We hosted a BBQ at L’s place the Saturday before and it was a smashing success. The food and alcohol we carefully selected were very well-received and everyone had good time. At one point, Maddie very earnestly proclaimed mid-chew, “Wow, best BBQ ever, Mag.”, to which Sammi readily agreed, “Yah, I think this is the BBQ of the year!”. They were happy but I was even happier to know that they went home well-fed and satisfied.
I can’t take credit for the success of our party because I couldn’t have done it on my own. L and his mom put in a lot of time and effort helping me with the marketing, marinating, setting up and washing. It is really an awful lot of preparation work for an event that does not even involve cooking (just wrapping the sambal fish fillet in aluminium foil took me half an hour). Thankfully, all the work was well worth it because our friends were duly impressed and satisfied.
To replicate this awesome event, you will need:
1. Experience with organising BBQs (we have done this a couple of times so we know exactly which aisle to head straight for at the supermarket, where to order our raw food from, which types of food will be more popular with the guests, etc. Saves a lot of time)
2. At least two very patient helpers (I had L, his mom and his maid)
3. Good, sunny weather
4. Lots of food (meats, especially)
5. Some alcohol
At least three days before the BBQ, procure your raw food from City Satay online. Order satays of your choice, black pepper chicken chop, honeyed chicken wings and lots of otah. Spend just above S$120 to enjoy the free delivery.
On the day of the BBQ, make a trip to the supermarket to get everything else you need for the big cookout. Charcoal, fire starters, snacks and refreshments. Also buy ready-to-cook ketupat rice and attempt to boil it on your own because it’s a cheaper alternative. Be very efficient while shopping and pat yourselves on the back for being “good at this BBQ thing”.
When you arrive back home, rest for a bit because you know you have lots of preparation work to do. Remember to chill the alcohol. Prepare white wine and prosecco; they are light and refreshing and pair well with oily BBQ food. Oh, and don’t forget to take a photo of the night’s poison to send to your friends as a teaser. You’ve got to work up the excitement. Then start toiling. Boil the ketupat rice (you’ll need an hour for this), marinate, wrap, set up cutlery, tables, etc.
Do a cursory check of the set up and feel very proud of yourselves. Then start working on the next most important thing – the pit. Spend some time getting a good fire going. 40 minutes, to be exact. Use up to two boxes of fire starters, too much tissue, and have two persons fanning the coals with a cardboard cutout like a silly retard. No matter the silliness. What you need is a good fire. This fire will ensure that one hour on, the coals will be red, hot burning and aid you in cooking your food like a wizard.
Once there’s a good distribution of heat, start cooking and resist the urge to place every piece of cooked food into your own mouth. You have other mouths to feed, remember? Destroy a small quantity of food but tell yourself all it takes is some practice. Make sure every husband/fiancé/boyfriend present does his job by cooking. Let them run the show.
As for the girls, all they should be doing is eating. Eating, laughing and having a lot of fun while the guys sweat it out at the pit. Know that the boys are actually enjoying themselves while they grill and, errr, ration the morsels of food allocated to them amongst themselves. The girls can request for more food as soon as the communal plate is wiped out. Oh, and chomp down the delicious, slightly burnt food in the most unglamorous of ways to maximise your satisfaction. There may not be enough drinks to go around so ration your wine, especially if it’s a bottle of delicious lychee wine because it will be THE favourite.
Spend some time after you’re done pigging out winding down with the prosecco (if there’s even any left). Play a DVD while everyone slumps on the couch spotting bulging bellies. If there aren’t any good movies to play, end the night with a round of tight hugs and promises to host again. As they say, the ornaments of a house are the friends who frequent it.
Feel contented and happy as you pack up the house, then take a nice long shower before falling into a deep, peaceful sleep.
Well done on hosting an awesome BBQ, now roll yourself between your soft sheets and sleep in till noon the day after, you deserve it ;)