Recently everything seems to be going back to the roots. Instead of stuffing ourselves with processed food, we’ve become more careful with what we eat. Building and making our own things has grown on us as a part of what we consider healthy living. So, why not? Why not grow your own tomatoes from scratch and turn them into the most delicious ketchup you’ve ever tasted? Why not head out there and catch your own wild fish and prepare them for dinner?
All you need is a little more time to plan ahead. And some creativity when it comes to how you prepare the food for the barbecue. In preparation for this article I went through some pretty unusual recipes. Some worked out better than expected (I’m not buying any readymade ketchup anytime soon), others still need some improvement (or maybe popcorn just isn’t meant to be grilled). The following six recipes made the final round and I can strongly recommend them for your next BBQ with friends. Give it a go and have some fun with it!
Strawberry Summer Punch To Go
500 g strawberries
1 bottle of fruity white wine
3 tablespoons rum
Wash and slice the strawberries. Put in a bowl with the rum and let it rest for a while. Then add the white wine and sparkling water. Fill into glass bottles and put in the fridge to cool. A very refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day!
Homemade Tomato Ketchup
1 kg fresh tomatoes – or 750 ml tomato pulp
150 ml white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons brown sugar
3 bay leaves and 2 whole cloves
some salt & freshly ground black pepper
Blanch the fresh tomatoes quickly in boiling hot water, then peel, slice, cook and blend in a food processor. To start with the ketchup, combine the sugar and the white wine vinegar. Bring to a boil in a pan until the sugar starts to caramelize in the middle of the pan. Add the tomato sauce and everything else. Cook until the consistency is right. Remove the spices and add soy sauce if it’s too sweet. Chill and store in a closed container. If you like your ketchup a bit thicker, try using some corn starch (mix with water beforehand and make sure you boil everything once you’ve added it).
Roasted Chicken – using a water wheel
1 whole organic chicken
red pepper, salt, black pepper, chilli, cumin seeds – all ground
This one is for the experts in the fine art of barbecuing! Wash and clean the chicken before you rub all spices into the skin. Place in the fridge for at least two hours before you put it on the BBQ. For the water wheel you’ll need to get creative: try using old plastic bottles and bring an electric drill with you for the screws. Find a river with decent speed and install the wheel. Make sure you use strong branches. Dig a hole for the fireplace and roast the turning chicken. It’ll take 1 – 2 hours for the chicken to be ready. If you feel that’s too long, you can pre-cook the chicken in the oven and let the campfire add the final taste.
Campfire Bread Twists
500 g wheat flour
10 g salt
1 packet of dry yeast
300 ml warm water
30 ml olive oil
Mix all ingredients, knead and let the dough rest for 2 – 3 hours for best results. Knead again and let it rest for another 30 minutes. It shouldn’t be too sticky when you use it.
Peel the bark off a thin tree branch and twist the dough around it. Put over the embers and watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. Be prepared to be amazed by the taste! If you’re feeling adventurous, try including some herbs (rosemary, thyme), dried tomatoes or even some bacon in the dough.
Grilled Fish on a Stick
salt and butter
Instead of meat or cultured salmon, try to get a local fish. Peel a stick, slide the fish onto it, put some salt and butter inside the fish and on the skin. Hold it over the fire. This way the fish will be half smoked and half grilled – a rather delicious combination. The fish is done when the backbones peel easily away from the flesh.
Banana Boats Dessert
chocolate (try a Kinder chocolate bar)
Just when you think you can’t eat any more, it’s the perfect time for this dessert. Slice the banana open on one side, fill with chocolate and wrap in tin foil. Let it melt in the embers until the skin is black and the banana all mushy and sweet to spoon up.