One un­usual vege for your

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Farmhouse Kitchen -

When it comes to sum­mer cook­ing, Dave is very much in charge of the bar­be­cue. He re­ally has mas­tered it, and spends a lot of time re­search­ing the lat­est in out­door cook­ing ap­pa­ra­tus. He goes up and down the aisles of large hard­ware stores try­ing out ev­ery new fea­ture and in­form­ing me of the good and bad points of the gleam­ing new cookers. He al­ways asks if we upgrade to the big­ger sleeker model when he al­ready has the jet en­gine of bar­be­cues sit­ting at home.

I have bought him quite a few bar­be­cue books which he drools over but never re­ally in­tends to fol­low. He is def­i­nitely a ‘wing it’ man and likes to im­pro­vise which can be a good thing or oc­ca­sion­ally I have a piece of toast in­stead of his of­fer­ing. He says I have no ad­ven­tur­ous spirit, but then I am also not up at night look­ing for the antacids.

Dave be­lieves the best way to bar­be­cue a whole chicken is to sit it on a beer can, but his ob­ses­sion in find­ing the per­fect tech­nique means we have a lot of very strange-look­ing items for roast­ing whole chick­ens. There are mo­torised turn­ers, woks, smok­ers, var­i­ous long and short tools for turn­ing, scrap­ing, and sautéing, and then there is his ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of oils and condi­ments. He even tries out all the clean­ing scrap­ers and brushes too.

Sum­mer­time is out­door cook­ing time and I love it. Break­fast, lunch and din­ner can be out­side and it needn’t be fatty heavy food. Stir-fried fresh veg­eta­bles with herbs from the gar­den are sweet and de­li­cious, and lightly cooked fruit is de­light­ful. Fresh peaches halved and just seared are my favourite, as en­joy­able as fresh peaches but by warm­ing them you lightly brown the flesh, caramelis­ing the sug­ars, gor­geous for top­ping sal­ads.

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