First Barbeque (BBQ) of 2016
A Barbeque, a Bonfire & Recipes for Avoiding Disaster
This week’s blog is slightly late, but there is a good reason. I am pleased to report that the barbeque (or is it barbecue?) unit has made its first appearance of 2016 on my back patio. Welcome back my smoke-stained friend!
Scouring the grill and cleaning out last year’s ash (dig it into the soil around your roses, Mrs Worthington) was a bit of a chore, but once I’d got the coals evenly lit on the barbeque, the column of rising smoke let the neighbours know that fire starting season is here again! All I have to do now is pull up all the weeds, trim a few overhanging branches, cut the grass, sweep up the dead leaves, stick it all in pile, let everything dry out for a few weeks and, weather permitting, I can have the mother of all bonfires. (Providing the neighbours haven’t got their washing out).
I love a good fire! Flames, smoke, exploding sticks that send up showers of sparks. Even if it is just the first stage in getting the barbeque glowing, there’s something about creating a pyramid of charcoal on top of carefully positioned kindling and scrunched up balls of paper… applying the match… watching the whole thing roar to life that appeals to the caveman in me. Due to a shortage of Brontosaurus burgers in the village, my good lady wife marinated some chicken wings in some delicious garlic-y tomato-y spring-onion-y sauce, and then made sure it was cooked properly by roasting it in the oven for twenty minutes (not sure she fully trusts my cave-chef skills).
As self-elected Lord of The Fire (or even just the 12 square inches of my barbeque), I was responsible for the final flame-grilling to give every piece of succulent chicken that authentic slightly-charred crispy-coating that takes me back to camping trips, singing songs round open fires and sleeping out under the stars.
*Pauses for breath, just as the wind changes direction consuming him in a thick pall of smoke from which he emerges coughing, spluttering and waving his spatula.
Of course, if you’re not a meat eater, the smell of most barbeques might leave you gagging. If this is the case, I’d recommend that you follow the same fire-starting procedure, but instead of meat, try taking some slices of aubergine, courgette, and a handful of whole sweet red peppers. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil (first cold pressing) and a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper. Lay them out on the grill over a bed of red-hot coals. Allow them to sizzle away, turning frequently – not dropping them in between the bars – until they char around the edges and turn a little soft.
Serve with rice & peas, hot sauce and a crunchy mixed salad of fresh iceberg, rocket, tomatoes and strawberries with a lime, garlic & honey vinaigrette.
While I was letting the BBQ unit work its magic, I took the opportunity to hose down the garden furniture and give the lawn a thorough dousing as the grass tries to shrug off the last of the brown beard it grew during the winter. We’re lucky enough to have a shed where we store the cooking gear, garden furniture, solar-powered lights, broken bikes and punctured paddling pool. But with space in London at such a premium, I know a lot of our customers at Attic Self Storage have small gardens or patios and simply don’t have the room to keep all the tools and equipment they need to make the most of their slice of the outdoors. Sheds are becoming a thing of the past in the East End.
That’s why Attic Self Storage is so handy. We’re conveniently placed, just at the top of Wick Lane, right beside the A12 and next door to the Olympic Park. We’ve got big units, small units, all sized units. If you have a garden, or you garden for other people, Attic Self Storage is the “household storage” shed where you can keep all your gardening tools instead of keeping all your gardening tools in your garden.
And when you take the lawnmower, hammock, wicker chairs, table, swing-ball, trampoline and tennis equipment out for the summer, you can use your unit to put all those heavy winter coats, thermal boots, onesies and 30+ tog-rated duvets away until you need them again next Autumn.
I love watching the seasons change and seeing how Attic Self Storage changes with them. New customers come, old customers go, and we’re always here to help everyone make the most of the approaching summer and get the most out of their self storage.
Right. I’m off to check that the last of the embers are out before having a well-deserved lie down. Yes, I’m full of chicken, aubergines and the joys of spring. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
Your friendly local Pyromaniac,