Burning the past

La Piaf sang it so well “avec mes souvenirs j’ai allumé le feu”. Yes, it was barbecue time chez nous yesterday afternoon. Our recycling centre behind the oil tank has all you need: bikes, plastic containers of all colours and types, and Christmas trees.

You have to wait a while to burn the old trees, but it’s worth it to see the branches light up in record time. In other words, they make great kindling to get your barbie started.

Burgers, ribs, salmon fillets and pork chops in Chinese marinade sizzled when the charcoal had settled down.

Ale is vital for the barbie chef, and should be located at a safe distance from the flames and quaffed in moderation until you have your charcoal turning from black to light grey.

Sweet potatoes and new potatoes were the only addition to all that meat and fish, but the diners didn’t complain. I had burnt the salmon fillets’ skin, but they were still edible.

I recommend a bottle or two of Spitfire at about £2 a bottle. It has a fine bouquet of hops and should be drunk straight away.

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