I woke up the following morning with a pounding head. I really should not have hit the bourbon the night before but I had. It was only due to the efforts of the Bean counter that I managed to get up at all! I forced myself to stagger into the garden for 7am, splash several large bottles of lighter fluid over the three sections of charcoal that required it and tossed several matches onto each pile. So far so good I thought until I saw the clouds of smoke reaching for the skies. I could not do anything about that except hope that no one was up that early in the morning and I ran back into the house and got showered and changed. By the time I was back outside, the smoke, well most of it any way, had subsided and it was now merely very smoky and not such a health hazard. As I said earlier the goat was in two sections and I could not merely run the spit through its arse and out of its mouth and pin it along the way. The problem of the spit was solved by placing one side of the goat on a table, putting the spit along its length and skewering it with long stainless steel pins and then placing the other half on top of the pins and forcing it down til the two sides met and wrapping butchers twine around the animal to keep it in place
Two hours later and it was all smouldering nicely. Mercifully it was damp and not the sort of weather that you hang washing out in. By 9-30am I had the goat on the spit, the lamb, beef and pork in the long Rumo smoker and the ribs in the upright Brinkman. The traveller, in the spirit of the occasion and theme bought out some confederate flags and we draped these around the cooking section and opened up the beers. We spent most of the morning running back and forth between a gazebo to keep dry from the frequent showers and back to the fires to stoke them up not forgetting to turn the spit every 10 minutes or so. The traveller and my bro looked after the spit while I concentrated on looking after the Rumo and chopping wood while my neighbour, (God bless him for his patience) looked after the small brinkman. It was a round 4pm that the first of the guests arrived and although the meat in the smokers was cooked the goat was at least two hours away. I think if it had of been a sunnier and less windy day then it would have cooked faster.
One of the overwhelming comments from most of the guests was that you could smell meat cooking from several hundred yards away. Again I have to thank my neighbours for putting up with me. To most people’s surprise the goat tasted lovely. It was quite stringy and tasted stronger than lamb but not as strong as beef. I had marinated it in a mixture of lime juice, chilli, cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup and some cayenne pepper which gave it a kick. The animal took over 10 ten hours to cook through and what bits were not finished we hacked them off and wrapped them in tin foil and threw them in the ashes of the fire pit. I had used somewhere along the lines of 20, 5 kilo bags of charcoal and a lot of logs. Nearly all of the meat went with little going to waste and still people asked for sausages and burgers. It was time to turn to my old faithfull grill and Commander Riker stepped up to the plate and grilled like a seasoned pro. Most people had left by around 10pm and I managed to allow myself to be led to bed somewhere around 1am. I think all of them had a good time, my mum certainly did and as usual her birthday had gone with a swing somewhat different to any of her friends, then again none of them have a son like me! All in all this years Ghastanbury was a success.