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Women: barbecuing is surprisingly easy, as long as you have a bottle of gin and a competitive man to hand.
Well, the sun was out for a good ten minutes yesterday, and given that I live in Scotland, you know what that means:
- The men are out in shorts. Some of you will think I am exaggerating when I say that this sight was not uncommon on a walk in the six-degree, biting wind by Loch Lomond yesterday. I am not.
- It’s barbecue time.
If you’ve not barbecued before and are finding it overwhelming, fear not: here is 99roots’ Quick Guide to Barbecuing for Women.
- A barbecue
- Charcoal and a charcoal chimney or some firelighters (unless you have a gas barbecue of course…)
- Tongs and a fish slice
- A timer
- A competitive man
- A large bottle of gin and some tonic.
Step 1: Pretend to call a friend while competitive man is in the room. Mention that it seems a hassle to get the barbecue out of the garage and to lug charcoal home from the shop. Say that you have been considering having a salad party instead. “Wouldn’t that be fun?” While you watch competitive man run to the garage/shop to get the barbecue and charcoal ready, pour yourself a large gin and tonic.
Step 2: Suggest to competitive man that this year, you should have a vegetarian barbecue. “It’s much healthier!” Watch as he rushes to make burgers in your new burger press, marinates the beef and cuts chicken up to skewer. Pour a gin and tonic. Enjoy.
Step 3: Ask competitive man if he can tidy the house, ready for the guests, while you start up the barbecue. Watch him run out enthusiastically to start the barbecue. Pour yourself a gin and tonic, relax and drink.
NB. Competitive man will not ask for help with anything, including starting a barbecue, so it is a good idea to leave a few helpful props around, such as:
- Firelighters or oil-drenched towels (which can be placed between coals and lit).
- A charcoal chimney and perhaps also a computer with this video coincidentally loaded:
Also remove any dangerous items like lighter fluid, that can explode and cause serious burns.
Step 4: If at any point he comes back inside, he may notice that there is no difference in the tidiness of the house. If so, get upset that he never notices the “hard work” that you have done. Shout “AND you’ve not noticed my new haircut!” Watch him rush back to the barbecue. Book yourself a haircut. Pour another gin and tonic.
Step 5: Invite lots of men round to the barbecue. Pour a round of gins for the ladies and pretend you care how much weight you put on/lost last week. The men will immediately migrate to the barbecue, putting competitive man under pressure. In order to appear that he is doing something, he will turn the meat constantly. This will help it to cook evenly.
Step 6: Put beers near the barbecue to ensure that the men are inebriated enough to ensure that they forget about the meat long enough for it to cook through (around 6 minutes on each side for a hamburger, 4 minutes on each side (plus 10 minutes to rest) for a steak, and around 15 minutes for chicken wings). This is especially important for chicken, which if undercooked can have a salmonella risk. Since they’re having beers, why not pour yourself a wee gin and tonic?
Step 7: Enjoy your burger. Now, isn’t it about time for a gin?