This time a year ago, I made some rather jocular and possibly insulting comments about barbeques, the tools that are used to drive them, and the cleaning habits of most the men who lay claim to them.
However, despite all my protestations to the contrary, I finally decided that we did, indeed, need a bigger barbeque. Here's me, the boy, and Off-Black Sam, who helped me assemble said new barbeque. (Thanks again, Sam & Fish. Hope Charlotte's still getting a kick out of the box!)
And this, as you can see, is a big, three-burner barbeque, complete with oversized barbeque tools and the obligatory cold beer. See how bright and shiny they are when they're new?
This is the first slab of strip loin steak to go on the barbie, a cut worthy of baptising such a fine cooking device.
These are the mushrooms and onions, for flavouring the grill plate.
This is the steak, sizzling and flaring.
Asparagus, because it's in season and absolutely divine with simple seasonings on the hot plate.
And this is the first dinner plate dished up straight off the new barbeque, with soft buttered rolls and steak sauce to round it out.
What can I conclude about barbeques now that I've had a chance to get used to using one that is bigger than a large frying pan?
Well, I'll be honest and say that yes, good long tools are a requirement. I never really doubted it, but until I got this barbie, I never needed them.
As for cleaning, well, that's another story. I make an effort to not only scrape down the grills and to burn off the dead carbon, but I also slice a couple of lemons and smear them over the plate while it's still hot to get it all citrusy clean. My conclusion is that it's well worth the time to take a few minutes to clean the barbeque after I'm done cooking on it than to open it up a couple of weeks later to find it all greasy and smelly and crawling with critters.
On another subject, this post marks my return to the blogosphere after a near silence for the past two-and-a-half months. Thanks for sticking around and for popping back to check in. I had a very focused couple of months working on the new draft of a novel that is my current obsession, and then we had a nice couple of weeks away in the Marlborough Sounds, sailing and rowing and drinking wine, mostly.
I'm back into it now, but I rather suspect that I will be light on the blogging until I've put the complete rewrite of this novel to bed, which might take me a couple more months.
By way of apology, my next post will be cheesecake.