Amuse bouche...

Fa­ther’s Day bar­be­cue

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES -

knows he will have noth­ing to say to Richard’s neigh­bours, most of whom will want to com­pare and con­trast bar­be­cues and burg­ers. Va­lerie was good at mov­ing these mo­not­o­nous con­ver­sa­tions into more sparkling ter­ri­tory. An­drew can only nod and make agree­able noises about hick­ory wood­chips ver­sus char­coal.

When Ali­son, his daugh­ter-in-law, opens the door, An­drew is happy to see a pack of very nice-look­ing rib-eye steaks in her hands. “We wouldn’t make you eat sausages, An­drew,” she says, kiss­ing him on both cheeks. “Any­way, you don’t want ketchup all over that nice shirt I got you for Christ­mas.”

In the back gar­den, An­drew’s spir­its lift again. Not only to see the Pimm’s — Va­lerie loved Pimm’s — but to see a proper ta­ble and chairs, with a proper table­cloth and proper cut­lery. Fur­ther­more, there’s only a small gath­er­ing of neigh­bours, in­clud­ing that nice Dorothy from up the road who was wid­owed last year. An­drew some­times sees her at church.

“Dad, we did what you said and we got the gas grill this year,” Richard says, hand­ing him some long tongs. An­drew has no rec­ol­lec­tion of ex­press­ing a pref­er­ence for a gas bar­be­cue, but he’s will­ing to go along with it, glass of cold Pimm’s in hand. That way, he can keep away from the school-choice chat with the younger set and ex­ert con­trol over his steak. There are two in the pack Ali­son handed him, nice ones, too. An­drew won­ders if Dorothy likes a nice steak.

SARAH CADEN

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