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BBQ Etiquette

Barbecue or barbeque (informally BBQ or barby/barbies) is both a cooking method and an apparatus. Barbecuing is done slowly over low indirect heat as the food is flavored by the smoke while the English word "barbecue" and its cognates in other languages come from the Spanish word barbacoa.

It is also believed that this is derived from barabicu found in the language of the Arawak people of the Caribbean and the Timucua of Florida.

The word barbecue was first published in English in 1672 as a verb from the writings of John Lederer following his travels in the North American southeast in 1669-70.

Samuel Johnson’s 1756 dictionary gave the following definitions:

• "To Barbecue – a term for dressing a whole hog" (attestation to Pope)

• "Barbecue – a hog dressed whole”

Therefore, we have been Barbecuing for a few years now. It is still a male dominated world as the men all stand around this fire making machine as they grill the meat and fish from their hunt or should I say from Tesco and more favourably Waitrose. Now there are a few rules when planning and enjoying one’s BBQ and here is my top 10 rules for a successful BBQ.

1. Manners: Consider your neighbours: Always inform the neighbours of your intention to smoke out their homes or laundry; therefore you may wish to consider inviting them.

2. Smells: Ensure the cooking area is well ventilated so smells and odours don’t collect. There is nothing worse than the wind being in the wrong direction; therefore plan the area you will use and make sure it is not going to cause offence or a problem to others and their properties.

3. Vegetarians: BBQs don’t have to be just about meat. Ensure you have Vegetarian options which include salads, and hummus dips. May I also recommend Hulumi Burgers!

4. Napkins: Ensure there are plenty of napkins and cutlery. There is nothing worse than looking around and discovering a guest using your table cloths as their personal napkin.

5. Weather: The great British weather. Have a plan B, if it rains, perhaps move the event indoors and reschedule for a day without rain. Otherwise your guests may not thank you for the reprisal of singing in the rain.

6. Planning: Plan ahead, before the guests arrive. Therefore make sure the BBQ is lit and working and everything is prepped including your laid tables so you can converse with your guests as they arrive.

7. Dress codes: When planning a BBQ let’s not ask guests to wear black or white tie , but at the same time don't allow the guest to underdress, Perhaps a smart pair of chino’s or tailored shorts with open neck shirts and boat shoes. Never allow crocs which sound like something from the local fresh water park.

8. The Perfect Host: When guests arrive make sure they have a drink and a nibble at which point they can relax as they watch the men all descend upon the BBQ.

9. Shaded Areas; Always ensure you have cover from the sun as some of your guests won’t thank you if they leave looking like they have been auditioning for the local tango advert.

10. Guests should always bring a little gift for the hosts, either chocolates or wine and must always be on time. You should not arrive before the appointed time but you can arrive up to 10 minutes after. When leaving don't overstay, therefore when other guests leave that will be you exit music.

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