We had our first barbie of the year yesterday, quite late for the Parrot household, given that we’re hardy souls who don’t mind donning fleeces and braving the late March weather, or happily cooking beneath the puthering smoke in the rain.
There is a lot of anti-barbie feeling around at the moment. From letters to the Mail complaining about the smoke and aromas swamping neighbour’s gardens to the chattering classes who think the BBQ is beneath social contempt.
Well, we are the recidivists. We love a barbie. For a start, everyone can eat what they feel like. Yesterday it was chicken for Mrs P, a pork chop for Miss P and steak for me and Master P. Plus the side dishes of sausage etc and cole slaw, potato salad, new potatoes etc. Heaven.
Sorry lads, you’re going to have to put up with us, like we have to put up with your discarded chewing and don’t do this and don’t do that public messages in stations and shopping centres.
But the real puzzle is: What has happened to marinade? Mrs P enjoys her barbied chicken soaked in lime and coriander, or something similar. Last year, there was any number of choices, in bottles — Five Minute Marinade, Paul Newman’s own brand etc. Now they are nowhere to be found.
I stopped a lad in Morrison’s to ask where they were. He took me to the aisle where they had once lived, then scratched his head when they were nowhere to be found. I trailed him round the store in a fruitless search, the pale and uninteresting chicken rocking listlessly in my basket.
He eventually checked with front-of-house who could find no trace of marinade on their computer.
I then tried three other stores. Okay, so two branches of Kwik Save and an Open Later Saver, but not a trace of marinade in sight. I began to wonder if the reason was the Sudan 1 thing. (Can’t take seriously something that sounds like an unfinished international football result.)
In the end Mrs P improvised — a mixture of balsamic vinegar, mustard and brown sugar. If anyone can tell me what has happened to the pre-made variety, I’d be grateful.