Sunday 31st July 2011.
I’m back in the kitchen again…well, more like in the garden.
I’m at my brother-in-law’s house and I’ve been asked to do the barbecue as my brother-in-law has just got back from a trip abroad.
Who does the barbecue in you house?
It’s a question I often ask my students to illustrate gender roll reversal. Women might do the cooking at home but when it comes to a barbecue men usually feel that it’s their domain.
Now, men are a funny old lot. (Trust me, I know 😉 ) We can be very particular about many things. Most notably asking for direction when driving & also the way we make our barbecue. I was about to mess with another man’s barbecue & I needed to ask where everything was.
Things weren’t looking good.
My wife & I had a very embarrassing life lesson once, when we were free camping on the Oregon coast. Coming from a city outdoor barbecues were done on gas powered state-of-the-art, (Read as, the cheapest money could buy.) hooded, cooking facility. Not a pit fuelled by lumps of wood. We had to ask the mother of 4, parked next to us, how to make a fire.
“Are you guys from the city? She asked.
We stood like nodding dogs looking at our shoes.
Since then I’ve made loads of outdoor fires. Most work, some have to be pulled apart and rebuilt.
I started by putting the screwed up bits of newspaper on the bottom of the grate & arranging the few pieces of kindling into a pyramid shape. Before lighting the paper I tipped some of the smaller pieces of charcoal into the empty spaces. Barbecues are difficult enough to light at the best of times but it being Britain in the middle of summer, a fine rain started to fall which contributed to the pressure. Undeterred we soldiered on.
To add to this, I was told I had to cook the chicken from raw. I wasn’t confident I could pull this off without at least one of my relatives spending the night in A&E, so I told my mother-in-law to throw it in the oven for half an hour, knowing that I could finish it off on the barbecue later.
After much blowing & flapping, I did manage to get the fire burning nicely. My brother-in-law was suitably impressed with my offerings & even more impressed that we did it in true British style, under a union jack umbrella.
God save the Queen. 😉