With hopes that the cold and wet weather will be behind us soon (it’s pouring with rain as we post this so maybe not!!) we live in hope of a long and warm (not too hot, just pleasant please) summer ahead of us. With summer and hot evenings brings eating ‘Alfresco’ (apparently that is defined as ‘In the open air’) and this means… Yes folks, the uncovering of the BBQ!! This week is National BBQ week (is that why it’s raining so much??) so we couldn’t let such a British tradition pass without us talking about it (and not just because it’s food related 😊).
Dave: I am a traditionalist when it comes to BBQs and continue to have a charcoal fired one. I’ve had the same BBQ for about 10 years, a cheap, round fold away one that I bought from Homebase (other home DIY supply shops are available). You might ask how it’s lasted 10 years… well, this is because it only gets used about once or twice each year (if we’re lucky) and spends the remaining time hanging up in my shed being used as a home for spiders.
I really enjoy the taste of barbequed food and would, if I had better sight, use the BBQ more than we do now. I have strategies in the kitchen for cooking and think that I do pretty well in this department; however, it’s very different when it comes to the BBQ.
The problem with a BBQ is that:
a) You have to set them up and light the coals about 3 hours before you want to cook on them. I find that you have to allow 3 hours as it usually takes several attempts (usually using a bottle of lighting fluid and packet of firelighters) to light them unless you cheat and use the impregnated charcoal or buy the charcoal where you just light the bag
b) It’s outside… usually in a sunny garden where the glare is impacting on the little sight I have remaining
c) They smoke… the smoke always (yes always) comes in the direction of the chef and for me, trying to see through smoke with watering eyes that aren’t functioning due to the glare of the sun is an accident waiting to happen
d) They eat my food… It’s true, for some reason, every time I go to turn a burger or roll a sausage they’ve gone… Usually this is due to them rolling off of the BBQ on to the floor (does the 5 second rule apply outside?) or they have fallen from my tongs and dropped in to the coals without me noticing
e) And finally, I can’t tell if things are cooked… Unlike an oven that has a controllable temperature or a hob that has a dial to change the heat a BBQ has the following heat settings: cold > not quite hot enough to cook > too hot to cook > not hot enough to cook > cold. There doesn’t seem to be a time in the middle for optimal cooking! As a result, when I do cook (and to be honest, I’ve not cooked on a BBQ now for a couple of years) I really do have no idea if the food is cooked. I think that this is a very visual thing and something that I now have to let other people do for me.
I would be keen to know if there are any other vision impaired people out there who refuse to give up on using a BBQ and have found alternative strategies to combat such problems or maybe you’ve found a new type of BBQ that would work for me. If so, please leave us a comment or get in touch as we would love to hear from you!
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.