Tis the season to have bbqs!
Preferably a charcoal one because after all, a gas bbq is just a big frying pan isn’t it? You can’t beat the taste of char-grilled meat (or vegies for those strange folk). If you must use a gas bbq, then at least leave some burnt bits so we can pretend that you’ve used a real bbq…
Must – have – meat. That is a rule at our bbqs :)
Let’s face it – everything is always running behind time at bbqs. There’s too much drink, sun and friends around to distract you from cooking at the planned time.
To avoid having a bunch of guests trollied before sun down, have some nibbles available. Favourites are cheese and crackers, chips, vegetables and dip, fruit, peanuts, pistachios and pretzels.
It’s pretty common in the Kiwi culture to BYO drinks to a bbq. It’s nice though to provide a few complimentaries, especially some non-alcoholic ones for those who have drawn the short straw to drive. And don’t forget to have a good supply of ice (for cocktails most importantly).
Manly men (“men, men, men, men, manly men, ooohoo ooo ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh, oooo ooooh, aaaa haaaaa“) might grumble at the thought of having salads at such a primitive occasion as cooking on a fire. None the less, salads are good for you, and your bowels will be thankful especially after you assault it with a large quantity of meat (no dirty puns intended).
You cannot forget desserts at a bbq! Pavlova, banoffee pie, cheesecake, chocolate mousse and any other desserts that I have failed to mention :) I will gladly provide the cupcakes.
Ensure you invite good friends. They make all the difference to a successful bbq – and they’re less likely to nick your stuff.
Roaaaddd triiiip!!! For a fun trip, I make sure to have the following:
Music is a huge part of taking a road trip. The radio is great – until you lose reception. Compilation albums of your favourite sing-alongs make the boring bits less boring. My all time favourite sing-along would have to be Don Mcean’s American Pie.
Potato chips, Rashuns, rice crackers – usually one of these are in my bag of goodies. For some reason they are an anti-nausea miracle for me. They get the stale taste out of my mouth, fill my hunger, and I think the sodium in them helps keep me hydrated.
Can’t have salty without sweet. Everyone loves lollies! Let them be Bassetts Allsorts Licorice this year :D
Water, energy drinks, whatever that will keep you hydrated.
You gotta go when you gotta go.
Ice cream stops
I love Rocky Road – Tip Top Rocky Road in strawberry that is. That and Fruju are my favourite icy treats when road-tripping. On our European Impressions bus tour I got into a habit of having ice cream for morning tea. Bad I know, but awesome at the same time!
A rubbish bag
What ya gonna do with all that rubbish from your snacks? Not throw it out the window I hope! Have a bag to put all your rubbish in until you can bin it properly.
Map or satellite navigator
Essential only if you don’t know where you’re going. Satellite navigators are good for exploring the small streets, and for finding places of interest like hotels and petrol stations. I wish we had our Navman in the UK – it would’ve saved us alot of time.
Drive safely this holidays!
Eeee! Look at all my pretty things. Not just good to look at, but will be most useful at every tea party.
From top right going clockwise:
- Cupcakes! The recipe I swear by is one for “Scout’s Cupcakes”. It’s a gorgeous recipe that’s so simple and makes really fluffy cupcakes – the best I’ve found. I make them chocolate sometimes.
The orginal recipe is available from Taste.com.au but here is my version modified with some clarifications and suggestions:
- Break 2 eggs into a cup measure and fill to the top with fresh cream. (In New Zealand we only have one type of cream but overseas make sure you buy the thick stuff that can be whipped.)
- Pour into a large mixing bowl and beat on high with electric mixers for 1 minute.
- Add 1/4 teaspon of vanilla essence and 3/4 cup caster sugar.
- Beat for another 3 minutes.
- Sift in 1 cup of self raising flour (I normally use standard flour plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt).
- Fold to combine taking care not to over mix.
- Spoon into 12 cupcake cases (or more if you have extra batter) and bake for about 12-15 minutes at 180 degrees celcius until golden and springy to the touch.
- Remove from tins straight after baking and cool on wire racks before icing.
- 3-tier cake stand to display all your goodies. This was a score from Ikea in London. I hadn’t been able to find any decent ones at home and any that I did find were hideous or really expensive. This is eagerly awaiting use!
- Pretty teacups and plates. I fell in love with these when I saw them at Farmers – they were footed, red and with polka dots! And they remind me of Alice in Wonderland. I haven’t yet used these either because I only bought them a few days ago.
- Sprinkles, and lots of them.
- A large teapot so all your guests can fill up.
- A simple, elegant and sturdy cakestand (it’s underneath the teapot in the picture) to display more cupcakes, or maybe a mega cupcake…
- The middle picture is actually an ice cream bowl, but it has cupcakes painted on it and so pretty that it can’t be left out at a tea party. I see it more as a lolly dish, maybe to put some decandent truffles into?
- Under the ice cream bowl/lolly dish is a wooden Lazy Susan. I purchased this with cake decorating in mind. This was another bargain from Ikea as cake turntables aren’t so cheap here in New Zealand.
I can’t wait for my next tea party where all these pretty powers can combine!