Thursday, 5 February 2009

Cracking Braai

After the carnival and tile shopping it was time to get ready for the 'Hello Elaine, goodbye Reinette Braai'.

Now I was a little nervous as Stoffel insisted that as the Braai was for Elaine and that he was actually attending as a guest rather than house owner, it was up to me to Braai! Whilst I love burning things and consider myself to be pretty good at it the 25 or so guests wouldn't be too happy if I did that to their steaks, sausages and chicken! Time for some tips!

Eventually the time came, people started arriving, meat started arriving and I built a nice stack of wood and set fire to it! Obviously the Braai is a national institution here and the debates started regarding the size and shape of the wood, which bits could have been better placed etc etc. I soon came to realise that there is no set method and that everyone does it differently depending who taught them and where they learnt. Stoffel taught me right here!

After an eternity the fire had burnt down enough to create lots of hot embers and it was time to start to braai the meat. This is where I needed some guidance but Stoffel had deliberately disappeared! Thankfully Johan was on hand, not only to give advice, but to lend a significant helping hand. Thanks to his help everything went pretty smoothly and everyone seemed to enjoy the food.

The evening really got going when Stoffel miraculously reappeared and told us that ALL of the stockpile of wood would have to be burnt up. Some of it had woodworm and Stoffel and Ninja didn't want it to be transferred to the soon to be built new deck. Now what do a group of men do when they are told to burn ALL of they wood? They burn ALL of the wood in ONE GO! You couldn't get within 3 metres of the Braai because of the heat and flames were shooting out of the chimney!

A few weeks ago the Braai was repainted and looked brand new. A few hours after the 'bonfire' it was slightly scorched and had a series of new cracks to the chimney! Fortunately Stoffel (well it was his fault afterall) and Ninja see this as 'added character' and are pleased with the look! Quite literally a 'cracking braai'!

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