Community BBQ

Picnics and summer garden parties are great ways to enjoy life outdoors, but in the summer time, barbecue and grill reign supreme.

Though this time she took the route of the community BBQ.

Last summer we discovered that there was no need to set fire to anyone’s head to have a wonderful tasting barbeque. We also discussed what types of fuel that we could use, and if one grill was better than the next. This summer it might be a good idea to contemplate the community barbeque.  I know, why should we think on this? Because it is inevitable that a neighbor will show up on your door step as soon as you are sitting down. They can smell it, and will flock to it under the pretense of needing something, just checkin’ or whatever else they can come out. Sometimes these are unwanted visits, well to be honest, most the time they are unwanted, but to keep up pleasantries with our neighbors we will tend to allow them to stay for the party, sometimes at the risk of not having enough food to go around.

Instead of allowing these to get to you and build up into something that you might regret later, let us try to turn this type of situation around. On the other hand, if you want to get to know your neighbors, a community barbeque is a great way to go.

I strongly suggest doing this once a month, rotating with different neighbors. The key to success is in the invite. Make it clear that everyone that is attending needs to bring their favorite side dish, enough to feed an entire family; also make it BYOB. The side dishes will be set up buffet style. This will ensure that there is enough food to go around, and possibly allow Mr. Thompkins his large second helping. Keep your meat list simple, hamburgers and hotdogs. Try adding a little flare to them to keep them from being too boring. However, these easy meats will keep the King of that day’s barbeque from losing his kingdom.

Make sure that everyone knows the ground rules that come with visiting your home and yard, keeping children and clumsy neighbors safe. In addition, if you are one of those neighbors that tend to find they suddenly need a cup of sugar when your neighbor’s fragrant smoke wafts by your nose, may I suggest that you be the first one on the block to hold the community BBQ.

The Recipes

Strawberry daiquiris | Top

Can be made ahead of time and placed in a freezer. Remove and allow to thaw 30 minutes before serving.

1 pint frozen strawberries in heavy syrup
1/4 cup light rum (omit for non-alcoholic reverberate)
2 tbs lemon juice
7 ice cubes

Servings: 6

Remove the strawberries from the freezer 2 hours before making. In blender combine all the ingredients until smooth and thick.

Pasta salad tiede | Top

8 oz pasta shapes
6 Tbs vinaigrette dressing
6 sun dried tomatoes in oil, snipped
4 scallions, sliced
6 sprigs of watercress or arugula, chopped
1/2 cucumber, halved, seeded and sliced
salt and ground pepper
3 oz Pecorino cheese, coarsely grated

  1. Boil the pasta shapes according to the direction on the package. Drain then toss with the dressing.
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredient, salt and pepper to taste and top with cheese before serving.
  3. Place in fridge for over night, should be served at room temperature.

Habanero hot sauce | Top

Add a little of this to your raw hamburger meat for a little kick.

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp honey
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp anise seeded
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp turmeric
pinch of nutmeg, cinnamon and ground black pepper

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until just smooth. about 1 minute. Do not over blend.
  2. Pour into a sauce pan and bring just to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes. remove from heat and allow to cool before storing. Will keep in fridge for 6 weeks.

Thai rice cakes | Top

1 1/4 cup Thai fragrant or jasmine rice
4 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup super fine sugar
6 cardamom pods. crushed open
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
6 eggs, separated
topping
1 1/4 heavy cream
7 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
grated rind of 1 lemons
1 1/2 oz superfine sugar
soft berry fruits and sliced star or kiwi fruit, to decorate

  1. Grease and then line a 10 inch round cake pan.
  2. Boil the rice in unsalted water for only 3 minutes, drain.
  3. Return the rice to the pan and add the milk, sugar, cardamom, and bay leaves. Bring to just a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. stir occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool. remove the bay leaves and any cardamom husks. Turn out the mix into a bowl. Beat in the cream then egg yolks.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C).
  6. Whisk the egg whites until soft, stiff peaks form, fold this into the rice mix. Spoon into the prepared pan and bake until risen and golden brown in color. About 45-50 minutes.
  7. Chill overnight in the same pan. Turn out onto a serving dish. Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form, mix in the cream cheese, vanilla, lemon rind and sugar
    Cover the top and sides of the cake with the cream cheese mix. decorate with the fruit.