When I invite friends over for an outdoor barbecue, my intentions are of course to enjoy witty banter and good company, but also more selfishly to avoid that dreaded mountain of mucked up and crusted over pans that inevitably accumulate at breakneck speed when having a conventional ‘dinner party.’
A stranger to that dish mountain I am not; though when cooking for just the boy and she-who-must-avenge-every-toilet-paper-roll-ever I usually manage very well to keep my kitchen tracks clean and tidy, a strange phenomenon occurs when other people come into the equation, and a quick glance over from the dinner table frighteningly reveals a scene much less calm and serene Ina Garten, much more the set of that awfully annoying 80′s comedian Gallagher who has some sort of unexplained vendetta towards fruit.
If you’re anything like me, after a long night of prepping, cooking, laughing, and relaxing, the last thing you want to do is break out the Bar Keepers’s Friend, and there is no better way to ruin the next day than throwing cleaning-caution to the wind, and deciding that “honey, let’s just clean it up tomorrow.”
However when the party moves from inside to outside and dinner is charred up and cooked on a grill instead of spattering and sputtering all over the impossible to clean gas stovetop, suddenly that last cocktail is a lot less stressful. Sure there is the sensation of that lovely warm late-August breeze rounding your shoulder-tops, the gentle flicker of the hummingbirds wings as they flutter past the table, and the dusky orange sky that has taken to settling in right around eight o’clock….but the best part of late Summer barbecues?