Whilst enquiring about Money Supermarket's recent Big Night In competition (which I was too late for, boo hoo) I found out about their latest competition, The Charcoal Challenge*, where bloggers are each given £50 to throw a budget barbecue.
With the amazing weather we've been having recently here in the UK, I thought why the hell not and set about organising it!
I decided to take a trip to Aldi (which, by the way, is a seriously underrated store; the food in there is amazing and so cheap) in an attempt to stretch my budget a little further, and boy did I manage to get a whole load of food. We just had a small family barbecue between the four of us; my mum, dad, sister and I, so although we just spent around £44 of the £50 budget, I thought if I bought any more food we might spontaneously combust.
As you can see from the picture there was so much to get through.
As we already have a
prehistoric reliable, sturdy barbecue, I thought it unnecessary to buy another, hence spending all the money on food and a bag of charcoal. We bought everything from salmon fillets and chicken to bread, peppers and bananas; all of which was shoved onto the barbecue bit by bit.
My dad decided to use the chicken to make his (kind of) famous Tandoori chicken, which, by the way, is absolutely amazing. If any of you chefs out there fancy giving it a whirl then let me know in the comments and I can type up the recipe for you!
The salmon fillets were Aldi's lime and chilli flavoured fillets, which were also extremely tasty done on the barbecue and again I really would recommend giving them a whirl; I don't remember the price exactly but I do remember them being a bargain for the quality!
We also popped some tomatoes, peppers, sausages and paninis onto the barbecue and made a potato salad with the other goodies we bought. Most of the fruit was used in the blackcurrant Pimms.
Whilst waiting for the food, my mum and I set about picking out the prettiest bits and bats we could find to decorate the table and bench with. We've had the elephant blanket for probably over 20 years, but it still remains one of my absolute favourites. It's probably hideous to most of you but for some reason I love it!
I salute my dad (I never understand why it seems to insult a man's masculinity if they cant take charge of the barbecue?!); the food really did taste as good as it looked. I could have just eaten it all over and over again.
Plus I think I deserve a good pat on the back for that impressive jug of Pimms, no?
I'm quite ashamed to say we almost demolished the whole lot; I think we had a sausage, a couple of paninis and a piece of chicken left over, all of which the dog very happily polished up.
As if that wasn't enough, for dessert we decided to barbecue some peaches and bananas, and topped it off with some clotted cream (I know, how healthy are we?) and some chopped pistachio nuts.
All I can say is if you haven't tried barbecued bananas you are seriously missing out. Sort it out!
Overall we had such an amazing barbecue; the food was absolutely divine. We finished it off with a shameful performance on my part during a game of Trivial Pursuit.
Family day, stunning weather and a stomach fit to burst equals one happy Jo!
I'd just like to say a massive thank you to Money Supermarket for giving me the chance to take part! It was probably the best barbecue I've ever had.