When in Belfast . . . and you get one of the two weeks with warm and sunny weather . . . do as the Irish do — “barbecue”. The term “barbecue”, here, refers to anything that is put over a fire. It does not require any specific sauces or any particular lawn ornaments. It just means you go outside and eat your food.
This weather is called “exam weather” by most people. Belfast experiences two guaranteed weeks of lovely weather each year, the first as schoolboys and -girls sit their year-ending exams. The idea is that they spend hours staring at essays and standardized tests only to glance up at the sun streaming in the windows. The second week is just as school resumes in the autumn. The new school term generally brings with it the winter uniform (wool blazers and long socks) and another sunny, warm week. The apathy of the new syllabi and reading lists is met with even more sunshine. In short, it is cruel.
However, not being a schoolchild and not currently facing a near deadline of any sort means that I can take advantage of the weather. I am not — by ANY stretch of the imagination — an outdoors person, but I relish in these days, mostly because it is dry rather than warm.
Today, on a bit of a whim, I bought a mini disposable barbecue. It amounted to an aluminum casserole tray, a bit of charcoal packaged in paper, and a thin grate. We procured my husband some German smoked sausages and mini finger rolls, a chicken breast for myself, and the makings of a wee cookout.
The finished product included Pão de Queijo, grilled blackened chicken, smoked sausage hot dogs, grilled green beans and asparagus, and both German and American potato salad. It took too long to make, but it was so worth it! Check out the recipes linked below, and recreate our cookout for your own summer days, whether they be often or twice a year.