It’s May and I don’t care that it’s raining, we’re having a barbecue for dinner! Every year we get the neighbours talking, by being out with our barbecue in all weathers and all seasons. Last year, like the previous ten before it, we lit our barbecue on 25th December to roast venison and wild boar for a family meal. This spring, like every other, we are the first in our area to light our barbecue on a Saturday and enjoy the delight of eating that only comes with outdoor-cooked food.
We’ve fought hard to ensure the Welsh weather doesn’t stop us enjoying cooking and eating outside, and we’re helped along by the amazing views here which mean we’re happy to be outside, even if that involves several layers of clothing, wellington boots and an umbrella. Cooking on a barbecue while it’s raining is actually a highly satisfying experience and listening to rain drops hit the lid of the Weber and evaporate makes me smile.
One of the benefits of cooking outside in the rain is that moisture, often something that is lacking in barbecued food, is easier to retain. The chilly days have also encouraged us to try less traditional accompaniments than salads, resulting in some excellent vegetable additions to the meal, all cooked on the barbecue.
Cooking outside doesn’t mean you have to eat outside too; we’ve often cooked at the barbecue and then de-robed several layers and taken our food to the Rayburn and settled down to warm ourselves while we enjoy the delicious dinner we’ve created. You’d be forgiven for wondering if it’s really worth the effort, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll understand. Food cooked outside is, quite simply, unlike any other cooking.
Like many people, we’re simplifying our lives these days, becoming less demanding, less needy and certainly more connected with the planet and nature. Cooking outside seems to connect us with this on a level we get a buzz from. Whether we’re roasting rabbit, venison or local mutton or creating new vegetarian dishes to enjoy with Hannah and Michael, we feel more confident about the quality of our food (and the life it’s had) and less stress preparing it. Add to this the fact that we’re cooking over charcoal made by John, from wood in our own little coppice and life really doesn’t get much better.
What is it that you most love about eating outside?
Dinah and John