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

Alberta’s biathlon women sweep the podium

Alberta biathletes take four medals, including silver in men’s race, on Sunday

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

China accuses US of trying to block its tech development

BEIJING — China’s government on Monday accused the United States of trying… Continue reading

Electoral reform: All eyes turn to tiny P.E.I. as issue put to voters

CHARLOTTETOWN — Tiny Prince Edward Island has a chance to send a… Continue reading

Officials still working out how much oil leaked from derailment in Manitoba

ST-LAZARE, Man. — Canadian National Railway says it doesn’t yet know how… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

‘Black Panther’ costume designer blazes trail to inspire

LOS ANGELES — Ruth E. Carter is a black woman blazing a… Continue reading

Chicago police: Jussie Smollett assault case has ‘shifted’

Chicago police said Saturday the investigation into the assault reported by Jussie… Continue reading

Still-active human rights case speaks to lasting homophobia in Canada: activists

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Just over 14 years ago, the government of… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A Canadian couple who had to leave Haiti due to… Continue reading

Man charged in daughter’s death in hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wound: police

Police say a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of… Continue reading

Cabinet expected to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

OTTAWA — Canada’s energy regulator will tell the federal government this week… Continue reading

South African activists try to protect endangered pangolins

JOHANNESBURG — As World Pangolin Day is marked around the globe, Saturday,… Continue reading

Fourteen ‘dream’ homes ordered evacuated as sinkholes open in Sechelt, B.C.

Greg and Gerry Latham spent Friday morning scrambling to pack up family… Continue reading

Most Read