We're so excited to hear from Brenda Johnson, our very first Bird Crush.
"I have a love for all things culinary; being South African born, especially live fire cooking," says Brenda, speaking from home where she lives with her husband and two children.
"I’m 43 and a part-time Construction professional. When I’m not on a building site you will probably find me in my kitchen, or alongside a roaring fire, preparing something, to feed someone. I'm working towards turning my live fire cooking penchant into something a bit more significant, I arrange occasional supper clubs and run a series of fire based cooking classes."
Refering to her recently purchased Robyn apron, Brenda says, "With a simmering pot or crackling fire going on a daily basis, protection is vital and the Robyn apron obliges effortlessly. A lightweight denim design lends itself to stylish durability; unsightly stains obscured by the dark colour and pockets to keep my tools and tinkers close. This apron provides sophisticated comfort and performs consistently between my indoor and outdoor kitchen."
Brenda cooks outdoors all year 'round, "In January, the weather admittedly challenges cooking outdoors so I use the lidded kettle BBQ as an oven to gratify my need for that smokey flavour."
Describing how it's done, Brenda says, "Once the fire is made and the flames have died down, simply move the glowing charcoal to one side of the kettle and place the grill grate back in its top position. Place an ovenproof dish filled with your prepared ingredients on top of the grill, opposite the direct heat area and replace the bbq lid. This allows the heat to circulate and simulates conventional oven conditions."
Brenda recommends roasting a whole chicken with large chunks of mediterranean vegetables in the 'outdoor oven', "Drizzle the bird and vegetables with olive oil, za’atar, fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of salt. It's delicious and a brilliant alternative to the traditional Sunday roast."