Sometimes Saturdays call for a trip to the beach, and the simplest of meals cooked over coals.
There’s something satisfying about lighting a fire to prepare a meal. The smell, sounds and flavours remind me of camping trips as a kid.
The food here isn’t fancy, just a few sausages thrown in a backpack with a simple salad, fresh sliced bread and homemade plum sauce, along with some fire-starting basics – matches, paper and an old grill to cook on.
Find a spot that’s safe to light your fire, ideally an open flat area out of the wind. Clear away any plant matter or debris that could that could catch fire from the sparks, or hot ash. People often set out a ring of rocks around the fire, but be careful with this as sometimes they can explode.
My preferred fire-building method is the tepee. Collect a bundle of dry wood in varying sizes. Make a loose pile of paper and debris. Stack kindling around this, starting with smaller sticks first. Light the paper on all sides. As the fire grows, feed it with larger branches and eventually logs. Undertaking this process slowly helps make sure your fire is contained.
As the logs burn they’ll break down and become hot coals – this is what you want for your cooking rather than the hot flames. Scrape the coals into a flat surface and lay the grill down on top of them. Place your meat, and whatever else you’d like to cook on top of the grill, turning until cooked.
Once you’re done, let the fire burn down and douse it with water to make sure it’s out before you leave.