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A cuckoo in the nest and cake for breakfast

September 25, 2011

Gingerbread and pears

Something new has arrived in our garden.  It’s got lots of knobs, cast iron grills and is powered by gas.  In a bout of anthropomorphism, I’m thinking that our old barbecue is looking a little green.  With envy that is, rather than just paint.  It suspects a cuckoo in the nest, pushing it out of the limelight as the beautiful weather approaches and our outdoor life begins in earnest.

What is it?

For our dear old kettle and any barbecuing purist, let me assure you that we will carry on cooking on charcoal for the most part.  KP has got the indirect heat method of grilling down to a fine art these days and nothing beats a tender, smokey piece of sirloin or a whole leg of lamb to carve and share with friends.  I’m thinking of the new interloper as the means of having an extended cooking area that I can use spontaneously.

Instead of standing under the striplight of my (rented) kitchen, while my teens hold their breath at the smell of fish, I can be under the night sky with no complaints to disturb my reverie.

Barbecued breakfast is the meal I’m most looking forward to.  Not just rashers and sausages (but again those aromas will be so much nicer in the garden than inside the house), but French toast, grilled peaches, fruit brochettes with yoghurt, even pancakes – not everything has to go straight on the grill.

Green barbecue in my garden

So combining an al fresco start to the day with my favourite way of using up dinner party leftovers has got to be a good thing. Cake for breakfast.  Gingerbread was in abundance after preparing one slab for supper for twelve the night before and another for a huge tea party (more about this in a few days).  Generous slices of the cake were grilled first, followed by fairly thick slices of fresh pear dipped in orange juice.  I used a cast iron pan on the heat (you can also cook directly on the bars, just make sure all traces of meaty stuff is cleaned off first).  Once grill lines were evident, the pears and gingerbread were drizzled with a bit of syrup from a jar of stem ginger (although maple syrup would be good too).  Greek yoghurt and honey is another good addition.

Gingerbread and pears

Here’s a link to the gingerbread recipe which I follow verbatim from Tamasin Day Lewis and it’s so good I don’t see how it could be improved upon (the raw cake mixture is quite irresistible too).

As someone from a barbecuing nation, I’m not sure if  Jeanne of Cooksister ever starts her day with brekkie on the Braai, but I wanted to join her and other South Africans (including fellow Dubai-dweller My Mezzaluna) in marking National Braai Day.  I cooked fresh fruit brochettes for her annual barbecue event Braai, the Beloved Country last year (here’s the round-up), so I’ve continued the fruity theme.  Cheers Jeanne – Happy Braai-day.

For Dubai dwellers, you have two choices for gas for your barbecue.  You can buy a cylinder from Ace Hardware and take it to one of the LPG suppliers for filling (Ace has a list) or use the butane that is supplied for indoor cooking from the home delivery suppliers.  You will have to buy a regulator and bottle from them.  For more info about Weber here’s the link for the UAE.

Expect many more barbecue-centred articles from me over the coming months (apologies to readers in parts of the world where you are just heading into Winter).  What’s the strangest or most unconventional thing you cook on the barbecue?

  1. September 25, 2011 9:36 am

    Glad you participated Sally! Love the green Weber. We have been wanting to switch to gas from charcoal for the longest time, mostly so that I can cook outdoors impromptu. Thanks for the mention too…

    • September 25, 2011 9:05 pm

      We’ve been umming and ahing for ages. Now very excited.

  2. September 25, 2011 10:38 am

    My husband spoilt me two years ago by buying me an Outdoorsman outdoor gas cooker, I love it and often cook on it instead of my kitchen stove. I’ll also be posting a lot of barbecue dishes over the summer. Your breakfast looks sublime 🙂

    • September 25, 2011 9:05 pm

      I’ll be popping over for inspiration – I’ve never used a gas barbecue so I’ll be doing a lot of practising.

  3. September 25, 2011 11:11 am

    if only i had a backyard!! the weather is just getting better and you’re all set for barbeque season 🙂

    • September 25, 2011 9:04 pm

      There are some teeny weeny kettle barbecues – could you squeeze one on a balcony…or take it to the park. Actually we should do that next…

  4. September 25, 2011 11:24 am

    That’s a serious bit of kit and a lovely looking breakfast. Beautiful colours and that blend of tastes and textures sounds perfect. We always like to finish off our BBQ with something sweet like peaches or marshmallows.

    • September 25, 2011 9:03 pm

      I now feel like I neglect my teens – they love marshmallows and I’ve never thought to put them on the barbecue. To be rectified.

  5. September 25, 2011 12:04 pm

    I’ve been begging my husband to get us a barbeque (gas one) for our balcony!!!! you can imagine what his answer is 😦 i love anything with pears in it and im sure it tasted wonderful with the gingercake……what a great combo. so sorry to have missed it at the cakeathon!

    • September 25, 2011 9:02 pm

      You were missed – and I’m sure you would have brought the most beautiful cake too.

  6. September 25, 2011 12:22 pm

    These are the kinds of posts that make me hungry and miserable. I’d fight a herd of water-buffaloes to have a plate of grilled pears and that fantabulous cake right now.

    • September 25, 2011 9:01 pm

      I won’t make you go to those lengths. Do you want a doggy bag?! 🙂

  7. Wicki permalink
    September 25, 2011 3:38 pm

    Lovely! Cheers, Sally. Wicki

  8. September 25, 2011 4:11 pm

    Those photos look so tempting. With the weather getting better with each passing day, barbecues are going to light up in every garden around here. The cake & the grilled pear look like a match made in heaven. TOtally yum.

    • September 25, 2011 9:01 pm

      The months are stretching before us aren’t they. Can’t wait. Thanks for your very nice comment.

  9. September 25, 2011 5:41 pm

    Wow, that looks so good! The pear with the gingerbread is such a great idea.

    • September 25, 2011 9:00 pm

      Thanks – a classic combo but I’d never tried it grilled. Very easy and delicious. Thanks for dropping by.

  10. September 25, 2011 6:33 pm

    You barbecued pears?! This sounds nuts but they look fantastic, especially with gingerbread. Very envious of the green barbecue – I am nuts about green kitchen kit.

    • September 25, 2011 8:59 pm

      Wasn’t sure it would work – but very easy. Love barbecuing fruit.

  11. September 25, 2011 9:07 pm

    Great light and colours in your photos!
    BBQ fruit sounds posh! 🙂

    • September 25, 2011 9:09 pm

      Thanks so much. Sounds posh but really not – delicious and easy.

  12. September 25, 2011 9:11 pm

    How wonderful of you to partake in National Braai day! My hubby would braai 7 days a week, 3 meals a day given half the chance!
    Have a happy week.
    🙂 Mandy

    • September 26, 2011 8:39 pm

      Ha ha. My husband is keen on barbecuing too.

  13. September 26, 2011 1:02 am

    Love barbecue recipes…Keep them coming. Thanks!

  14. September 26, 2011 2:15 am

    Sigh…can I come to your place for breakfast? My men all just eat cereal, but I could demolish some bbq’d gingerbread and pears!

    • September 26, 2011 8:40 pm

      Yep they all eat cereal here too. BBq breakfast for one!

  15. September 26, 2011 10:22 am

    wonderful! we work the double method too! here in germany it especially means grilling all through winter! my grilled breakfast favorite is grilled grapefruit with cinammon sugar and then drizzled w honey!

    • September 26, 2011 8:40 pm

      Good for you – I like grilled grapefruit too – much try it on the BBQ

  16. September 26, 2011 10:42 am

    We’re heading into winter here in the UK but still resolutely using the BBQ! I send my boyfriend out into the cold and dark and he returns with gorgeously grilled meat, fruit and vegetables…bliss! I love doing thick italian bread on the BBQ then rubbing with garlic, olive oil and sea salt to make beautiful bruschetta. If I’m making something sweet it would have to be bananas in foil with chocolate and nuts, but I LOVE the look of that grilled gingerbread too and will be trying soon!

    • September 26, 2011 8:41 pm

      With you totally on the bruschetta and baked bananas – I like mine with rum.

  17. September 26, 2011 10:56 am

    I just love your breakfast! We have a ‘boys braai’ – a normal charcoal / wood braai for talking around which Dave and I used on Saturday night while enjoying the most amazing sunset 🙂

  18. September 26, 2011 2:26 pm

    No wonder the poor old Kettle is looking envious. The pears look divine, as does the gingerbread. And I’m a great believer in eating anything you like for breakfast, so this looks perfect.

    • September 26, 2011 8:42 pm

      Oh I do so agree – whatever starts your day off well.

  19. September 26, 2011 4:21 pm

    What a wonderful breakfast treat! So divine and refined.



  20. September 26, 2011 5:50 pm

    looks delish!!!

    • September 26, 2011 8:43 pm

      Thanks Rosa – refined? I’ll take that as a big compliment. Thanks Tinkerbelle.

  21. September 27, 2011 10:52 am

    Yes. Yum. Hmmm. Once I put pie cherries (the yellow, not-too-sweet variety) on the BBQ…they became deliciously sweet, and I ate them hot. Happy memories indeed! Our BBQ season is still on, but by the end of October, if we want to grill, that means Dave bundles up and dashes outside to check on things and dashes back in to stay warm. So– enjoy for us!

    • September 27, 2011 10:17 pm

      Ha ha – that never happens here. A warm cardigan is the heaviest thing I ever need outside!

  22. September 29, 2011 3:05 pm

    OMG you have a pistachio Weber?? Envious? Me?? Never! ;o) Love the flavours you have put together here (I’m a sucker for stem ginger). Loe those perfect grill marks on the pears too… Thanks so much or taking part in this event 🙂


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