Phew! Summer’s in full swing and school holidays are almost over but there’s one last celebration before it’s back to work and sorting out that lunchbox situation. That’s right, Australia Day is here – the perfect excuse to don a flag cape, invite some friends over for a barbecue and appreciate what we love about Australia (without the pressure of presents and rarely seen family members).
Having a barbecue is pretty much synonymous with Australia Day and the great thing about that is that throwing one is pretty low stress with guaranteed delicious results. Before you get your grill on, here a few tips to make your Australia Day party the perfect end-of-summer event.
Cooking with gas
Nothing will take the sizzle out of your sausage quicker than discovering you’ve run out of gas just as you go to throw the first snags on the grill. Be prepared and if you think you’re light on gas, head to a servo first thing for a replacement bottle. Alternatively, check how much gas you’ve got left by conducting a little science experiment – pour hot water (don’t burn yourself) down the side of the gas bottle. A line of condensation should appear just below the level of the gas. If not, wait a few seconds and then run your hand down where you just poured the water - where the temperature changes is where the gas is. No change? You’re out of gas.
Keep it clean
“I’d love to clean the barbecue,” said no-one, ever, but it’s something that needs to be done and right before you have a group of friends over is as good a time as any. We know your dad used to do it with a ball of scrunched up newspaper once it was nice and hot, but you’re better off cleaning your grill and hot plates with a degreaser after you’ve scraped off any big chunks and flakes with a wire brush. Wipe down the body of the barbecue with hot soapy water and oil the plates with canola oil to prevent rust. Now, get cooking!
Food, glorious food
Australia Day is all about pretty simple food – like sausages, steaks, burgers and chicken and Woolworths have a great selection to make entertaining super simple. The best thing about an Australia Day barbecue is you can get a little bit fancy by using marinades ahead of time or offering your guests a variety of sauces - everything from traditional tomato sauce to smokey barbecue sauce, hot sauce and chutneys. Make sure there’s plenty of fresh bread and rolls along with some salads to round out the meal. It’s not Australia Day without a pavlova – sure, you can make your own, but Woolworths has a pre-made one that’s just right for a crowd and that way you can put your effort into some awesome decorations - a classic green and gold mango and kiwifruit combo, or a chocolate lovers dream with crushed up honeycomb and chocolate sauce or maybe a lamington-inspired version with raspberry jam, coconut chips and plenty of chocolate. Let your imagination run wild.
Keep it cool
It’s likely to be hot so make sure you’re all set up to keep your cool – fill an esky or laundry tub with drinks and then top with ice and a bit of water. Make sure you’ve got plenty of non-alcoholic beverages on hand and, if you’re using plastic cups, have a marker pen handy so you can write your name on it and not lose it.
How will you be celebrating Australia Day?