After a very long slog, I finally finished my exams last week, which I thought called for a celebration! And what better way to celebrate than with a nice, sunny barbecue? Although I admit, the sunny part was slightly ambitious for Wales…
I love eating outside and was feeling the need to get my fix of Vitamin D after too many days spent shut away in my study with my head buried in a textbook! So armed with bean burgers, halloumi and plenty of cider, I set out to meet my friends.
But unfortunately, it seems that barbecues are just another of those times when it’s not socially acceptable to be a vegetarian. As far as I can work out, there are three such occasions: 1. Christmas dinner, 2. Full English breakfasts, 3. Barbecues.
Your normally understanding friends are likely to do one of the following:
a) Look bemused and ask: “But what DO vegetarians eat at barbecues?”
b) Argue that beef burgers are far superior to bean burgers and swear that the smell of sausages will convert you.
c) Try to make a joke out of the whole thing by saying something like: “Well, for every cow you don’t eat, I’m going to eat two..!” (Yes, I really have heard that one.)
All in all, barbecues are a trying time for vegetarians. Even if you manage to persuade your friends that actually, vegetable kebabs are very tasty and that the smell of burgers probably won’t stop you being veggie after 10 years, you still have to deal with the barbecue itself.
There are a number of pitfalls here. If you’re the only veggie present and your host has provided you with a separate barbecue, you instantly feel like you’ve caused trouble and then you look like a loner with their own “special” food.
Worse still, you have to cook your food alongside all the meat and however hard your friends try to keep their burgers away, someone will inevitably say: “Sorry, I think I just got meat juice on your veggie sausages.” This is far from ideal.
But despite all this, I still love barbeques. As soon as the sun comes out, I just want to head to the beach, crack open a nice cool beer and enjoy the long summer evenings.