The Night I Nearly Starved a Pregnant Woman to Death…

The Night I Nearly Starved A To Death...

Experimentation is a wonderful thing, but sometimes it can result in a pregnant woman gnawing on your coffee table like a North-American beaver!

It was New Year’s Eve 2010, and I’d invited a group of eight or so friends around for a BBQ dinner to celebrate, one of whom was pregnant. I’d just seen the ads on television for Sweet Potato Fries on the television, the kind that you bake in the oven, and thought ‘I can do better than that’. So, I decided that I was going to add these to my meal plan, and no, of course I didn’t need to practice: they were chips, how hard could it be? And I was just busting to try out the side burner on my new, replacement BBQ (see my post The Day I Nearly Blew Up My House… for more hilarious fun…). 

I dutifully started preparing the food at 6pm, planning on a 7pm grill-start for a 7.30pm serving (Oh, I was so naive…). I looked at the ten people in the house and cut my sweet potato fries, then cut some more fries, looked at the ten people in my house again, and then cut some more fries. Then I went out the back to get started.

I had my frypan with vegetable oil going on the burner and loaded it up with fries. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. Then I pulled the cooked chips out and put them on the warming rack on paper towels. Then I put the next batch of fries in. And waited. And waited. Then I pulled these chips out and put them on the warming rack. Then I put the next batch of fries in. You can see where I’m going with this…

In the meantime, my wife had been a dutiful host and served every form of entree/horderves/appetizer she could find. Finally, I walked back into the house with my trays of cooked foods. At 11.30pm.

To be greeted by the hungriest woman I have ever met in my life.

At this stage, I hadn’t had children myself and so didn’t truly understand how pregnancy can turn a woman into a grizzly bear very hungry woman. My friend’s wife had been SO polite and SO patient, but I could see the whites of her eyes as she lumbered towards me and my trays of BBQ’d goodness.

With my lightning-quick ninja reflexes I threw some food on a plate and slung it in her general direction before serving up the rest of the party.

As we counted down the end of the year whilst eating our steaks, I noticed the matching teeth and claw marks in the coffee table and that is when I learned my lesson about trialing new recipes. Only took me, like, three more times to actually remember it…

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3 thoughts on “The Night I Nearly Starved a Pregnant Woman to Death…

  1. Hi there, I wanted to tell the story of the great Woof Wood BBQ.

    Two friends of mine were preparing their four wheels drives for a big epic trip into the wild country know as Birdsville and beyond into the Simpson Desert. The day this happened friend One and Two, hereafter referred to as 1 and 2, (to protect the names of the insolent, oops innocent), were repacking the front wheel bearings. This of course meant the there was some cleaning solution, ( petrol) in a dish, for washing the bearings.

    At the end of the long hard day these gentlemen, and 1’s parents decided to have a BBQ. In this case with these two, BBQ means Beer BQ….

    2 decided he would light the BBQ. It was about the size of a 60 litre drum, so 2 threw a few armfuls of wood in, to get a fire going, let it calm down to good hot coals and so ready to cook on in ½ hour or so. However 2 was not the scout trained fire lighter, you know, start with little tiny bits, build up a pyramid, keeping the size increasing, then light it and enjoy.

    Oh no, 2 was an advocate of woof wood. Oh come on, surely you have worked out where this is going. Yes, he used the left over petrol in the dish to start the fire. Did he use just a small amount of the roughly 2 litres? No gentle readers, he did not, he instead put at least half in, on top of the wood. It soaked into the residual ashes in the base of the BBQ and sat patiently waiting for a signal to get to work. 1 mean time walked up quite close, unaware that woof wood was in use.

    1 stood about a half metre or so away from the BBQ, asked 2 when he was going to light it. Just then 2 threw a lit match into the BBQ. The day was hot, the petrol fumes were volatile and flowing well through the air, out the air intake on the bottom of the Q. When the match dropped in the woof wood, well, it went woof, and flames shot heaven wards, and, out the intake hole, at the bottom of the BBQ. Poor 1 was subjected to a blast of flame, onto and then up his legs.

    After saying, “Oh gosh darn 2 what on earth have you done, 1 took off and dived into the family swimming pool, fully clothed. Whilst taking a cooling off break, he continued to interrogate 2 as to what he had done. If I remember correctly 1 also cast questioned the parenthood of 2.

    After cooling down, physically and emotionally, 1 and his parents went to the local hospital for professional opinions. There were no severe burns, thankfully, and other than the indignity of having the hairs on his legs singed off there was a little reddening of the skin. Of course the fire was out by the time all of this drama had unfolded, so Pizza was ordered.

    1 forgave 2, as 1 is really a very easy going guy, however, to this day, nearly 3 years later, 2 has not been allowed to forget the day of the great Woof Wood BBQ.

    Needless to say, on the epic trip of 2 weeks, a few weeks later, 2 was not allowed to light the fires at night.

    1. Wow, what a story Wal. Thanks for sharing that with us. I think there is a lesson in there for everybody! It’s amazing just how easy it is for things to go so wrong. We tell these stories with humour, but safety need to always be the first consideration in every barbecue.

      Now be honest… are you bloke number 2??? 😉

      1. No, I wasn’t there, and have a very healthy respect for petrol and metho. Besides which, I am a traditionalist when it comes to fire lighting. Firelighters, petrol etc are an absolute last resort. I even like to start the fire with dry leaves rather than paper!!!

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