London Broil (part 1)

For once I was not the victim, I was just visiting. Following the Duck BBQ incident, I actually became quite proficient in the use of this weapon of mass destruction. One of my favorite dishes was London Broil. It is simplicity to make. You take a Fred Flintstone sized Top Sirloin steak (a couple of pounds), and marinade it in onions and Worcestershire sauce. Cook on high for 10 mins per side, thin slice it (on the bias) and serve on fresh crusty French rolls with a bowl of Au Jus and some freshly made Horseradish Sauce, you are good to go!

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On a scale of 1 to 10, this dish comes in at a 1 on the difficulty scale, and an 11 on the taste scale.

My work mate Al and his wife weezy (Louise) had sampled the dish a few times. One day Al informed me that he was moving into the BBQ world and my ex-wife and I were expected for a BBQ extravaganza the following Saturday afternoon.

The day started pleasant enough, the sun was shining and the wind was just a mere zephyr. A better day for a BBQ I could not imagine.

Al had indeed mastered some of the more important aspects of the art of the BBQ, marinading both the meat and the recipients prior to eating. This is somewhat similar to the Tailgating theory of 12 beers before the football game starts (More info here).

A couple of hours into the adventure, Al asked me if I wanted do ‘Hot Knives’. I was curious, as this was a BBQ term that I was unaware of, but I always like to learn new techniques. Hot Knives, I quickly learned had nothing to do with the art of the BBQ. It requires a two liter plastic soda bottle that has had the bottom cut off it, two butter knives, an electric stove, and a small lumps of Hash. The knife blades are heated till the glow, the victim places the top of the soda bottle in their mouth and exhales. The Hash is squished between the knives and you take a deep breath in and hold it.

My lungs exploded, and I spent the next 15 minutes in some form of coughing purgatory. “so what did you think” my host and hostess asked? “you just shortened my life expectancy by 20 years” was my reply.

As to the ‘high’, it was likely akin to the ‘high’ that a worm gets when it sinks beneath the water attached to a fisherman’s hook!

The adventure though was just starting. Al invited me to step outside and marvel at his new BBQ. He had purchased one of those funky little portable picnic ones.

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I retreaded to the relative safety of the house and another ice cold beer to soothe my still very sore throat.

About now would be the ideal time to explain that there is a reason why propane BBQ’s all come with a warning label telling you not to use them indoors. The first and only sign that someone had failed to read this important warning label was the KABOOOM from the kitchen.

Other than missing eyelashes and eyebrows, an a very badly bruised ego, Al had escaped relatively unharmed.

After a cold beer to calm his nerves we got the whole story. The wind had picked up a bit outside, and try as me might he could not get the BBQ to light. His solution was to temporarily bring it inside then once lit take it back outside. Unfortunately he had left the propane on during the journey which meant there was a goodly amount of the vapor collecting in the BBQ, to make matters worse, he had the lid firmly closed. The introduction of a naked flame into the ignition vent….well go can guess the rest.

For some reason Al had lost interest in the idea of BBQing, so London Broil was off the menu and we instead dined on Chips and Dip, and deviled eggs.

Later that evening Al asked if I would like to see he new toy, a TRS80.

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Al and I both worked in the computer industry so we were both very interested in new technology. Al was nothing if not creative, he had wired up a speaker to the beast. “I can make it talk to me” he boasted. Apparently he had spent many hours delving into the mysteries of the Peek and Poke functions of the Basic programming language and after much trial and error had created speech. The vocabulary was a little limited, in fact only one word, but it was clearly a start. He loaded the program, turned the volume up, and a loud robotic voice said “Shithead”.

Now that’s what I call technology!

Simon Barrett

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