Sleutelwoorde

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Braai

Barbecue (or Braai as it is known in South Africa) refers to the roasting of red meat, poultry or fish over hot coals. Sometimes vegetable kebabs, breadrolls, salads, potato bakes and dessert are also added to the menu.

To my mind, however, there is a huge difference between a Barbecue and a Braai:

A Barbecue is a formal occasion where stylishly dressed guests sip champers and martinis while they wait for the food to be served up at a table, by equally stylishly dressed catering staff. Guests eat from porcelain plates and make use of cutlery and linen napkins. They discuss world politics, but there is hardly ever a difference of opinion, as they all belong to the same Party.

A Braai is an informal get together in someone’s backyard or at a camping ground. Casually dressed family members and friends are drinking beer (straight from the bottle or can is acceptable) or mix their drink of choice with the soft drinks available in an ice box. When the meat is done, guests are expected to serve themselves from the grill and the salad bowls on a side table. The atmosphere is relaxed and everyone enjoys the outing.

Then there is a third category, which I call the Brannas Braai. These are attended by seasoned Brannas (brandy and coke) drinkers on the occasion of a big sports event, which they play from the couch while watching the game on television. Afterward, the men tend to gather around the grill to replay the game or to discuss politics and policies, none of which would make sense to a sober person. The food is of secondary importance. Sometimes the Brannas Braai is attended by the wives, sitting in a circle away from the fire and out of  reach of the smoke. They nurse a glass of coke, gnashing their teeth and smiling politely, waiting for the hour in which they can make a polite escape.

Ek drink so een of twee keer per jaar … miskien … ‘n halwe glas bier en vermy die Brannas Braais soos die pes. Ek vind geen plesier daarin om te luister na dronk mans wat stront praat en vrouens wat voorgee dat alles wel is in hulle lewens nie.

So nou en dan sorg die Brannas Braai egter vir ‘n goeie storie. So vertel ‘n vriend van ons van die paartjie wat die Sondag moes laat doop, en die familie het van ver af opgedaag vir die geleentheid. Sondagoggend in die kerk, toe die dominee die ouerpare na die kansel toe roep, is die paartjie en hulle baba nêrens te vinde nie. Die dominee besluit toe om na die diens ‘n draai te maak by die Broer en Suster om uit te vind wat die probleem is. Dis toe dat hy afkom op die hele familie, nog steeds vas aan die slaap op die sitkamervloer en buite op die stoep, met leë bottels en glase oral sigbaar. En daar op die rooster lê die skaaptjoppies en wors nog net so … die vuur is nooit eens aangesteek nie.

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