Hay’s Daze: Let’s do the Q

Someone said to me the other day: “Hey, let’s do the ‘Q’” and I scratched my head. OK, so my head was itchy but also, I didn’t have a clue about the “Q”. I thought maybe we were going to stand around in a “cue” which of course is the word that the British made up, meaning “lineup”. Why don’t they just say “lineup”?

Or perhaps I thought we were going to play pool, you know, using a cue. And a cue ball. But I knew that probably wasn’t it either.

“They have this super popular thing over at the neighborhood pub,” my friend says. “Once a week. A steak bar-b-que. All the fixins. And the ‘Q’ is a real deal!” He is smiling now, and I think he may also be drooling a little bit.

“I don’t think so,” I say. “I have this hedge that needs trimming and …”

“The first beer is included.” he adds.

“I’m in.” I say.

It’s bar-b-que season all right. I must say these days I’m not much of a bar-b-que-er, unless somebody else is wrangling the barbie, and then I’m a very enthusiastic participant in the eating part. But once upon a time, I used to be pretty good at it.

And I mean that in the sense of being able to burn some good meat once in a while. My go-to bar-b-que gear? A $10 Hibachi. I think everyone has owned a Hibachi at one time or another.

That tiny box-shaped cooking stove, not much bigger than a Stephen King hardcover, works surprisingly well. You’d throw it on a picnic table or right onto the ground (which wasn’t the best idea on account of it became a red-hot tripping hazard, not to mention the fact that you were left with a rectangular grass burn in your lawn about the size of a Stephen King novel.)

Then you’d dump a 10-pound bag of Kingsford charcoal briquettes into the Hibachi, spilling black toxic lumps all over the table and the ground etc.

Next were those relatively poisonous fire-starter cubes placed strategically within the charcoal pyramid pieces. Once you managed to light those with a cigarette lighter (12 minutes), you sit back and wait for the coals to burn till they are ‘just right’ (43 minutes).

This is an opportunity in the traditional Hibachi bar-b-que ritual to check the beverage cooler. Thoroughly and often.

Finally, when you can hold your hand over the coals to a count of three and only sear the first layer of skin off your palm, you are ready for the big moment — a T-bone steak the size of medium pizza. The scrumptious Safeway steak would seriously tax the sagging Hibachi grill but let’s face it; a four pound steak is the key to a successful bar-b-que.

I like my steak cooked precisely, accurately and carefully. Somewhere between “extra well done” and “charred”. The consistency of a potato chip is about right. None of this trendy “medium rare” nonsense — you might as well walk over and take a bite right out of a cow.

So I was pretty good at scorching the ol’ T-bone, as it were. It didn’t take a lot of talent, just a lot of charcoal, adult beverages and a good three hours or so. I think we wore out about five Hibachis over the years, but now we’ve got a fancy little Weber. It doesn’t burn the lawn but it’s not nearly as much fun.

So, “Why not?” I said to my friend. “Let’s go get into the cue for the ‘Q’”!

Harley Hay is a Red Deer writer and filmmaker.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

Get your guilty pleasures: Westerner Days food

Traditional sugary treats were served up by the plate, bowl and bucket… Continue reading

Centrefest brings feats of daring to Red Deer’s downtown

Fundraising was a tough slog, but it came together in the end

Count shows slight decrease in Red Deer’s homeless

In two years, the number of homeless in Red Deer has decreased… Continue reading

Redoing hip surgeries are costly, says new study

Redoing hip and knee replacements costs Canada’s health system $130 million a… Continue reading

WATCH: Cirque ZUMA ZUMA puts on a show at Westerner Days

ZUMA ZUMA performs three times a day during Westerner Days

PHOTOS: Red Deer’s Iron Buffalo rocks Westerner Days

Iron Buffalo opened for Helix and Lee Aaron Thursday at the ENMAX Centrium

Zuckerberg’s Holocaust comment puts Facebook on the spot

NEW YORK — Denying the Holocaust happened is probably OK on Facebook.… Continue reading

Brazilian police arrest ‘Dr. Bumbum’ after patient dies

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian police have arrested celebrated plastic surgeon Denis… Continue reading

Canadian marijuana company Tilray has first US pot IPO

SEATTLE — A Canadian company is the first marijuana business to complete… Continue reading

Dolphins anthem punishment includes suspensions

Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the national anthem… Continue reading

Soy “milk” makers may need to find alternative description

NEW YORK — Soy and almond drinks that bill themselves as “milk”… Continue reading

Calgary woman convicted in son’s strep death granted day parole

CALGARY — A woman whose son died after she failed to take… Continue reading

Greenpeace members arrested for climbing Olympic Stadium tower in Montreal

MONTREAL — Several Greenpeace members climbed the outside of the Olympic Stadium… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month