For a number of years I've been suspicious of how much fun barbeque's can be, compared to how much work you have to put in. I know this is largely because as a vegetarian, especially a very proper one for years I had extreme anxiety every time a barbie was suggested as I knew someone would be bound to use the same cooking fork for vegetables as the meat, or worse cook them next to each other with a potential juice/blood contamination issue.
The worst barbecue we hosted I think, was when we lived in Hackney. Lovely M and his friend decided to go to the shops to buy the food. I asked them to remember to get something for me. They came back with heaps of meat, cheap white rolls and ketchup. Not even a little bit of salad, let alone peppers, corn or aubergine or even worse the hideous vegetarian sausages that were around ten years or so ago. This obviously led to a domestic incident, and some sulking.
So yesterday we had a plan to have a proper barbie on the beach. We got quite excited about the idea, and nipped down to the fish market to buy locally caught something and prawns (which I eat these days for inexplicable reasons). After walking along the beach for a bit, we figured out that it was bound to be too windy to actually manage with a little disposable one and to go home and get the old cast iron faithful out (not in use for years and years but enthusiastically cleaned this year).
We made a lovely salad with seeds and leaves, got some french bread, put lemon and garlic in parcels with the fish and prawns - uncooked at that stage, and made some jacket potato's to be finished up on the barbecue. Oh, and of course we has a little white wine, both in the fish I think, and some to drink. Absolutely lovely, and as prawns and fish in little packets really easy to cook.
I'm a convert. We spent the evening sitting by the barbecue, then when it died down a bit, we put some wood on it as a outside fire. The children loved the food, and ate loads. Although Ol weirdly will only eat prawns like me rather than fish. He even invented a throw the cork as far as you can game that we were all a bit too keen on. Then children in bed, we drank more white wine and talked and talked.
Our barbecue is the same as the one above, but have to admit due to wine fuzziness can't actually leave living room to take photos of our version. Let's call it armchair blogging.