I’ve suffered barbecue trauma at the hands of partners past. There was the veggie burger with mysterious crunchy bits I’m sure were particles of grill that I simply could not gag my way through, even if it was $4.99 for 4 patties – way back when that would have bought 16 frozen patties made from something resembling beef. Barbecue sauce and processed cheese slices can only hide so much. That’ll learn me for requesting my veggie burgers not be bathed in beef burger drippings.
I’ll probably never get over the time I sent my ex boyfriend to pick up a barbecue that was on sale. The bastard was so cheap he wouldn’t even spend my money, so he came back with the exact same barbecue I already had. The one that was college dorm sized – perfect for a couple of burgers or hot dogs – not so good for a family that likes real food. His thinking was either I didn’t need a bigger barbecue because I was a vegetarian or that I didn’t deserve to have a nicer barbecue than him. I suspect the latter.
These days, the only men in my life are the ones I gave birth too and I run my own barbecue. It’s one I bought myself, and with the help of a Canadian Tire employee, took out of the box in the parking lot so that we could fit it in my car. Once it was home I assembled it by myself. Without the ex who was a complete twat, I find I enjoy the entire beer-in-hand grilling experience, even if I wish him a very satisfying good old ‘go fuck yourself’ often.
Yes I can hold a grudge and no, I won’t apologize for it or pretend otherwise.
My boys, the only men whose opinions matter these days, always appreciate my efforts. For them there’s still meat on my grill, but the star of the show will always be the grilled veggies. Sweet potatoes are one of our favorites. Even with two meat eaters in the house, our meals are heavily weighted to the vegetable and starch dishes so you may need to cut the quantities for your own family.
- 2-3 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2-3 tsp of Dried Chili Flakes
- 1-2 tsp of Ground Ginger
- 1-2 tsp of Ground Clove
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of vegetable oil.
Peel and cube your sweet potatoes into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes. The 2 sweet potatoes I used this time were massive so the result was probably 8 cups. In my house, it’s never enough.
Add your chili pepper flakes. Measurements given are suggestions because everyone has their own heat tolerance. I adore heat with my sweet, but my oldest likes even more heat yet. Keep in mind that the heat develops over time, so if you are prepping in advance you may prefer less chili pepper flakes.
Add ground ginger – again this is very much to taste – it’s only wrong if it’s too much for you.
Add your ground clove – another flavor I love and use heavily. You may prefer less.
Add your salt and enough vegetable oil to evenly coat the sweet potato. Don’t worry about excess, it drains away on the barbecue. It’s more important to make sure you have your pieces coated. You are looking to have enough oil to cook the outsides fast. This makes a sort of spicy crust or shell that keeps all the sweet inside. When everything goes exactly right, the result is little spicy-sweet flavor bombs for your mouth and believe me, it’s better than candy.
Here’s the complete meal – marinated tofu on top, honey garlic sausages and spicy grilled sweet potato. I never get seconds of any of it.