It's almost summer

Oh boy, summer is on it's way which means smoke 'n' flame and my man suddenly thinks he's the worlds greatest chef and I get banned from the back garden. Yes girls, it's … BBQ season.

My advice to any woman witnessing this phenomenon is to simply relax and let your man have his way. You will be able to get your own back and criticise everything he cooks for a change. I know the meat will be underdone or overdone, taste of half a dozen different flavoured BBQ sauces and have ash stuck in it.

Just grin and bear it … check you have plenty of Andrews and get the kids special plates out … and just accept that when you attempt to check the progress of the cremation party, you can’t find the BBQ or your man, for all the smoke and flames!

Well, all I can offer is that I’ve learned to eat around the edges of my beef burger and I’ve taped the Fire Service telephone number on the inside of the patio door … but it’s the primal ritual that connects men to their earliest caveman counterparts and as bonfires and fresh kill have a greater history than nouvelle cuisine, burnt offerings are about all you’re going to get.

This explains why a guy, who’ll regard the cooker in the kitchen as a device that might give him oestrogen, has no problems tackling a garden barbeque. First, he’s genetically encoded to build bloody big fires and second, his reptilian brain tells him that, at least to the cavewoman, the scent of crackling meat over an open flame is an aphrodisiac. In The Palaeolithic Period there was no dating service or the Internet. Caveman had to depend on the size of his smoke spirals and the waft of cremated meats to lure a prospective partner. Or to put this more directly, the bigger his blaze the better were his chances of finding nooky that night. So don’t misinterpret your fellow’s intentions … he’s not trying to burn you out of your home. He’s just saying, “Hey, baby, I’m ready for a shag!”

In earlier times, cavewomen probably had a choice of fireside dinners to attend. Before making a selection they no doubt scanned the horizon instead of the personal ads. Our female ancestors reasoned that large smoke plumes indicated a sizeable roast. Hence, the guy with the biggest column generally won the girl.

Whole industries have been launched around man’s inclination to continue this kind of activity. Consequently, retailers now bring us BBQ’s so huge that they need to be constructed of iron girders to accommodate cooking an entire herd! Not only that, the utensils that go with them are looking more like a handyman’s toolkit …

When it comes to barbeques, it seems everyone is jumping on the chuck wagon. Any day now I fear I’ll be unable to get near B&Q because the BBQ section has taken over the car park. My husband is one of these barbeque warriors but he competes only by degrees. His infrared Australian Digger Incinerator-Master Mark III, guys will buy anything that includes the word master, reaches 1,600 Fahrenheit and will sear a filet mignon in two seconds flat! It can also, I’ve discovered, melt plastic forks at four feet and eliminate entire sets of my best Tupperware.

I do my best to stay away from our back garden beast, the BBQ, not my spouse. That‘s his territory and I don’t want to infringe. I have learnt to let him get on with it and hopefully, one day the combination of brawn and blaze, might with practice, produce something vaguely edible. If not, then I'll just have to keep taking the liver salts. The alternative is to refuse the burnt offering saying, "Sorry, I'm on a diet," or better still, ignore the smoke and flame, ring the fire brigade and send out for a takeaway ...
T.M. I. in a silly American manner.
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