LAST week the unexpected happened: the weather forecast for Saturday was… good!
Time for an impromptu barbeque which – good timing – coincided with what we hoped would be Olympics Super Saturday Part, Deux for Team GB (It was. Go, Mo!)
A plan was put in place…
Venue: Alexandra Palace Park, North London/ AKA the back garden
Time: 3:30 pm onwards…
Needed: Friends and family who didn’t have plans; rugs with which to trample down the overgrown grass; and recipes.
Attendees: Tara, Tom, Tash, Alice, Iain, Ross, me, Julian and Archie the dog.
Normally – for me, anyway – throwing a barbie would involve a simple trip to the supermarket to buy burgers (veggie and meat), chips, dips and bags of salad. Et voila, hassle over.
But what with the recent food epiphany and everything, I wanted to get stuck in, make some stuff, instead of spending thousands of pounds of one pre-made potato salad.
So, along with the BF, I went insane. To the point where I started decorating trees and my “friends” told me they’d have marked me down if I were on Come Dine With Me because they’d hardly seen me – I was in the kiiiiiiitchen, you ungrateful buggers.
So rather than preparing three homemade dishes, say, and then bulking up the rest with shop-bought stuff, we went on a mission to make everything. EVERYTHING.
Between us we concocted…
Two-bean, artichoke and sweet corn salad (me)
Zesty Tortellini salad: veggie and meat (me)
Green bean and cherry tomato salad (me)
Garlic dip (me)
Zucchini, Rocket, and parmesan salad (erm, me again)
Garlic mushrooms (J)
Chimichurri dip for potatoes (J)
Teriyaki pork (J)
Chili and lemon chicken (J)
Homemade beef and chorizo burgers (J)
We even made homemade tortilla chips (?) Kind of, I copied the recipe from this lovely blog. And then I even pureed tinned peaches for the Prosecco. Bellinis don’t seem so chic when you’ve decided to make a food mountain. The only things that didn’t require any effort were the Quorn sausages for myself and my sis. (NB: I might be a (bad) veggie but that didn’t stop me biting into a chili and coriander MEAT sausage later in the night and only realising it wasn’t a fake sausage because it tasted good. Aaargh)
Anyway, back to the food prep, what on earth were we thinking?
But eventually, eventually… the cooking came to a stop and… food was wolfed; the chorizo burgers were eulogised over, almost wept over in fact; drinks were guzzled; Mo won his race; cupcakes were iced (drunkenly at 11 p.m – thanks for the hand, sis); raucous Jenga was played; Olymics medal-earrings were handed out (thanks for the handiwork, cuz); and the best-ever behaved dog to attend a barbeque eventually hit the road at midnight taking his less-than-well-behaved mates with him.
Olympic Barbeque stats
Kitchen cock-ups: For once, not too many. Save a few rounds of burnt homemade tortilla chips. The real problem this time was my hosting skills, apparently.
State of calves the next day, after walking from the upstairs kitchen, down and out into the bbq yard, up over the hill and into the park to the scene of gathering, and back again, umpteen times: BAD
Mess in the flat the next morning: WORSE
Mint plants used as Olympic bouquets: 1
Listened to: Roots Manuva, The Clash, The XX, Metronomy and a bit of Tina Turner
And the good news is… It’s going to be hot again in most places this weekend, so more barbies. Recipes to come!