The first thing to do before I can even think of having a barbecue is to know who and how many people are attending the barbecue. Our society consists of people of different races and religions. They do not eat the same things. So, based on the assumption that no vegetarians will be attending, they have no reason to, it is best to have a chicken barbecue. That way nobody can complain about whether he can eat a certain type of Meat or not. Everybody can eat chicken as long as it 15 slaughtered according to approved methods.
I once organized a barbecue for thirty persons and we had 9 kilograms of chicken wings and thighs. So, based on the same number of persons again, 9 kilograms of the same thing will suffice. Chicken breasts are not very suitable for barbecue thus we shall do without them.
On the morning of the barbecue, I would go to the market to get the chickens. Of course, I would have told the chicken vendor to reserve the chicken for me. Otherwise, I might get into a fix of not being able to get enough chicken. While in the market I would buy the seasoning for the chicken. I would need salt, sugar and assorted spices. A couple of eggs would give the chicken an even better- taste. Next, I would have to get charcoal, matches and a bottle to kerosene for the fire.
Eating barbecued chicken is a thirsty affair. So, I would have to buy some drinks. Cordial drinks are cheaper. I must remember to get some ice just before the barbecue though. What else do I need? I would have to have a list of all the things required so that I. would no miss out on anything, yes; it is a good idea buy some “mee hoon” and ”mee.” It becomes boring eating only chicken. Fried mee or fried mee hoon add a bit of variety to the food. Finally, I would buy some ‘agar-agar” ingredients to make those swell jelly with.
The next thing to do is to go home and prepare the things I bought.
The chicken would have to be cut into smaller pieces and then cleaned. Next, they are put into a large container and the seasoning added and mixed well into them. The longer they are allowed to absorb in the seasoning the better they will taste barbecuing. However, they must be careful they do not go bad.
The ‘agar-agar’ then has to be boiled with water and sweetened. Next, they are put into the refrigerator to solidify.
Three to four hours before the actual barbeque, I would have to start to get things ready. A couple of helpers are most welcome here. They must prepare the fireplaces, arrange the chairs and wash the plates and cups that will be used later.
An hour before the guests begin to arrive is the time to start the fire in the fireplaces. The charcoal needs to burn for some time before they are ready for barbecuing. If the fire is started just before the barbecue, then the chicken barbecued will most probably be burnt unevenly and may smell of kerosene. We need an even slow-burning fire, not a blazing inferno.
Then the mee and mee-hoon have to be fried. Ice must be bought and the drinks prepared. Thus when the guests come everything is ready and the barbecuing can start. Of course, this is assuming that the weather is fine. If not the fireplaces (which must be portable) must be brought under the porch prepared for the occasion.
Three fireplaces with three good barbecue cooks can cater to everybody present. If nothing unexpected happens then the barbecue would proceed nicely and everybody should be pleasantly satisfied with the food.
Finally, when the happy occasion ends and the guests have all gone it is time to clean up the mess left behind. Of course, helpers are most welcome.