If there’s one thing that we really miss about life in Texas and South Africa, it would have to be grilling meat with family and friends. Good times – the best times! In SA we call it a “braai”, but until picking up that term – from all this time with his South African lady – Justin always referred to it as a barbecue. I love hearing him say “braai” now. It’s cute hearing him say the words that I grew up saying! Since I got to have a Baby Shower last month, Justin thought that he would have a baby-related party too. We went out and bought a portable grill, and he sent out some invites to his guy friends here in China. Next weekend he will be having a Diaper Shower with a bunch of guys — they will be cooking meat on the “braai”, drinking a couple of beers, and enjoying the great view from our balcony. Of course, we had to open up the grill before then and try it out to make sure that it was good… and that is what we did last night! We bought two big steaks and then came home to set up for our very first braai in China! Justin was very excited to set up the grill, and while he did that I made some cheese sandwiches (for toasties, hmmm) and a salad. The wind was howling so we decided to light the fire inside our balcony, not on the area outside. That may sound crazy, but we have a big balcony with massive windows, so it worked really well. The charcoal that we bought was smokeless, so it worked perfectly!
Setting up the grill
We bought the grill at B&Q and even though it is pretty small, it is just the right size for the two (three) of us, and even a few friends. We are looking forward to having some people over in the summer months, when the outdoor balcony will be a great place to hang out.
It wasn’t a cold evening, but the wind was howling up on the 24th floor. The odd thing was that when we left for the grocery store a bit earlier the same day, there was no wind down on the street-level. Either we were being hit by some freakishly high winds, or the weather changed quickly after we got home. Qingdao is a bit like Cape Town – when the wind blows, it BLOWS, and being up on the 24th floor means that you feel it even worse.
At first we were not sure if it was a good idea to light the coals on our indoor balcony area, but the wind outside was awful so we had to choose one of two options – abandon the braai idea, or give it a try on the indoor balcony. We were so happy when we realised that this coal barely gave off any smell or smoke at all. Justin had a great time grilling the steaks for us.
Hmmmm… What a prefect way to spend our evening!
Our first braai dinner in China
Seeing as this was our first attempt, I must say that it all turned out really great! Hopefully next week is not as windy so that Justin and the guys can have their braai on the outside balcony where there is plenty more room to sit around and relax. At least we know that even if the weather is bad, we can still braai on the inside balcony since there is no smoke, and our little grill works perfectly.