We were recently given £50 from MoneySupermarket to throw a fantastic summer barbecue, so Colin and I took the opportunity to invite both sets of parents for a family get-together at the allotment. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great and Colin’s parents couldn’t come for health reasons, so we phoned around a few friends at the last minute!
The children and I spent this afternoon making a pompom garland to decorate the shed. I’ve never used a pompom maker before (my mum taught me the old fashioned way using circles of cardboard) but the children found them pretty easy to use. The only slight frustration was that the loose end of the yarn kept getting in the way or tangled with the working yarn.
Colin and I purchased our first ever reusable barbecue a few weeks ago from Maplin for the bargain price of £2.99. A large bag of charcoal cost £5.50 and we also bought a £2 disposable barbecue for extra cooking space, which turned out to be useless. It barely warmed the vegetable kebabs and certainly wouldn’t have cooked any meat! The ingredients for the vegetable kebabs (cherry tomatoes, courgettes, mushrooms, peppers and red onions) came to £5.54, but I only used about half of the veg. Tabitha really enjoyed helping to thread the chopped veg onto the skewers.
There was lots of time to relax and chat whilst we were waiting for the food to cook. Aaron and Tabitha helped to pick runner beans and blackberries, Uncle DJ tried out the children’s tiny slide and we enjoyed occasional moments of sunshine.
I paid £8.10 at the butchers for 18 burgers (he kindly threw in half a dozen for free as they had run out of our favourite lamb and mint ones) and 8 sausages. The burgers were lovely, the sausages were not. Colin thought they would be nicer than supermarket ones, but from now on I’ll be sticking with my favourite 97% meat or even Tesco Finest. I am definitely a sausage snob! 4 packs of various bread rolls came to £2 and we used my dad’s little gas stove to fry up some onions with a pinch of sugar and some balsamic vinegar.
For pudding we cooked foil parcels of fruit on the barbecue, costing £10.30. I adapted the recipe from my Marks & Spencer “Easy Summer Food” book, which I’ve been wanting to try it for years. It’s very simple, just chop up peaches, nectarines, blueberries and raspberries with the juice of 1 orange and a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon. We served it with natural yogurt.
And of course no barbecue would be complete without marshmallows to toast!
I spent £14.19 on various extras such as drinks, crisps, salad (my verdict is don’t bother as nobody seems to eat salad at a barbecue!), salad dressing, coleslaw, potato salad and pickled onions, bringing the total cost of our barbecue to £50.62. It was a wonderful evening with friends, family and far too much food! We’re looking forward to using our bargain barbecue again, hopefully with Colin’s parents next time.