The Charcoal Challenge

28 July 2013

The weather we have been having at the moment is pretty incredible. The news reporters are saying it's our longest heatwave in 7 years, and boy is it hot. Only downside is the humidity - woaaaah it is doing absolutely nothing for me hair. Apparently we've had humidity higher than Nigeria, and it's producing puffy frizzball hair that could rival Hermione Granger or Monica Gellar. One of the upsides to this gorgeous weather is the amount of bbq's we've been having. You couldn't produce better bbq weather if you wanted to! So when Money Supermarket put me to the test to do a 'Charcoal Challenge', I was very much up for this. With £50 to spend, I knew I could have a fun time and get my family and friends involved. However, in my family we don't do things simple. No no no. We have to expand upon something, rev it up a gear and go all out.


My parents own an allotment literally a stones throw from their house. They're growing pretty much everything this year and having salad, fruit and veggies on your doorstep is lovely. We decided to do our bbq by the side of our allotment, to produce less food mileage, eat our food as the sun went down and generally do something a little different. Oh, and we decided to go for a Jamaican theme. Yes. Jamaican. Max was ready to get into the spirit of things.


With the Jamaican theme fully in place, we had Red Stripe lager, Levi Roots Reggae Reggae sauce and Chilli Mango sauces. With some of the £50, I bought some sharing plates, dip bowls and bread plates from Matalan (which are now on special offer!) as I wanted something I could reuse for such occasions. We also had a variety of hot dips and spicy guacamole with some Cool Doritos. Nomanom!


We even donned leis, which should be strictly Hawaiian, but this made us feel like we were truly abroad and relaxing somewhere beautiful - even if the backdrop was a couple of sheds! With the iPod speakers playing a playlist of Jamaican and Reggae music, we really couldn't tell. My Mum had also made a rum punch that really did punch you when you drank it. I think it was a mix of Malibu, Bacardi, Sailor Jerry, and freshly squeezed juices. I drank too many of these.



Whilst the food was cooking, we chatted, played games, and said hi to other allotment owners coming to water their patch. It's the sort of place where it's really friendly, everyone knows each other, people were sampling Mum's dangerous punch and generally having a laugh. The men were acting like children, as ever!



When it was almost time to eat, my Mum picked and washed our fresh salad, some spring onions and rocket to have with our meal. There's something very rewarding about picking something from the floor that you've grown, washing it, and eating it. It's all very 'Dig For Victory'.



The chicken had been marinated in Reggae Reggae Sauce for 12 hours and was absolutely smackalicious to eat. It was only on the plate for pretty much these photos and then it was safely in our tums. We had to make a second batch because it was just so good! We just tore it up, plonked it on the sharing dish with the salad and ate it with our fingers. Delicious. We also barbequed fresh tuna steaks covered in chili, crab mango and avacado salad, and a Caribbean rice dish.



The sweetcorn is growing really well at the moment, and it's tall and beautiful. As you know, I'm never one to miss a Disney moment, so decided to sing Pocahontas songs whilst hiding in the sweetcorn itself. Classic Tamsin.


After a dessert of homemade Chocolate Cola Cake, we danced around the table singing to Bob Marley and UB40, and generally had a lovely Summers evening. Who wouldn't want a bbq in this weather? It's just another excuse to get together and have some fun. (Sack the photographer in the below shot for cutting off most of my body. At least you can see little Max's ticklesome belly!)



Many thanks to Money Supermarket who gave us the excuse to have a bbq (not that we needed one!) As we fed around 8 people, we did go slightly over the £50 budget, but we were able to purchase some gorgeous food, dips and crockery for the occasion, as well as some fancy dress (who can blame us?!) We loved the challenge and I can't see this being our last bbq at the allotment.

-Tamsin xxx

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  1. This looks like so much fun! The tuna dish sounds absolutely delicious xx

    Charlotte / coloursandcarousels

  2. This sounds perfect, great weather, company and food! Sounds like an amazing evening!

  3. Such a cool idea to have a bbq on a allotment, esp. to pick your own salad! I also adore Jamaican Max. I want to make my dogs all party-like!

  4. Ahh it looks like you had such a lovely evening! How lovely you were able to have it on the allotment with fresh salad ready to be picked! <3

    Jennie xo |

  5. Aw what a beautiful post! I've recently discovered the pleasure of growing edibles and I can't get enough. x Jazzy

  6. This looks like it was such a good time, you definitely know how to throw a BBQ! The food looks so yummy x

  7. This looks like utter perfection! I love the idea of barbecuing in the allotment so you can yank it straight out of the ground and cook it, picking your own salad is such a joy! We are so lucky to have our little garden but I do really like the idea of an allotment, it sounds like such a community which is really nice :) xo

    Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

  8. What a wonderful evening- nothing i like more in the summer than a BBQ out in the open. Max looks adorable in his floral necklace, should make it a permanent fixture! So glad you had a good evening, I'd love more lifestyle posts like this too, you have the cutest family! xx

    Visit The Other Side Of Cool

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