Summer is high season for barbequing in Norway. Whether you pick electric, gas, or coal, there are many different makes, models, and extra equipment to choose from. Just be aware that like the food, differences of opinion over choice of cooking method and skill can become as heated as the barbeque itself.
Let’s start with the type. No sooner have your Norwegian guests arrived then their eyes are drawn towards which contraption is adorning your terrace. You’ve already encountered rough seas. Not content with demolishing the nice atmosphere you had hoped to create, they then proceed to tell you why. Comments as to temperature, taste, and ease of cleaning are tossed in to the salad. The length of their diatribe is also perfectly timed to ensure that whatever poor morsel of meat you have thrown on the barbeque starts burning. Smiling smugly, they offer to save their bacon/sausage/steak before it becomes as black as the look you are now giving them. Must be careful about stomach cancer from charred food, you know.
Should you coincidentally happen to have scored points by having chosen the exact same type of barbeque that they have, these are forfeited in their favour by you having picked the wrong manufacturer. Opinions as to Weber barbeques seem to be as high as their price, should you opt for a gas-fired one – the coal-based models are quite cheap, and I don’t believe that they dare sully their good name by offering an electric variety. Carl Maria von Weber was a composer, and Maximilian (read “make a million”) Carl Emil Weber was a German lawyer, amongst other things. Carl Maria’s music could prove useful for regaining the pleasant atmosphere that was there before your visitors arrived, and Carl Emil could probably prove anything that would help either party to settle the dispute. Unfortunately, they are both as dead as dodo. Where were the buns again?
It’s now time to serve the meat. Bacteria-wise, steel may be the wiser choice – yes, Weber makes these too – but a wooden handle is probably kinder on your hands when it comes to heat. I can’t be bothered to argue about this one.
Assuming the food was okay, all are now relaxing in the sunshine, full. The conversation elides almost unnoticeably in to talk about how best to treat the terrace planks before the approaching winter – although it’s at least 4 months away, but that’s irrelevant when speaking to what you now find out is the DIY enthusiast from hell. If you choose oil, a long soliloquy as to the advantages of wood-staining ensues. In the meantime, the barbeque is cooling down nicely, and Mr know-all mentions the advantages of a non-rust wire brass brush with a wooden handle to allow easy removal of difficult deposits after cooking. Just say that you’ll do it later and turn the conversation to your advantage by mentioning that oh-so-practical plastic cover that you bought last week to protect the barbeque through the winter. Time to grill the guests instead.
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