Friday, 26 August 2011

Summer Time is Barbeque Time

One of my favorite things about summer time is the food.  Well,  my favorite thing about anytime is food!  But I loooooove BBQ's.  What's not to love?!  Friends and family gathering together, the refreshing drinkypoos, the smorgasbord of food on offer, the glorious sunshine.  Oh wait, I live in England and in the north to boot!  Sunshine, and of the glorious kind, is hard to come by.  But with just the slightest hint of the yellow stuff you can smell the meat in the air and hear the sizzling from over the wall (England's version of the backyard fence).

We recently visited my Aunt and Uncle (I'm lucky enough to have some family over here) and they are the BBQ King and Queen.  The weather wasn't brilliant but it was dry and after a few cocktails I was feeling like I had been in the sun all day anyway.  The prep was easy (I helped a little) and the food was fantastic.  All in all a great day!  So, I often try to recreate this at home but it's never quite the same.  A) We don't actually have a barbeque and 2) Well, we don't have a barbeque.  We're on the lookout for one but in the meantime I use my George Foreman Grill for the meat and the oven for potato products.  Too often though, my favorite bbq food is missing because I can never find them in the supermarket...

For four summers I have looked for corn on the cob, still in its husk with no such luck.  Then on Tuesday there is was, at Morrison's 3 for £1.  SOLD!  Now I'm pretty sure that's more expensive than it is back in Canada but it certainly beat the vacuum packed corn sold for thrice the price - Yes, that's how it normally comes, 2 husk free cobs sealed in a vacuum pack.  So anyway, I took it home and last night we had a makeshift BBQ.  The weather was sunshining all day (rare but true) and eventhough we wouldn't be able to eat outside (sun doesn't actually mean warm) I thought it best to squeeze in one last grill on the GFG before the summer comes to a close.  As I shucked the corn I told W. (my fiance) how as kids, my brothers and I would shuck the corn on the front steps.  It was fun for us to be helping and fun for the adult folk inside getting some peace and quiet.  Then I had to explain to him what shucking meant.  Which tells me that finding this "corn on the bone", as my little brother used to call it, might not happen again for a long while.  Now, it was no peaches and cream but along with our tasty burgers, it was a great meal.

I like to make the burgers myself.  You can change up the meat you use, depending on the taste you're going for or what might be on sale, and use different spices to change up the flavour.  I have a basic recipe that I like to use and then vary it depending on what I have available or what toppings we might be using.

Simple Burger Recipe
500 grams of beef mince
1 egg to bind
bread crumbs (a couple handfuls - just to absorb some of the egg)
chopped onion 
chopped chilli
chopped garlic
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and press into patties with your hands (or with that burger maker thingy from Tupperware - still trying to find me one of those!)  I haven't put any exact measurements because I think it's all down to taste.  You really only need the first 3 ingredients, and can even get by with just the first two, then add what you like.  This can be cheaper and definitely tastier than what you can find in the shops.  And also more fun - if you have kids get them squishing their fingers in the the mixture - I don't have kids but I was one and it's fun.  And very important, avoid the chilli if you're going to get them involved - it stings a little!

Hopefully you can squeeze in another BBQ or two but for me I'm pretty sure summer is done and dusted.  There's a roaring fire in my living room (don't worry it's in the fireplace) and I'm wearing flannels and slippers.  Oh well, at least I have George Foreman!

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