Quick Recipes and Easy

Oze Barbecue – Outdoor Fire, Food and Fun

My earliest recollection of a barbecue was that of a brick unit, set well away from the house, sheltered by a massive ghost gum that provided shade and some protection from the elements. The design was pretty basic, a firebox built under a rectangular steel plate with a flue at the rear that drew the fire into a small chimney and sent smoke spiraling in a heavenly direction.

Operation was also honestly simple, gather a excellent supply of firewood, get a healthy fire going in the firebox until the steel plate is really hot then dowse the plate with an ample amount of cold water. This effectively cleaned the plate of any grease, grime or other nasties and provided us with a clean, hygienic cooking surface.

The fire at this stage, would consist of a mass of glowing embers that generated an even supply of heat to the BBQ plate which, could then be coated with a film of cooking oil. When the temperature of the BBQ plate stabilized, then it was time to throw on the meat.

We used to sit around on a couple of chairs and a few makeshift stumps, eating our barbecued meal, that might consist of: steak, snags, rissole’s, chicken, fish or prawns, even rabbit, and a bit of side salad provided by the ladies. The end result was always the same, the meal was absolutely scrumptious. Nothing can compare with a fine steak or a few prawns cooked over a wood fire.

Nowadays, things are a bit different. The backyard is not so huge, there’s no giant ghost gum, nor is there a ready supply of firewood. The neighbors are a bit closer, smoke makes a hazard and local ordinances ban the lighting of fires in the open.

The family Barbie now has to be conducted in the confinement of the patio or a designated area alongside the backyard pool. This means that the traditional brick BBQ unit has vanished and has been replaced by a modern metal structure on wheels that is fueled by LPG.

The advantages of having a modern, gas powered BBQ unit are many. The BBQ can be stored discretely in it’s own niche which, protects the unit from the weather, keeps it clean and saves the patio or pool area from becoming cluttered. When a Barbie is plotted it’s a simple matter to wheel the BBQ out and place it in a suitable position, lift the hood, turn on the gas and light the burner.

When the guests arrive, they are served with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, they settle back to watch the current sports event on the wide screen teev while the meat is sizzling. No smoke, no mess, no annoying insects ’cause the electronic zapper takes care of them, the air is filled with the aroma of grilled steaks and the sounds of a friendly gathering.

This all sounds fantastic when one leads a busy lifestyle and attends a BBQ out of duty rather than to have an enjoyable outing and relax in the company of friends. No chores to perform at all, apart from fronting and most certainly no fun.

The fun, of course, starts with the attendees banding together to prepare the BBQ site, help collect the firewood, free the area of spiders, ants and other bities and above all delight in each others company. Start the fire, clean the plate, appreciate the glow of an open fire and savor the taste of real outdoor cooking.

The modern gas Barbie has a lot of advantages, but it can never compete with the capacity of the original outdoor Barbie to bond family and friends together in unity, harmony and friendship.

Oze Parrot

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