One of my bucket list items were checked off last week when we had the sunny weather that seems to have deserted us in recent days. I have always wanted to BBQ a whole chicken and since the purchase of the Jamie Oliver kettle BBQ I couldn’t wait to try it.
There is a handy device that I purchased from B&Q for cooking chicken on a BBQ. It allows you to place a can of beer on a metal plate which is under some metal arms. The chicken slides over the arms which allows the can of beer to sit inside the chicken. As the chicken is cooking on the BBQ the can of beer allows the chicken to maintain it’s moisture preventing a dry chicken.
The beauty is it allows the chicken to crisp up nicely on the outside whilst giving the chicken an amazing flavour. I used a can of Hobgoblin which is a favourite Ruby Ale of mine. The medium sized chicken took just over 2 hours to BBQ cook and the smells coming from the Kettle BBQ were delightful.
I used a couple of bags of self lighting charcoal to create a white hot base which heated up to a suitable temperature after 30 mins. The photos below show the stages explained above. The beauty cooking with the can of Ruby Ale is the chicken melted away from the bone when carving it. This is the best way to cook chicken and it is certainly something I’ll be doing again.
This is an amazing way to cook chicken and one that could be replicated when entertaining a group of friends. It’s certainly more cost effective than that of burgers and sausages.
This weekend has been a very special one. It will be one that stays in my mind for an extremely long time and as I find myself sat back at home following it, I am smiling on the inside.
Whilst I was away in Cornwall a couple of weeks ago, I asked my partner to marry me. It was one of those moments that is extremely nerving and if any guy tells you otherwise they are either lying or have never been in that situation.
We spent this weekend back in my home town after finally revealing to the Facebook world that we are Engaged. We enjoy tradition and wanted to at least tell all of our family in person or on the telephone before splashing the news over Social Media. The weekend comprised of a lovely evening and BBQ at my sister and her partners with my family, before spending this afternoon catching up with my old school and college friends. If there is one thing I’ve learnt from this weekends antics, it’s that I’m not coming out of retirement and taking up playing football again! Oh and another thing, Mohitos are extremely addictive (thanks Luke!)
On Sunday we went to Stratford Butterfly Farm which is a truly magical and amazing place. It was fairly overcast and chilly before we went inside, however by the time we’d left it had certainly warmed up. There were a huge variety of Butterflies that had lost all interest in landing on my grey T-shirt, however there were many situations where they intentionally moved just as I was taking their photo. I am almost certain they knew what they were doing. This place also homes snakes, scorpions, spiders and quails. The latter were out and about roaming with the butterflies, the others fortunately not. I can confirm that at one point the place felt like a Disney Film with colorful Butterflies filling the skies and fluttering around our faces.
If this wasn’t enough, I’ve been clinging onto the number 33 with both hands clenched firmly around them. It was also a Birthday celebration for me and a rare year where my birthday didn’t fall on the Summer Bank Holiday. Tomorrow (or Tuesday, depending when you read this) I turn 34 and have been so grateful for all the surprises and gifts I’ve received so far. All I can say is that I am truly blessed and am very very fortunate to have the life I do. The sad thing is I’m back at work tomorrow where I’m pretty certain I will be buying cakes for my work colleagues. This is one tradition that I have no idea how and why it exists!? If anybody knows then please feel free to enlighten me.
Finally I harvested some vegetables from our garden tonight. It was a pleasant reward for all of the hard work and effort put into watering and feeding our raised beds. I pulled up two beetroots the size of tennis balls and foraged around and found some potatoes and onions. I will be pickling these Beetroots tomorrow night and will let you all know how they turn out. I am half tempted to buy a cutter that gives them that crinkled crisp effect. Fingers crossed I can actually do it right. This follows on nicely from my blog about Self Sufficiency earlier this month. I think there may be a weeks worth of Beetroot in our household, wow!
Yes for those wondering, it’s me in the photo with my hands on my head. That kinda gives away my footballing decision. 😉
Well it’s the first time I get to write about going on Holiday. I am not going to sound smug and rub it in, however I am extremely excited and looking forward to it.
Me and my partner are heading down to Cornwall for a week. If there is one thing we certainly do, it is making the most of every day that we can when we escape away. We are both into our camping and have the most awesome tent, trust me, my previous experiences of camping have involved having to crawl around the tent due to lack of head space. Well not now, I have to admit it was the most savvy purchase that we’ve made, all the research was undertaken by my better half and I can honestly say it makes camping a delight. Not only can we stand up, but we have our own bedroom and living room compartments which when kitted out actually feels like living in a static caravan, well a spacious static caravan!
We have certainly got the knack of putting it up and have already made five camping trips this year. From the extremes of Derbyshire in March where we experienced temperatures of minus seven, right through to the heat of Lewes. We stayed at an amazing place called the Secret Campsite last month where we also watched Mumford & Sons Live at the Gentlemen of the Road Festival. Practice has very much made the process much easier as the year has gone on and I can’t wait to get the car all packed up in the morning and start our next adventure.
I am a real geek when it comes to packing bits on a camping trip and I am confident that I will not only manage to sneak the Scrabble Board amongst our bits but I may even get a game! I love setting up our Mini Purple BBQ called Cookie and firing up the Coals so we can cook either breakfast or some lovely burgers for dinner. I am still convinced that I will be able to BBQ a full Chicken on it, but I think that’s just me dreaming.
Basically if you haven’t worked it out from my words above, I love adventures, I love camping, I love holidays but the most important thing is having the company of my awesome girlfriend. All of these factors mixed together make the experience a total delight. There is a rumour that the campsite we are staying at has WiFi, if this is the case I will write a couple of Holiday Blogs whilst I am in Cornwall. If not there will be one big one waiting for you all to digest in a weeks time.