I invite you to visit also my literary blog: Journeys in Creative Writing where I post original fiction including short stories, poetry and 'Paternity', a full length mystery novel.

Friday, 21 November 2008

The Aussie Barbecue - a Phenomenon

How about this barbecue cook top arrangement as a pointer to an orderly mind?

I spied a brawny Aussie bloke cooking his snags and eggs on a barbecue down at my closest beach a few weeks ago ...

Fair dinkum, no prompting and no joke. This was his modus operandi!

There he was, out in public view alongside sun-drenched families enjoying themselves, creating an art form.

No egg rings for him - sausages filled the bill, capturing the oozing eggs before they got caught up in the onion rings alongside on the hot plate.

I have no idea who he was, but he was only too happy when I asked him if I could snap his creation. He was proud of it.

Barbecues are big deal in Australia, and come in many forms. Paul Hogan invaded the US of A TV advertising a few years ago trying to persuade the good residents to come to our shores where they'd be sure to be invited to 'throw a prawn on the barbie'.

Truth be told, sausages, eggs, chops and steak are much more likely fair in the Wide Brown Land. Accompanied by a big salad tossed in a bowl.

I caught this man and his son cooking their own version on the council barbecue next door to The Orderly One's Art Work.

His technique is far more typical - with its bacon onions and tomatoes arranged anyhow.

Many Australian beaches are dotted with permanent barbecue facilities stocked with gas that are available for free. We can be confident of being able to roll up with just the makings of a meal and get cooking in no time.

The cook tops are always spotless - cleaned and polished daily by council employees. And there are generally benches and seats nearby to spread the repast.

It's OKAY for Aussie blokes to cook in public. In fact it's a BADGE OF COURAGE.

A barbecue is often about the only time Australian women get to put their feet up when entertaining is happening in our families. Although it's dangerous to generalise!

Home barbecues tend often to be more flash, with families and friends summonsed to quite an elaborate feast set up in the garden or around the pool.

Cooking tops themselves can range from a simple Japanese style grill to a steel plate that can get a might rusty, to stainless jet numbers with built in ovens, grills, plates - you name it.

The best fun, so far as I'm concerned, is the meal that you simply stand back and throw - and if the snags are burned around the edges, who's going to notice under the tomato sauce?

Do you have something equivalent to the Aussie barbecue in your home town? I'd really like to know. Tell me in a comment ...

By the way everyone - I've just posted the third episode of my Aussie mystery novel on Journeys in Creative Writing - drop over after you comment here eh?


  1. When I first met my husband in Washington state almost 30 years ago, he only liked hamburgers, steaks, and pizza. Everything changed when he bought his first kettle style barbecue. The barbecue equipment has changed a bit over the years, as have the ingredients as we moved from the west coast to New England to the southwest, sampling the local specialities along the way.

    The more he cooked, the more he was willing to branch out until he has become an absolute culinary adventurer! Now he can do a mean grilled salmon, served with dill sauce; an incredibly involved barbecued brisket with "cowboy dipping sauce" that first undergoes a rub, then a marinade, then a long, slow, cooking over indirect heat; and he even grills up a beautiful vegetable combo of onions, red peppers, and yellow squash. It's gotten so that I have the whole summers off from cooking.

    I'll be interested to hear about other barbecue adventures around the world. Thanks, June!

  2. Gosh Clair can I borrow your mate for Christmas Day? You can come too of course ...
    We could have a ball. Bring Jean too!
    I can smell the goodies already.

  3. Looks like a fair number of GREAT blogs were started in June (wink wink!) And June, I have tried to follow you, but it says there is no feed (I did it manually because I was unable to find the link for it on your followers section)
    Great day to you, and hey, next time you come across beach-barbeque-man, make him share! That looked good!

  4. I have a feeling the mans home in the first photo would be a tad on the too neat side :) In Canada BBQing is almost a sport and those with gas/propane ones are able to cook all year round even in 3' of snow. The oddest dish I've seen is taking a chicken and inserting it over an open can of beer and letting them roast for hours. The chicken is delicious but not the most pleasing dishes to look at while it cooks. :D Cheryl

  5. BBQing is indeed nearly the national pastime during summer months and football season! We "grill" all year long on an ordinary old charcoal fueled Weber. Wind and snow merely means you put on a jacket!

  6. Hi Aria - I see you made it to Follower - thanks. It sometimes refuses to change from 'no follow' to 'follow' to try our patience. Sorry.
    I tripped over to your blog and found a pile of sugary sweetness awaiting. Left a comment.
    I did observe that Aussie blokes who cook are generally the younger ones. The older ones are still stuck in their old ways - and the failure to cook (or wash up) is another reason they don't appeal (to me). I've been there!

  7. Cheryl
    That beer recipe sounds a bit crude in the making! I imagine the taste would be good though.
    Clair was chatting about great food her husband produces on their barbie. I must say that's the case here as well when the occasion is held at home.
    My post was inspired mainly by beach culture at the public barbecue plates - it's the ultimate in easiness.

  8. Dogwalk:
    Snow is so foreign to where I live - if we put a jacket on it means there's been the equivalent of a blizzard.
    I do think creativity is better in areas which have extremes in temperature. I reckon our body gets bored with sameness.
    And I particularly dislike our humidity in January - March. Winters are delicious.
    Barbecues of course are universal throughout the year, although accompanied by swimming in the summer months.

  9. Wow- what a great picture, June. I think I'll try that with sausages and eggs myself. Hubby would love this.

    My in-laws are really big into barbecues. They live here in town and so we get together often. Every meal consists of something grilled and it's not unusual to grill up everything from vegetables and seafood to burgers, ribs and roasts.

    My favorite though is when my father-in-law takes out the grill and smokes whole salmon right there on the fire. It has just a hint of smoky flavor, but the fish is moist and tender. That is my favorite!

    P.S. I live in California and we barbecue throughout the year too.

  10. That salmon is right up my ally Jeannie. Barbecues are great fun and easy.
    I wonder if bloggie mates in Europe and Asia do barbies? If so, what do they cook?

  11. Nothing so grand in my hometown of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and I am sure nothing quiet so clean. This was a wonderful posting, thank you.


  12. Barbecues in public parks may seem a small something, but my goodness they do a lot for the community. Fun is the order of the day. I'm sorry you don't have them in Sun Prairie A.J.

  13. We have outdoor grills at the parks here but they don't furnish any gas. You have to bring your own makings for a fire like charcoal. Bob and I grill every Saturday night at home sometimes even during the winter. We have a couple glasses of red wine and sit on the patio while the food is cooking, usually steak or hamburger or chops. I can't believe how organized the man is in the picture!

  14. The pictures are very very tempting, and the write-up's great too.Even here in India, outdoor cooking (on the tandoor, for example, which is a kind of grill) is the man's forte, and the women just cut the condiments (onions, tomatoes, etc), appreciate the men's handiwork and, of course, eat.

  15. Hi Judy
    That's a dreamy picture you paint ...
    That would be one of my favourite wind-down pastimes too!
    I think the sausages and eggs pattern is astonishing. I bet he has a clean car.

  16. Suranga - that's interesting.
    Do men do much else housewifely around the home in India? I know you often have home help but, for instance, would men change a nappy?
    In Australia these things are gradually changing for the better, except in the older generations. Speaking broadly of course ...

  17. Suranga and Sucharita
    My apologies for the above slip of the fingers - I was replying to Sucharita's comment this time!

  18. Hi June, well at last an Australian has wandered onto my blog. I was wondering when that would happen. Thanks for leaving your comment, that was a nice surprise. You have an enormous amount of writings to explore on here...good to meet you. Eaton :)

  19. First time an Aussie has hopped onto your blog Eaton? And you from Oz? Well!
    So now you've hopped onto 70 Plus and our meeting is official. Welcome.
    Enjoy the reading ...


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