The weather has been somewhat atrocious despite it being summer. British weather is obviously unpredictable but this is beyond ridiculous. Nevertheless, any attempts at the seasonal BBQ/braai events had been a hit-and-miss affair. Thus far, I’ve had to give the satay and kambing golek events a miss (I salute the Sheffield folk who braved the torrential summery rain for those!).

The weather had been a bit kind recently, though. Ayah and I were in Nottingham a couple of Saturdays back when we managed two (and a bit) hours of sun at some friends’ Hawaiian-themed BBQ. It was great to catch up with them, some of whom will be leaving their familiar pastures for newer ones over yonder.

Being the disorganised person I am, I finally sorted out a braai event at my place last weekend. The last one I had was ages ago and this was the second ever time I got the small portable pit to good use. Last time, we had a mix of different marinades which, err… ended up tasting the same.

This time I wanted to go for a milder marinade that lets you taste the meat in all its juicy glory. I have done this marinade before (based on a Jamie Oliver recipe from ten years ago) for the steak sarnies I concocted at Crookes a long time ago. Jamie’s marinade is basically one you’d use for roast leg of lamb – crushed garlic, rosemary (homegrown) and lemon juice. I did omit the olive oil by accident but I guess the meat cooked just fine without it. Thanks to the halal butchers at Tesco selling topside beef, this year’s beef would be much more tender (we’ve tried for daging kicap and tender it was).

Another thing which I haven’t tried out myself were the skewered kebabs, and I have to say the last time I had one was at Portora on Bonfire night like last century. For the chicken, I used breast meat in a Nando’s marinade (tak de modal, right?) cut into cubes, skewered alternately with multicoloured peppers and salad onion chunks.

The braai went on fine and I started out with the potatoes (breadsliced, and with chopped parsley and a splash of extra virgin Spanish olive oil, then wrapped in foil) as they would taka a while to cook. The lamb chops (covered in the same marinade as the steak) was a hit with Sheikh’s kids, whilst the grownups were happily tucking into the steak. I have to apologise to the guests that I totally forgot to bring out the rainbow trout (we had this at the last braai) which I had marinaded the night before. It was supposed to go with ayah’s own air asam cicah. Defo a d’oh! moment, I’m afraid. Khairul brought enough adanas anyway, and we were on makan overload.

The pièce de résistance was the cheesecake which I ordered from this lady who sells them online and she only lives a few streets away in Nether Edge. We fell in love with the passionfruit cheesecake we bought from her at the recent farmer’s market and I’m glad I got it for the guests.

I forgot to describe the weather we had that day. It drizzled a wee bit but it was otherwise lovely and dry, thanks very much.