Barbecues come in all types and fortunately, they come in all sizes, which makes them great for taking to all types of different places. This can make for some great opportunities to have some good, cheap fun outdoors.
We are fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where we have a little river running behind the house, with a bike track and about eight hundred metres up the bike track is a local football club where you can go along and sit on the grass for free and watch the games.
So, what was I supposed to do? Take my mini-charcoal BBQ to the football of course!
The problem was how to get everything there. Naturally, we needed beer, and being unemployed at the time I didn’t have money to buy a six pack at the club, so I had no option but to put some ice in an esky and put in some home brew. I’ve been home brewing for almost as long as I’ve been BBQ’ing so it was looking like a great day out. But it didn’t stop there. I needed to pack charcoal, a charcoal chimney, some folding chairs, a picnic blanket, cutlery, and plates. Oh, and the food, of course! Our son was very young at the time, so we also needed nappies, bottles of formula, changes of clothes and some toys. You know, the usual…
The problem was how to get everything there and back. We didn’t want to drive, coz, you know, we wanted to be responsible and stuff…
Hiding down the back of the garage was our old pram that we had kept despite having bought a new one. Hey presto, there’s my solution! In went the esky, the charcoal, the chimney, the firelighters, the plates, the cutlery, the food, the picnic blanket, and of course, the BBQ. I strapped the folding chairs on my back, my wife put our son in the new pram with his toys and all his gear, and off we set on our short walk.
This is when we discovered we’d become bogans…
However, a good time is a good time and so we persevered.
We arrived at the football field a little late and the game had already begun. Our boys were doing really well: up by twenty-five points in the first quarter. We found our own little spot on the hill behind the field and I set up the BBQ, lighting the charcoal and settling down with a cold brew.
Now, for those not in the know, charcoal will smoke like crazy for the first thirty minutes or so until they settle down. And this is where the trouble started.
My little BBQ was smoking away and the wind was blowing just the right (or is that wrong?) way, sending the smoke wafting across the field, right into where the players were trying to play football. To their credit, the visitors were very well disciplined and the smoke didn’t seem to bother them. Our boys however, seem to be of the same ilk as myself: easily distracted by the smells of a BBQ.
And this is where the game turned.
It was bizarre. It was like someone had hit a switch and our boys who had been dominating suddenly all seemed to have developed bricks for hands. It only got worse when I started cooking the food.
I put the veggies on first, as they needed more time than the sausages. I was keeping it simple, so it was potatoes in foil down on the coals, and whole corn cobbs, onions, and an entire bushel of garlic roasting up top. If you haven’t done it before, just try cooking some onion and garlic together: it is mesmerizing.
Our boys thought so too. They were too busy craning their necks to see where the smell was coming from to watch the game properly. It all went downhill very quickly: by the third quarter we were down by 50 points, and by the end of the game, well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
Regardless, we had a great time: my son got to play outside and watch his first football game, and we got to hang outside in the sun, drink some brew, and have a great lunch: even though we lost, we won. And that is the power of BBQ…
What are some of your BBQ ‘Hero Moments’? Let me know in the comments below!