We invited our neighbours from below to a barbecue last night as a way of repaying them for all the work they did getting rid of my plants and netting that were encroaching onto their house. Everything was set, we would have nibbles and drinks at the small table by the pool and then be eating at the larger table by the side of the house. I had the party lights on and the restaurant by the pool was providing background music. The air was still and warm, a perfect night for eating ‘al fresco’.
I’d already uncovered the barbecue and cleaned the lid so that it looked decent and the grill had been cleaned from the last time, The one thing I hadn’t done was check the bottle to see if there was enough gas in it. The only way I can do this is to pick the bottle up and feel the weight. The last time I did this was when Laura, Dave and Molly were over and there was plenty of gas left in it then. We have had a fair number of barbecues since but surely not enough to empty the bottle.
Wrong, the bottle felt light. The question then was, “did I have enough gas to cook the meat?” If not, it would have been better to cut my loses and light the charcoal BBQ up on the roof terrace. Not what we intended because with Pam in the kitchen and me on the roof cooking the meat, our guests would have had to amuse themselves, so I took a gamble. The barbecue lit and so at least there was enough pressure to get it started but would it last?
Just as the meat was finished cooking, the flames flickered and then died - that was a lucky break for me.
Even worse than cooking on the roof would have been having to go up there with half cooked meat and wait until the charcoal got up to heat to finish it off. There is a lot to be said for having a spare gas bottle!
PS Many thanks to Mick and Jane for all their hard work. We hope that we didn't spoil their holiday too much.