Well, shouldn't we?
Nobody knows if the buses are running, shops open and close at seemingly random times (how dare they!) and there are mis-placed and bored children everywhere.
It's as if the sun has it's own personal holiday too - whereas before the weekend you have spent all that time gazing at the sunshine, sweating up a storm in the office while furtively making lists of meat and salad ingredients for your weekend where you are 'sure it's going to stay like this', suddenly you are plunged into a pit of despair as you hit the weekend and happen to gaze upwards at the shitstorm of a black cloud that's about to descend on you.
As part of a campaign for Morrisons and Britmums, I was invited to shop at Morrisons this bank holiday weekend and check out their new I'M cheaper range, which I gladly did, especially as they kindly sent me some vouchers to do so.
Having recently moved house, we had yet to invite people over to 'ooh' and 'ahh ' at our quite lovely garden space (with decking - that's posh round these parts, you know?) so I thought of no better reason than to invite my nearest and dearest than hosting a well-timed BBQ.
Initially, as is usual for Scottish etiquette, everyone was 'pure dead keen, eh?'
We love the sun in Scotland. We get so very little of it and are so deficient in Vitamin D, that every time the sun makes a semi-appearance, the best of us whip off our tops and get out the baby-oil, which is sight to behold, let me tell you!
If you are unfamiliar or unsure with whether you should currently be 'taps aff' or taps oan', click HERE for a specific, up-to-the-moment instruction.
So, Friday night, vouchers in hand, after a long, hard, day at work (you know, all that hard work I do singing songs and telling stories to small children) I headed off to Morrisons, with my mum, who was quite excited at the prospect of BBQ weekend shopping (well, more than me - I'm a vegetarian).
We arrived about 7.30p.m to our local Dundee store, the promising sunshine just going down for the night.
Looking up at the store entrance, we could see an old Dundee emblem, celebrating the three J's - Jute, Jam and Journalism, which is a nice touch, making a national store seem slightly more, erm, local. If you look up. My mum (who shops here all the time) exclaimed 'Oh! I've never seen that before!' which means it is either poorly placed or she is quite unobservant (no comment).
Walking in, we began our shop at the veg department, which I have to say is looking swish. They have fancy coolers for the vegetables which steam and make you feel like you are in a futuristic veg shop, where you can buy any kind of fruit or veg you desire.
Look at the steam coming off those coolers! Amazing!
They seemingly had it all - yellow courgettes, white aubergines - the choice was endless.
The bunches of herbs were very appealing too - kept in fresh water and cooled. I loved the way the veg was laid out - very colourful and open and visual.
Next we happened upon the deli counter - mmm! Cheese!
Here I picked up some delicious Mexicana Cheddar (extra hot) for topping burgers and some Feta cheese, although there was a good range of cheddars and meats I could have picked up too.
The alcohol aisle was where it was at though - an impressive range and for a beer lover like myself, a grand selection from around the world. I was delighted to happen upon my three most favourite beers in the whole world!
Greece and Mexico both featured in this impressive array and I was chuffed to take home some Modelo Especial and Mythos Hellenic Lager, which, I'm not going to lie, didn't make it to the BBQ!
After loading up in the meat aisle, where we got a decent meat deal - 3 huge packs of BBQ meat (chipoltes, burgers and shish kebabs) for £10 - plus some chicken breast for £4, we headed to the checkout. The store closed at 9p.m, and we felt a bit rushed - the staff were obviously keen to get away, despite there being 20 minutes until closing time, but then I remember working in shops and being desperate to leave, so I can't blame them! Especially on a Friday night!
I must admit, despite the claim of cheaper prices, I did spend a lot more than I thought I had. And we went over budget by £20. Despite picking up a good few of the I'M Cheaper products and looking for meal deals when it came to meat, fruit and vegetables, I didn't feel like I'd got a lot for my money really. But then I did buy meat (which I wouldn't have usually) and stocked up on a good amount of beer (which I wouldn't usually), so I guess it wasn't crazy.
In conclusion, I do like Morrisons - it's a great shop with a huge variety - and I know where to get my world beers now! The children's clothing range is fabulous too - lots of amazing prints, good quality clothes at cheap prices; I really don't know why they don't make more of this.
I won't be going for my weekly shop however. The fruit and veg, although very well arranged and displayed with a huge variety wasn't local, or as good or as fresh or as cheap as the fruit and veg we get from our local Aldi. And being a vegetarian, this kind of stuff dictates! I can usually fill my trolley without looking in Aldi, but in Morrisons it would be too easy to go over budget without meaning to, which is dangerous!
The meat was very good quality for a very good price, however, so I would certainly return if I was having another BBQ. The store is also very well laid out and I love the 'Market Street' feel that's been put into it.
Returning home with our haul, I began preparing for the BBQ (the next day of course - I was knackered after all that!)
Here are two of the recipes we used on the big day.
Tom asked me if we could 'have kebobs please, mum?', to which I laughed and said 'you mean, kebabs' *chortle chortle*. But then I googled it , and actually, you can call them kebobs. #badmum #vegetarianproblems
1 pack of Morrisons Chicken Breast (diced) (£4 per pack)
1 Morrisons Lemon (99p pack of six)
175 ml Morrisons Olive Oil (99p for 250ml)
2 Cloves Morrisons Garlic (99p for 3 bulbs)
Various veg for skewering - Peppers (99p for 3), Onions (23p per Onion) and Courgette (grown in my own garden so, free!)
Makes Approx. 8-10 skewers
Cost per person: Approx. 71p per kebab.
To create the marinade, pour the oil into a bowl, squeeze a whole lemon in and crush 2 cloves of garlic. Whisk into the oil for about 30 seconds and add a dash of salt and pepper.
If you are a bit of a 'chicken' (ha ha, geddit?) like me #vegetarian problems and you don't like to touch the meat, then feel free to pinch my fork pincer idea (patent pending). I have perfected this technique over time and am quite good at it - no mess, no fuss, no chicken-y hands.
Leave your chicken in the lemon/garlic oil overnight in the fridge, wrapped in clingfilm to soak up all the flavour. The oil softens the chicken, keeping it moist for cooking over a BBQ and the lemon is an acid base which breaks down the proteins, allowing flavour to seep in.
Next day, chop up your veg into chunks and put onto skewers, interspersing with chicken.
Grill in oven for around 10 mins, or until chicken is cooked through.
Place on BBQ for full flavour!
As you can see, we braved the great outdoors. The sun was high in the sky at about 12p.m. Had we had our BBQ then, perhaps more folk would have turned up.
But in true Scottish style, by 3p.m (BBQ time) the black clouds rolled in and the rain began almost at the exact same time Dave lit the match for the first grill.
In inequitable Scottish-style though, we persevered. We sat in that sodding rain until it blew sideways. Then we called it a day and headed back inside, gathering everything we could and took shelter to eat in the house. The plus side was that we didn't have to extinguish the grills - the rain took care of that for us (Scottish trait = looking on the bright side with a hint of sarcasm and woe).
|Tom telling us about how to make 'kebobs!'|
Fresh and healthy, these wraps are a quick and easy addition to any picnic or BBQ.
1 Block Morrisons Feta (£1.69)
A handful of Mint Leaves (Morrisons, 79p a bunch)
Watercress (Morrisons, 99p per bag)
Wraps (Morrisons Savers, 69p for 6)
Cost per serving: Around 69p per whole wrap, 35p per half wrap.
Simply chop up the mint, mash into the Feta with a fork, spread on a wrap, roll up with some watercress and chop in half! Easy, quick and very tasty!
Despite the weather, we had a great day. Close family and some good friends came to see us later on (they'd worked out it was going to be a bit of a washout - we're no' daft) and my bestest bud even popped by for an unexpected visit, which was really rather lovely. The kids had a blast - they love visitors and are always pleased when anyone at all visits, so en masse like this is just creating some wonderful memories for them. It's a thumbs up from Tom anyway!
*Disclaimer: I took part in the #Morrisonsmum/#Morrisonsdad challenge in conjunction with BritMums and Morrisons. I was given vouchers to purchase food and goods within Morrisons over the Bank Holiday weekend, without any requirement to give a positive review. Opinions and recipes are my own. @BletheringBoys