I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Annual Bee-Bee-Q

There is no official "point" or "message" to this post - I just want to share one of our (many) family traditions. 10 years ago, DH and I went to Europe on a backpacking honeymoon. About a week before we left we invited a bunch of friends to come over for a summer BBQ. We did the whole thing - hung balloons from the trees in our (then) concrete tiny patch of yard, cooked up a storm in the equivalent of a galley kitchen, and then watched while a) very few people turned up, b) lots arrived late and c) the weather sucked so bad (too cold) we all ended up inside watching a video. It wasn't a great beginning to our reputations as "hostests with the mostests", but it didn't stop us. The second year we decided to do it again, only minus the stupid balloons and this time in our own (rented) house. Plus this time we owned an actual BBQ so we could do some cooking outside. Guess what? The weather sucked (again.) By the third year we had a gang of regular guests who were invited, our recipes were vastly improving (although sadly the weather did not) and we had started a tradition of start-of-summer BBQ's.

Over the course of the next ten years, we honed our summer BBQ technique. We eventually moved from a December date to a January date in the vain hope of improving our weather odds (it didn't work). We used our annual BBQ as a way of announcing major life milestones (guess what? We're pregnant thrice!) and a way of catching up with people who we adore but we just never get to see all that often. As time went on, the scale of this BBQ grew - from 10 or so people in the concrete yard to 70+ people in our (bigger) dead grassy knoll. Being foodies (and now trained foodies to boot) the menu has gone from strength to strength - including now DH's famous homemade bbq sauce and slow-cooked beef ribs, various dessert yummies by me, "those amazing onions" (marinated in apple cider vinegar and brown sugar), and so on and so forth. Our Italian friends are not allowed to come without their own famous potato fritatta - and over the years people have brought along all manner of culinary delight. The main thing is that DH and I provide it ALL - it's our way of sharing with our friends and it gives our egos a stroke when they tell us how good it all is. We've had swimming pools, bouncy castles for kids...we've got it all happening. It's not really a BBQ - it's an EVENT.

With time our annual summer bbq has also gained it's own social cachet - if you haven't gotten your invite by the second week of January, chances are you're no longer in our good books. People who have been invited for one year but not the next will often CALL and ask what happened to their invite ... and are none to happy to find that our lack of an annual BBQ invite is also a way of saying, "Hey, you've been a crap friend this year." It's not unusual to hear from wayward friends in early December - and it's no great surprise why they are calling to just "catch up" right around then.

This year was a little different - for various reasons we moved the BBQ back a week, and scaled down the guest list dramatically. Not for reasons of crap friendships but just because we were a little late in getting organised! I wonder now if there are people out there (who I dearly love, and would have gladly invited) who are wondering what the status of our friendship is! That, I suppose, is the only downside to the annual BBQ event: it carries a certain...well...resposnsibility.

Oh - and the weather? In the entire history of the BBQ (regardless of date, menu, number of guests, the phases of the moon and the drought/flood conditions of Melbourne) there has only been TWO incidents of good weather. Usually we're either suffering through a freak wind/hail/rain storm, or melting on the spot in 40+C (110F+) weather.

I guess some traditions just shouldn't be messed with.

1 comment:

Jenny from Queensland, enjoying Jakarta said...

Sounds divine....
How are the kids liking school?