Summer Nights

Whether it’s how to grill the perfect BBQ steak, capture a brilliant idea, or help your group grapple with the death penalty or relationships; whatever your leaning this month, John Allan takes you there.

The Lord has a wonderful sense of humour. Last month I was writing enthusiastically about the importance of using food in youth work. So this month, what happens? I get landed with the job of organising a farewell barbecue for 90 Year 11s. Panic, panic.

Whether it’s how to grill the perfect BBQ steak, capture a brilliant idea, or help your group grapple with the death penalty or relationships; whatever your leaning this month, John Allan takes you there.

The Lord has a wonderful sense of humour. Last month I was writing enthusiastically about the importance of using food in youth work. So this month, what happens? I get landed with the job of organising a farewell barbecue for 90 Year 11s. Panic, panic.

Oh well, it could be worse. Barbecues are simple, aren’t they: a fire, some Tesco Value burgers and rolls, and enough tomato ketchup to float a battleship. Dead easy – what could possibly go wrong? Well, if that’s your impression, and you’re contemplating running barbecues this summer (and I guess most youth workers are), perhaps you should first have a look at some of the safety advice on the Internet. The Fire Service have stacks of stuff on fire safety, SafeKids on physical factors (locale, wind, and so on), and About.com on food health issues. Hmmm, maybe it’s not quite so easy after all.

BBQ will tell you how to plan it, write a checklist so that you don’t forget the matches, and make sure everything’s sorted in advance – essential when you’re dealing with excited eleven-year-olds.

Do you spend hours trying to light your barbecues? PlanetBarbecue can show you how to do it properly (and they have some amazing recipes too).

Ah, recipes. Yes, if you’re going to impress the older teens who’ve seen anaemic charred hot dogs a million times already, do something simple but different. Chicken korma kebabs, mushroom skewers, banoffee wraps, miniburgers in pitta pockets – not difficult but definitely different, and GoodToKnow has all the details. VegSoc recipes make sure your veggie kids feel loved and cared for, and the BBC has brilliant ideas for salads, salsas and dips.

If you want to improve your grilling technique, consult ReluctantGourmet or Hub-UK. For mistakes to avoid (‘Do not ever press down with a spatula...’) it’s got to be Texas Barbecues. I’m getting hungry just writing this stuff down. But of course, now we’ve discussed it, it’s probably going to rain all summer, isn’t it? The Lord has this wonderful sense of humour...