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Bon Journal

Barbeque and Irish coffee

It's such a treat to be invited to a barbeque in London. Having grown up with regular barbeque events in Okinawa, I equated barbeques with good company and good food. In anticipation of my (former) neighbours Trish and Les' summer barbeque, I marinated chicken drumsticks in two different types of home-made sauces for three days and two nights.

The smell of the barbeque was sheer temptation. I wasn't the only one that succumbed to Les' cumberland sausages grilling over the coals or my chicken rolling on the grills. The wasps and bees were also dizzy with delight.

While the meat was cooking, I read out yesterday's Bon Journal entry. I hadn't panicked because yesterday's barbeque was cancelled but that I was stuck with four bachelors. I knew that today's barbeque was well worth the wait.

The sun was just starting to disappear behind the house. We had the entire backyard for the feast. As we sat down to the grilled meat with Trish's well-prepared side dishes, so did the bees and the wasps. (I say bees and wasps because I don't know the difference.) In spite of their threatening attacks, I was able to devour three helpings of chicken, sausage, and hamburger.

In the numbing sensation of the barbeque aroma, I forgot that I was on a special high fiber, nearly vegetarian diet. I forgot that I had promised my mother to avoid alcohol and spicy foods. I forgot to take everything in moderation and only eat one plate of food.

We moved indoors for a dessert of fresh strawberries and ice cream. Once I sat on their black leather sofa, I felt how full I was. Like a Roman glutton, I had eaten my share of barbeque for the year.

Now that our stomachs were satisfied, it was time to move on to conversation. So relaxing it was to sit back and talk to my friends with the knowledge that they didn't have to go to work the next day. This was a bank holiday weekend well spent on good food and good company.

The final treat was Trish's Irish coffee. She had taught me how to make it two years before. And it was nice to rekindle the memory of that first dinner invitation.

As the sun went down, so did the barbeque, but ever more slowly. We talked about work, weddings, and all the things that mattered to us. As if we weren't spoiled enough, Les drove us home. What did I do to deserve such royal treatment?

25 August 2002 Sunday

Marinades for chicken
Spike chicken in various places with a knife. Rub salt into the chicken. Then run in one of the following mixtures. Leave in closed container overnight.
1- mix Jamaican jerk sauce with ketchup
2- mix soy sauce with chopped onions and garlic (and ginger) and a little sugar or ketchup
Try other combinations, such as freshly chopped garden herbs.
Irish coffee
The secret is to use brown sugar so that the coffee appears darker (than using white sugar). First put sugar in a wine glass. Then pour whiskey (need not be expensive whiskey as long as it's Irish). Pour coffee over it (can be instant, decaffeinated, or filtered). Put whipped cream on top. The cream should float.
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