It is now officially the start of British summer time. We have had a week of glorious, scorching sunshine, enough to make the papers write such creative headlines as "Scorcher!". But for me the real sign of the start of summer is the smell of barbecues in the air.
I think it is a uniquely British thing that once summer begins, there will be a barbecue just about every week, rain or shine. I have before been hunched under an umbrella, keeping the fire going and turning the sausages just "Because it's summer!".
Still, I love barbecues, maybe because it signifies summer time, and in England, the weather is often not good enough to definitively say it is summer. So the first weekend of sunshine where we have been at home, and we got the barbecue out and fired it up!
Here are a few pictures of some British barbecue antics:
First, here is the barbecue getting fired up - not quite hot enough yet.
Now it's looking nice and hot, so on with the spicy chicken, and wrapped up in the foil is a sweet potato. They take a while to bake on the barbecue, about 30-40 minutes depending how hot it is and how big the potato is.
The chicken cooked, and then into the oven to keep warm whilst I do the burgers:
Obviously tending the barbecue is hard work, so time for a gin and tonic with plenty of ice and lemon. Ahh.
Here, I am grilling some aubergine slices, brushed with a little olive oil and lemon.
They were made into aubergine and mozzarella sandwiches, with the cheese nicely melted in between the aubergine slices.
Ooops - well, it wouldn't be a barbecue if nothing fell into the hot coals.
And here is the results - looking a little bit blackened, but it all adds to the flavour.
Serve with plenty of salad, and some nice cold beers or white wine.
Just a little tip for cooking on the barbecue, don't have it too hot else you will burn the outside and not cook the middle of anything. It is useful to have a barbie with a movable grill shelf like mine, so that you can adjust the height depending on the heat of your coals.
To check that things are cooked, you could use a meat thermometer or just use a knife and slice into the meat, and check it is cooked all the way through.