Sunday, 2 August 2015

Cooking with fire

Man cooks food on fire.
The sun came out, briefly, and so we all rushed outside to cook sausages on charcoal until they tasted unpleasant.

Men across the country rolled up their sleeves, made fire and threw meat on it for their friends and their womenfolk.

It's an odd thing, this barbecuing.

If I go to any other kind of festivity, it will invariably be the women fannying around putting crisps and olives into bowls.

Men are generally much better than women at understanding that parties are for socialising and enjoying yourself. They will turn up, they will bring beer, they will relax. While women do insist on making everything nice, and serving edible food to their guests.

But rock up to a barbecue and the first thing you see is a man slaving over a hot stove.

Even if the host is female, the odds are that a helpful man will have spontaneously, and probably without discussion, have adopted the role of Barbecuer-in-Chief.

Men, meat and fire

There is something about the combination of raw fire and dead animal that beckons to the primordial masculine soul. "Your place is here" it whispers to them through the fumes. So they pick up their tools and tend the smoking carcass.

We women step back to let the men do their fiery thing, We can hand them plates of raw flesh, and we can marinade to our hearts content, but this is basically their show, and we all know it.

I'm not complaining, for once.

This is an interesting point of gender differences. If you're a girl with a yen to barbecue and you're feeling like you can't get a fork in edgewise, then shove the boys aside and find your place at the grill. But I expect most of us are quite happy to let this status quo continue.

Bring me another burger, boys.