Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

When Everyone's Barbecuing but Me

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

When Everyone's Barbecuing but Me

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Robson

IT was afternoon - naturally - when our 20-year-old son surfaced.

The last time we'd seen him, just a few hours previously, he'd been 19. With his sister now 22, it means we no longer have teenagers living under our roof.

He'd somehow made it, relatively unscathed, through those crucial formative teenage years. And on the hottest day of the year so far, it was time to celebrate the way he'd like best - with money and food.

Everything screamed "let's have a barbecue"! But then he looked at his dad, sorrow in his eyes, and he knew that yet again, it just wasn't going to happen.

You see, four years on from the last time I touched on this topic, I remain a barbecue virgin. Yes, in all my time on this planet, I have still never been man enough to take control of the tongs, fire up a smoking stove or find it great to marinate. And I have the feeling I never will. But the sense of shame...

My suggestion of a takeaway pizza in the garden - "well, it's eating outside, isn't it?" - was given the short shrift it deserved. So, naturally in a heatwave, we went for a Toby.

It's that time of year when the UK becomes covered not in a heat haze, but a smoky blanket of charred meat and veg fumes.

And it's only a matter of time before a PR firm rubs my nose in it with a "Hi Dave - cook up an al fresco storm with our top 10 tasty BBQ tricks!" type press release.

And throughout our warm weekend, I was regularly reminded me of the glaring gap in my culinary skillset.

On Sunday, we popped round to a pal's house and found her ripped, topless fiance assembling BBQ equipment in the garden.

He put a T-shirt on for modesty - he knows competition when he sees it - but I was more intrigued by his equipment (BBQ) than his muscles.

Still, at least I could escape my BBQ shame by working on Bank Holiday Monday, right? …

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