As you all know, last week I moved house. Amidst a disaster of illness, unfinished decorating and lack of time, we still (sort of) completed the move on time! However having already agreed to participate in Money Supermarket’s amazing “The Charcoal Challenge”, I knew I had a BBQ to fit in some time that same week!
The garden was a MESS! I’m sad to say I forgot to take any “before pictures”, but there was no concrete or paving slabs, just weeds as tall as people, rubbish and unwanted furniture out there. However my partner Chris and my brother Chris, both set to work on Friday night – strimming, weeding, cleaning and so on. By late Friday night the back garden actually had safe places to tread! Saturday morning the hard work continued – cleaning the gas BBQ along with the patio furniture, while I headed off to Tesco…
Honestly, my Tesco shop took me three times longer than normal. I checked and double checked all prices, picked up and put down certain items, looked for the biggest bargains and added it all up on my phone as I went along. Luckily the BBQ was bring a bottle so I wasn’t having to provide drinks within my budget, but everything else was covered.
As we’d just moved house and most things were upside down, cutlery and plates were a must. I also got napkins, tablecloths and glasses in case anyone brought wine. I bought sausages, burgers and pork, along with the ingredients to make pasta salad, coleslaw and rice salad. There was also baps, cheese slices, halloumi, garlic bread – and no BBQ would be complete without pudding. Chocolate Trifle, Tiramisu AND Vanilla cheesecake. Finally there was the ingredients for homemade Sangria – the perfect BBQ accompaniment.
All in all my shop came to £50.06. A little over budget you might say… but pasta was on 2 x 1KG for £2.50 and while I didn’t need that much for my BBQ, it seemed unthrifty not to pick up that bargain! This was my total shop though, all done in Tesco. Enough food to feed nine people, along with the ingredients for two large pitchers of Sangria.
I headed home to prep for my BBQ, while the men continues to clean and tidy. I made pasta salad first, with mayonnaise, spring onions and peppers – followed by coleslaw with white cabbage, carrots, onion and mayonnaise too. Next came the Sangria, with a bottle of red wine, some lemonade, a splash of brandy (luckily from my alcohol stash and not my budget!) some cinnamon plus loads of apples and oranges sliced up inside. I cooked rice and I sliced baps – but most importantly I made pork and halloumi skewers!
Halloumi is such an underrated cheese, but no BBQ would be right without some halloumi skewers. I usually use chicken but as the pork was discounted and I was working on a budget, that worked just as well. A few chunks of meat, along with a few chunks of halloumi, some mushrooms and my skewers were complete.
Finally the cleaning of the BBQ was done and people started to arrive. I set the Chris’ off cooking, so I could get everyone a drink and give a small tour of the house. I had already made up a homemade BBQ sauce recipe and this was lavished all over the cooking meat, giving off the most amazing smell.
It wasn’t long before everything was ready and everyone gathered outside. The food was amazing and the company was great too. In total there was nine of us, myself and my partner Chris – along with my two daughters Megan and Lily, my brother Chris, my mum Penny, my partner’s sister Nikki and her son Mason, and one of our friends Jon. There was plenty of food to go around and I think everyone had a good time. Though I didn’t make the puddings, they were a great hit too – however everyone was pretty full from the BBQ food and so I took it as a compliment when not all the pudding got eaten!
As I’m sure you can see from the bottom picture, all the rubble, weeds and refuse was piled up in the corner of our yard for the BBQ. This shows you just what a state it was in before!
Thank you so much to Money Supermarket who let me participate in this challenge. It was a lot of fun and a hell of a good excuse to get two strapping young men to clear my garden for me!
With regards to the rest of my blog, look out for more house renovations coming soon! We’re nearly done with the kitchen!