I had decided to not invite anyone else to this "practice" barbecue, mainly due to the high risk of me not cooking the food properly. Whilst I don't mind risking food poisoning, it is simply not done to expect your guests to do so - and as I couldn't promise a sickness free buffet, I opted to go this one alone.
A quick emergency clothing removal manoeuvre later, and all was well. The instructions for the barbecue said it could take up to 20 minutes for the flames to die down (and I quote) "depending on the conditions". I wondered if the manufacturer had included being doused in petrol, or being held underwater in the "conditions" they referred to - as I was fairly sure that conditions like that would have a large effect on the time it took for the flames to die down.
|Who ordered the Salmonella platter?|
|Starting to cook|
Apart from vegetarians, that is.
The sausages, however, would be another matter. As they sat on the barbecue slowly cooking, droplets of fat dripped onto the hot coals beneath. The hissing noise this made was not dissimilar to the noise a vampire makes when you show it a crucifix - and so I began to look upon the sausages as vessels of evil, sitting there cooking it their own juices, whispering to me "we're not cooked - we'll never be cooked properly!". Because that is the problem - you are never sure if sausages are cooked properly. I blame that advert that they show every year at the start of barbecue season, with the song "when will I see you again" in the background - you know the one, there's a shot of a blackened sausage on the barbecue and then they cut it open and it is not cooked inside. Because of that advert, I second guessed myself today about those sausages. In the end I spent an age crouched over that barbecue, turning the sausages to ensure they were cooked evenly. And when they looked cooked, every time I thought about taking them off, a little voice in my head said "give 'em a bit longer".
In the end, I made an executive decision and declared the sausages cooked. I put them in four finger rolls (that's four individual finger rolls, not rolls big enough to fit four fingers in), added some more relish - quite a bit more to be honest - and ate them. They tasted fine, but I will admit that ever since I ate them I have been waiting for the first pains of stomach cramps to kick in. At this present time we are at Sausages plus three hours, and all seems well. Have no fear, if I do end up vomiting my barbecue back up at some point tonight, I will give you all the details tomorrow.
All in all, I consider my practice barbecue a success. The disposable barbecue I purchased was a twin pack, so I can have another go at some point if I wish. Now all I have to do is get more chairs, invest in a beverage cooling system (a bucket and loads of ice), practice using the fire pit, invest in some barbecue toolage, and general stuff like that.