How not to have a successful barbecue
Follow my tips and you are highly unlikely to have a successful barbecue. At least the cook will be marianated.
Buy quality equipment
When barbecuing for family and friends it is important to buy the best quality equipment that you can afford. Failing that, run to the nearest "everything for a £" shop and buy a ready to go barbecue. They are bound to be good quality, after all they cost £1 each!
Lighting the Barbecue
My long suffering husband rips open the package and says " there's only ten nuggets", so we rip open another packet and now have twenty little nuggets.In the "Good Barbie Guide" ( I am sure there is one) it probably tells you to have a means of combustion nearby. We check our pockets, we are out of matches.If you light a piece of paper on the cooker and run to the barbie, you can just about light it, repeat action if the coal does not light, but this time try not to fall over the cat who sits there open mouthed that his usually horizontal father can run. Today we got tough with it, No 1 daughter and I simultaneously lit paper and ran to the barbie, making sure it caught alight. We then fanned the flames with a plastic drinks tray. I did feel a little 'elf and safety on my shoulder as we did it, but we managed. Medical advice- burns should always be plunged into cold water or put under a running cold tap. I find a good 5 minutes soak takes a fair bit of the pain away!
Another handy item is a packet of fire lighters. Do not attempt to light them on the hob of your gas cooker, they do not catch alight and the smell does go, eventually........................It was only in the cold light of day that I read that they actually go in with the charcoal..........oh well you live and learn. Once the fire is lit there are two options open to you. Plan (a) is to carefully fan the flames making sure that all the coals are alight and that they start to go white which means that they are at max heat for cooking. Plan (b), the favoured option in our house, is that suddenly everyone finds something really important to do and the charcoal is left alone, the fires die and it exudes a rather dismal heat.
The cook arrives. Her qualifications include a degree and management level diplomas but not cooking and certainly nothing to do with the barbecue. Veteran of many a family barbecue she hastily takes the raw meat into the kitchen. Some twenty minutes later she emerges with cooked (microwaved) food which she carefully places on the barbecue allowing it to become slightly burnt. The fat in the meat catches the coals on fire and it flames like no one's business- still the food is cooked and it is a bit black so its a barbecue? The food is accompanied by salad, its from TESCO so it is foolproof.... the eggs are a bit runny- was it five or ten minutes she muses.
Our cook celebrates the success of another family barbecue with white grape juice- preferably chardonnay, chilled, and looks forward to the next family meal out.