You’re just putting the finishing touches to your floral table decoration – by which I mean, scraping all the burnt flesh off the barby from the last time – when a text pings into your serenity.
“Just checking, do you remember that I’m a veggie? Can bring something. See you later! [Smiley face, blushy smiley face].”
See you later? See you in hell, more like! That little smiley face has wiped the smile right off your face. What now?
Either a) text back and say, “sorry, it’s cancelled”.
b) reply, “thanks, yes please, bring your own food” – possible but not really in the spirit of friendship
c) follow my handy guide…
#1 VEGGIES EAT CHEESE! Yes they do! Cheese is what makes their lettucey little life worth living! So slap on the mozzarella, crumble that feta with all your might, be free with the Cheddar slices.
#2 HALLOUMI IS THEIR HEAVEN! It’s like a slow-roasted pork belly is to you. Buy loads cos everyone else will want some too and veggies are not afraid to fight for their food.
# VEGGIES EAT EGGS TOO! AND DON’T STINT ON THE BUTTER! Want to whack some boiled eggs on a salad – go for it! No need to go non-dairy on the burger bun spread, we love the sweet butter!
# WE DRINK! Vegetarians are often confused with clean-living types. While some people do exhibit both qualities, don’t assume that your veggie guest won’t drink their weight in Sol. But just remember that…
# VEGGIES DON’T FILL US UP ON THEIR OWN! Although we veggies love the veggies – as the name suggests – we don’t live by vegetables alone. And if we drink all that Sol on a couple of pepper and courgette skewers, we, and your lawn, are going to be in trouble. Cheese us up please.
# KEEP IT CLEAN! Some veggies are less fussy than others, but personally, I didn’t give up meat to eat mushrooms cooked in sausage fat. Be a dear and save a little area of the bbq – which must remain SACROSANCT – for us; buy a little disposable one just for them, or is all else fails, cook theirs in the oven.
#DON’T CROSS-CONTAMINATE THE IMPLEMENTS! Woe betide you if a veggie approaches the BBQ and you are only holding one turning tool. My husband and close friends all know to hold up their tongs, one in each hand, when I come near and chant: “this is for meat, this is for veggies. Now go away.”
#RELAX! You don’t have to talk slowly to us. You can eat meat in front of us. We’re not going to judge you, or try to convert you (although the halloumi might do that). Just make out like we’re normal people and have fun.
So there you have it. You thought veggies were fussy before, eh…?
Here are some suggestions to make your veggie friend’s day at your BBQ this weekend:
Halloumi – slabs grilled on their own, chunks added to a veggie skewer, slices added to a salad of chicory drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil; any which way but scarce.
Potato salad – who doesn’t love a potato salad, and it’s great for lining the stomach.
Quorn sausages / burgers / steaks / chicken fillets – not all veggies like Quorn that much, but they will all appreciate the kind gesture. Personally, I love it.
Linda McCartney sausages – a classic and still possibly the best, in my view.
Nice salads – obviously salads are for meat-eaters too, but for veggies it’s often the majority of their BBQ meal so it’s especially nice if there’s a good one. Bulk up your iceberg with tomato and mozzarella, pine nuts, avocado, beetroot, spring onions, cauliflower, feta, grated carrot, celery etc…we’ll love you forever!
Large mushrooms – delicious for everyone; just add a dab of butter or crumble some Stilton on top.
Corn on the cob – nice and filling and good for all.
Veggie skewers – courgette, pepper, cherry tomatoes, baby mushrooms, red onion, aubergine, beetroot (pre-cooked) – we love it!
Note: Some veggies do not eat cheese, eggs or butter out of choice, but it’s vegans who don’t eat any dairy. Please check with your particular guest. Also, not all cheese is vegetarian – you can buy vegetarian cheese in most supermarkets. Call me a hypocrite but I eat any kind of cheese, I’m afraid…just you try and stop me!