Come to our barbeque, bring your own meat…

13 Dec

Weber Family Q305 2

I am so embarrassed.

Some old friends invited me to a barbecue at their new place. I was so looking forward to seeing them. I packed the kids into the car and headed their way. We walked in and exchanged hugs and greetings. I sat down and watched as other guests arrived, proudly handing over parcels of meat to my friend’s husband who was firing up the barbecue. Crap. We were meant to bring our own meat (and drinks apparently) and I hadn’t brought a thing. I’d heard about such events but I had never been to one.

I hate being invited to barbecues these days. It’s just gotten worse.

Have you noticed how many barbecues require you to bring your own meat? And it’s not even that you have to bring your own meat that is the real issue – it’s that it’s hard to tell which barbeques you have to bring meat to and which you don’t.

Rarely does anyone bother to let you know if you are meant to supply your own meat…they just seem to think you’ll figure it out. So you either turn up to a barbecue expecting meat to be provided and it’s not (we had to go down the road to KFC for our lunch once) or you bring meat to a party that has it already (and you’re esky of sausages is left to rot in the car).

This is fair enough when it comes to drinks. If you want to get on the piss then bring your own alcohol. Alcohol is expensive and people like specific brands. But being invited to lunch and then having to provide your own lunch is filled with uncertainty and wrong assumptions.

Will sides be provided? What about plates and forks? Can I use one of your napkins? Is there any water?

And meat-envy is the WORST. I turned up once with cheap chicken sausages (because I knew my kids would eat them) and my friends were barbecuing chicken thighs marinated in lemon, olive oil, garlic and rosemary. I almost did a grab-and-run. They smelled AMAZING.

In my family we have never asked guests to bring their own meat. The thought is preposterous. We are Italian. We are happy to over-feed you at our expense. But pasta is cheap and meat is expensive. How do you socialize and keep it affordable?

This is why I think we need to adjust new-age-barbecues a little. If guests have to bring their own meat, TELL THEM. Or even better…if everyone brings a dish then we can all share. That way there is no food envy and you don’t have to fry your meat on your corner of the barbecue, trying to avoid your friend’s t-bone steak. We can slap it all on, put it all out and dig in.

Barbecues are Australian but if they are going to continue without incident we need to start communicating better or switch to picnics, although picnics seem to be increasingly BYO too.

I pulled my friend aside at my first BYO-barbecue and explained that I hadn’t brought anything. I apologized profusely and she said no worries, she had enough for us. I fed the kids but stuck to communal corn chips myself. It really was the worst day.

I have another barbecue tomorrow and we weren’t told if we had to bring meat so I texted and vaguely asked if I needed to bring anything. “Just meat if you are staying for the barbecue…and drinks”, she responded.

I mean really. She’d better have nibbles.

6 Responses to “Come to our barbeque, bring your own meat…”

  1. Emma December 14, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    I was once invited to a bbq and was asked to bring our own meat (prior to arriving, thankfully!). So we bought some very expensive steaks – which the hostess promptly put into the fridge and presented us with their own cheap overcooked gristly meat. I asked my husband as we were leaving if we could take our steaks back home with us as they weren’t cooked and eaten…


  2. .: Cath :. (@mybeardedpigeon) December 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Yeah I hate it! Bring meat, bring beer oh and could you make a salad?? Seriously why go out!!we invite people and always say: bring nothing!! Nothing!! You are our guest.


    • Luisa Munoz December 17, 2012 at 8:02 am #

      Jo! I completely understand what you mean. I am from a South American family. We live for Asado’s (which is spanish for meat bbq). I never once remember our families asking to bring meat or anything like that to any sort of gathering. And now as a parent, my husband and I NEVER ask this of our guests. Very awkward. I once went to a bbq and had to take my own meat etc. I didn’t think I had to guard my things and when it was time for a drink and food. Someone had helped themselves to it. Rude. Never again and we always turn down events where we have to bring our own anything.


  3. Cathy December 20, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Lol Jo I didn’t realize you were Italian! I am too so I understand where you are coming from 🙂


  4. Sarah @ Pearls of Willsdom December 26, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    Totes with you, Jo. You know what else I hate in the same vein? Kids being invited to birthday parties and having to pay for their own entry/meal/ticket AND bring a gift for the birthday boy/girl. Maybe I was Italian in a former life, because it doesn’t sit well with me. Really enjoy your writing. Ciao.


  5. Ziggy February 3, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    I Hate this concept to my very core!!! If I invite you to my place, we provide everything except alcohol! We attended a BBQ today for our Nephew’s birthday party. Yes, we were asked to bring our own meat- check! Yes, bring present for nephew- check! But this has to take the cake!!! Yes, bring own BBQ cooker so everyone can cook on it-check!!! Some people have got a hide, EVEN family!!!


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