a new approach to cooking here at home tonight in preparation for his return tommorrow.

Beer Butt Chicken. Seriously.
Google it. Maybe I am the last person to have heard of it, but wowza. Who would have thought that cooking could involve the three things men love...

nursemyra said...

you're right, barbecues written into the Australian constitution

Kim Ayres said...

Mauzy - wow - I'd never heard of Beer Butt Chicken! I've now googled it, checked several pages, got Maggie to come over and look and she reckons it could be a goer if we could figure out how to keep it upright :)

NurseMyra - I knew it!

Jeff said...

Hey Kim, Sorry it took so long to post but been a bit busy around here. Well I have to admit I do love to BBQ but never a half a steer. Steaks, brats. chicken, pork chops ect. But a whole pig roast is darn good eating. Have to get you over here for one of those.

Peace.

Kim Ayres said...

Jeff - between us we ought to be able to figure out a way :)