The Barbecue Pipe
We’ve been cooking over coals back home as long as I can remember. Bonfires on the beach weren’t the same unless you threw a few potatoes on the coals.
Barbecuing was a relatively new thing when I was a kid, but became popular fast. I think the first one I saw used was the old table top Hibachi. Then everyone had the old orange one with the tripod legs. You’d see this in pretty much everyone’s yard or on their step, and it remains pretty popular even now.
Dad worked at the Department of Highways and had access to a few old discarded items. Once corrugated steel pipes started to replace the old concrete ones, those old ones were discarded. Dad claimed a huge one as you can see here. I have no idea how he got it home. I remember we rolled it up around the back of the house. The thing was huge, its opening was about 3 feet in diameter.
This became our barbecue. Dad drilled holes in it about half way down, and inserted some long bolts. On these he rested a flat circular piece of iron. On top of this we filled it to about 3/4 full with sand. Our charcoal went on top of this. I don’t recall what we had for a grill, it may have even been an old oven grate, but many many MANY meals were cooked over that.
Our house was a congregating place, and it wasn’t unusual to see Eric, Barry, Bernard, Elvis, Derek, Rod, and many more from time to time a
ll over at once, and everyone bringing their own meats, dogs, burgers, fish, and whatever else, and cooking up one huge scoff.
Mom would make salads, keep us going in plates and things to drink, and clean up after us. Dad would help her, and us, and be a part of everything. I’m not sure how they had the energy to keep up with a houseful day after day but they did, and am thankful for it. That old pipe cooked up a lot of meals for us, and represented a lot of companionship. Food was and is more than a meal back home, its a tradition of sharing what little we had, and spreading the food, and the joy, fun and love of family around.
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