Hotplates of glory

Recently I have been sidelined as object of affection numero uno in the eyes of the Silver Fox. I mean, we're still on friendly terms and everything but there's no mistaking that my position has been usurped. He is in love with another.

He is in love...with his barbecue.

He bought it a week ago and has been doting on it ever since. In a way, I can understand the appeal. I can't possibly compete with it. Indeed, with its cool, retro styling it looks how you imagine a Cadillac would look if a Cadillac could cook you a steak. It has a powder-coated steel body, a roasting hood, internal storage for a gas bottle and (gulp) automatic soft touch ignition. It gets its hotness from four burners. Even with enormous amounts of primping and hair product I've never gone beyond "three burner hot" myself. Although I do, too, have a "warming rack".

Naturally the Silver Fox is keen on spending as much time with his new pal as possible. He's completely forsaken the kitchen stove in favour of al fresco cookery. I've lost count of the number of meals he's cooked on it in only a week. I think if there were a way of barbecuing Weet-Bix, he would have made breakfast on it this morning and if we should run out of sausages I have some fear for the neighbourhood cats.

As it is I DON'T THINK I CAN EAT ANY MORE GRILLED MEAT. I AM NOT SOUTH AFRICAN AFTER ALL.

And even my appetite for sauteed onion, which I had always assumed was unquenchable, is getting close to quenched. Pretty quenchy right now. Yup.

I have yet to cook anything myself with the new barbecue, having taken more of a lovely assistant role. Which is fine by me as it means I don't have to clean it, which the Silver Fox does diligently and lovingly with an enamel safe washing brush and warm soapy water.

So what I'm looking for today is any advice on whether we think this will be a short-lived infatuation or whether I can assume that I will be permanently playing second hotdog? I am hopeful that as the weather turns, the Silver Fox can be lured back inside the house (though having a verandah doesn't assure this). I suppose I could buy him a crockpot for winter cooking and see if that works? Men, is there a special appeal to cooking outdoors that the inside variety cannot supply and if so, what?

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